GNU/Linux and FOSS in general has changed the way in which we interact with Computers and with the World. It has opened gateways that none of us could’ve imagined. GNU/Linux contributes to the world in many ways but one contribution that I highly appreciate is that in the field of Education.
We all feel good when we see and hear about people in Africa using Puppy Linux to setup Internet Cafe, Debian GNU/Linux powering a Library in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, the OLPC movement and many more.
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Edubuntu is one such distribution trying to make a change in the world with their goal being “Our aim is to put together a system that contains all the best free software available in education and make it easy to install and maintain.”
Edubuntu 12.04 which is also the first Long term support release (will be supported for 5 years) of the Edubuntu project had released on the same day with the Ubuntu 12.04 release and just in case you don’t know, Edubuntu is based on Ubuntu and is also a part of the Ubuntu family (official derivatives).
Edubuntu 12.04 ships with the Unity-Shell and Gnome Classic (you can read more about that in this post) and what is more interesting is that the Edubuntu installer asks you whether you want to make Gnome Classic the default session.
The Edubuntu 12.04 ISO both 32-bit and 64-bit are 2.6GB+ but you get quite a raft of education related applications ranging from Preschool to Tertiary level plus many of the Open Source favourites like Firefox, Thunderbird, Empathy, GIMP, Scribus, Inkspace, LibreOffice Office Suite, Totem, Rythmbox and more.
The installer also gives you the option for selecting the education related applications that you want to install/not install which makes sense as a college student will not require Preschool and Primary level applications. While we are on education related applications, Edubuntu ships with the KDE Education Project, GCompris, Celestia, Tux4kids Entertainment Suite, Stellarium just to name a few.
You also have Epoptes (a Greek word for overseer) is an open source computer lab management and monitoring tool and the option to have the LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) which adds thin-client support to Linux servers hence empowering schools, businesses, and organizations all over the world to easily install and deploy desktop workstations.
All in all Edubuntu 12.04 is an excellent release in every respect and carries the contribution of FOSS to the World and Humanity in the field of Education further.