Although they're a relatively minor proportion of the overall Australian population, those who use Linux or even other forms of Unix and Unix-like operating systems have long complained about the ATO's lack of support for their choice of platform.
In a statement issued today, the ATO said the AUSkey registration, download and installation process had been successfully tested with Ubuntu 10.04 '” not the latest version of Ubuntu, but one release behind '” and Firefox 3.6, adding the system may also work with other versions of the software.
'The latest release will assist software developers to integrate AUSkey into their financial and accounting software packages for Linux users,' the agency wrote.
However, it warned that even if Linux users did have an AUSkey, the new functionality may not automatically guarantee Linux-based access to online government services that did accept the authentication method.
AUSkey is a single key authentication service which allows access to government services and is used by many Australian businesses regularly to, for example, submit their business activity statements and other documents to the ATO at the end of each reporting period.