Primary school goes Ubuntu

Recently we managed to fund the purchase of 16 new computers in my wife’s primary school. The old hardware were Pentium III 500 MHz boxes running Windows 98. When I connected the computer room to the DSL router (Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT), they were all crying for security updates.

I wasn’t going to put Windows 98 on the new PCs, so what options did we have? Buying new Microsoft licenses was not covered by the budget, and probably not needed, anyway: the only software that was already available was a set of outdated education programs, most of which could easily be replaced by stuff available online.

After a brief trial with OpenSUSE, my choice was Ubuntu. The reason to go for OpenSUSE was that it’s available with german language pack – going to Linux and english at the same time might have been a bit too much for 3rd graders ;)

But then I found german Ubuntu CD images, and I was good to go. I prepared 5 CDs and installed 14 PCs in less than two hours, including account setup and Firefox preparation (start page to a kids friendly site, Adblock).

Very nice. The next thing to do will be to set up a common file storage, and to look for educational software (1st to 4th grade primary school, in german). Any hints gladly appreciated.

25 thoughts on “Primary school goes Ubuntu

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  2. you don’t have to go with edubuntu, though that would have made more sense being in a primary school. Still you can download all the programs from the repositories.

    Easy way to do this is to change your repository list to edubuntu repos. you should be able to get that info from the Ubuntu website. then just do a dist-upgrade, then you will have edubuntu.

  3. you don’t have to go with edubuntu, though that would have made more sense being in a primary school. Still you can download all the programs from the repositories.

    Easy way to do this is to change your repository list to edubuntu repos. you should be able to get that info from the Ubuntu website. then just do a dist-upgrade, then you will have edubuntu.

  4. Great to hear that Ubuntu is being used this way in Germany… We’ve just replaced 8 workstations and a server for a customer with new machines (Ubuntu Linux on the server, Win XP on the workstations), and we’re going to turn the old machines (mostly running Win 98) into Edubuntu thin clients running off the server, which we will then be donating to a school in our city (Christchurch, New Zealand).

    With Ubuntu setting up a thin-client system is very straightforward – it also means much less setup time – just create a single machine image (which all the thin clients boot) and maintain all the data, user accounts, backups, etc. on the main server. Might make your job administering the machines even easier! Great work in any case – Ubuntu is the way forward!

    All the best,

    Dave

  5. Great to hear that Ubuntu is being used this way in Germany… We’ve just replaced 8 workstations and a server for a customer with new machines (Ubuntu Linux on the server, Win XP on the workstations), and we’re going to turn the old machines (mostly running Win 98) into Edubuntu thin clients running off the server, which we will then be donating to a school in our city (Christchurch, New Zealand).

    With Ubuntu setting up a thin-client system is very straightforward – it also means much less setup time – just create a single machine image (which all the thin clients boot) and maintain all the data, user accounts, backups, etc. on the main server. Might make your job administering the machines even easier! Great work in any case – Ubuntu is the way forward!

    All the best,

    Dave

  6. Don’t forget DebianEdu a.k.a. Skolelinux. DebianEdu predates Edubuntu and both offer more or less the same functionality, albeit DebianEdu uses a different desktop environment, KDE, which comes with a much larger variety of educational programs.

  7. Don’t forget DebianEdu a.k.a. Skolelinux. DebianEdu predates Edubuntu and both offer more or less the same functionality, albeit DebianEdu uses a different desktop environment, KDE, which comes with a much larger variety of educational programs.

  8. Well done. Teaching youngsters at that age that there is more to operating systems then Microsoft is a amazing.

    We currently recommend Linux to our clients yet the mindset of the older generations are harder to mould, thus they just “buy” the well marketed product as that is what they know.

  9. Well done. Teaching youngsters at that age that there is more to operating systems then Microsoft is a amazing.

    We currently recommend Linux to our clients yet the mindset of the older generations are harder to mould, thus they just “buy” the well marketed product as that is what they know.

  10. The next step will probably be online schools so the fact that they adopted Ubuntu is actually not that interesting. And even now, there are online certified schools… imagine that:))

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