Edubuntu - Empowering Enjoyable Education one desktop at a time!

Excitement builds as the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is just days away. However Ubuntu 10.04 is not the only thing being released, Edubuntu 10.04 will be released as well.

Edubuntu, an officially supported Ubuntu derivative, is an educational operating system that is a part of the Ubuntu family. It aims to make Ubuntu a great choice for the computing needs of children, students, parents, teachers, and schools. ~

Edubuntu Team Members and developers Jonathan Carter and Stéphane Graber took a few moments out of their day early this week to tell readers about Edubuntu --what it is, where you can download it at, as well as how you can help.

Let's get started!

Amber Graner: Edubuntu is the Ubuntu derivative for Education? Can you tell me a little about what makes Edubuntu different from Ubuntu?

Edubuntu Team Members: Edubuntu maintains the educational packages and tools in the Ubuntu archive, as well as the Edubuntu iso which contains the most useful educational packages in the archive for users who want to set up a system with very little effort for schools and at home. Edubuntu can be installed on a standard Ubuntu system by simply installing the edubuntu-desktop package.

AG: There has been a lot of talk about the new Theme with Ubuntu 10.04, what is new with Edubuntu for this release cycle?

ETM: Our artwork has been refreshed in this cycle, we adopted Ubuntu's artwork changes as well as a new logo during this release cycle.

AG: What ages does Edubuntu target for education?

ETM: The educational suites that are shipped with Edubuntu are targeted for age groups of 3 to 18 years old. It's mostly intended for school children, although some applications may also be useful for basic adult education.

AG: Can you tell me a little what is offered for the various age groups?

ETM: For very young children, gcompris is the main software we offer, then the kdeedu suite is probably the next thing from a primary to secondary school level. There is also tux4kids (tuxpaint, tuxmath, tuxtype) which is mostly for primary school users.

AG: As we start into UDS and planning for Ubuntu 10.10 release, what can we expect from Edubuntu in 10.10 as well?

ETM: Our main focus for 10.10 would be to consolidate the efforts made during the 10.04 cycle, getting our new features more integrated (translated, more user friendly, ...). We also would like to include more education packages and improve our relationship with our upstreams and other education projects like Qimo.

AG: What is the biggest advantage students and teachers gain from using Edubuntu over Ubuntu?

ETM: Everything we do is in Ubuntu, so there's no specific benefits or differences between the two. The Edubuntu project aims to bring the best of free educational software and tools into the Ubuntu archives. The Edubuntu install disc makes it easy to install an educational system. Installing from an Edubuntu disc can also be useful for setting up an LTSP server; we put in some effort to make that extremely easy.

AG: When did Edubuntu become a supported derivative?

ETM: It's been a supported derivative since its first version (5.10), it started out as a project within Canonical.

AG: How did the concept of Edubuntu emerge, who's idea was Edubuntu?

ETM: It was conceptualized at the Ubuntu Down Under UDS in Australia early in 2005 and the first release was planned at the Edubuntu Summit in London later that year.

AG: Is there an Edubuntu Community within the Ubuntu Community? If so, does it mirror the Ubuntu Community? Where is it similar/different?

ETM: The Edubuntu community is fully integrated into the Ubuntu community, we use Canonical's build infrastructure, the Ubuntu wiki, Launchpad and we report to the Community Council and Technical board just as the other official derivatives do.

AG: Do the developers of Edubuntu also "work" as developers on Ubuntu?

ETM: Yes, a good part of the Edubuntu developers are also involved in other aspects of Ubuntu.A good part of us are involved in the LTSP project and its integration in Ubuntu, some others are working on KDE and with other teams like advocacy/marketing.

AG: How big is the Edubuntu Team?

ETM: We have an active Edubuntu council of 6 members and also a few other community members. I'd say that for the 10.04 cycle we had about 10 active contributors.

AG: If people want to help with Edubuntu how do they get started?

ETM: Best is probably to attend our weekly IRC meetings, we also have two mailing-lists (edubuntu-devel and edubuntu-users) for coordination and we generally stay in #edubuntu on freenode.There's always some work to do, packaging obviously, integration (scripting, ...), documentation, marketing, bug triaging and QA.

One of our biggest issues at least in the past was the lack of time to implement our specifications, so everyone is welcome to help!

AG: If people want to install Edubuntu where can they get it? How can they install it?

ETM: From an existing Ubuntu machine a user could simply install the edubuntu-desktop metapackage. For a quick turn-key installation, the Edubuntu DVD can be used, all the links are available on the Edubuntu website.

AG: How has Edubuntu changed from when it was first developed? Where do you see the future of Edubuntu going?

ETM: Up until recently, Edubuntu was developed and maintained by mostly one person at any stage, sometimes at the cost of their personal lives or health. There's too much work for one person, and over the last 2 releases we made it more team-reliant so that the work is more balanced and that nothing relies on only 1 person anymore. We want to continue on this work over the next few releases and turn our community into a really strong one.

AG: Will Edubuntu be at the UDS in Brussels?

ETM: Yes! We will be booking some sessions at UDS, please join in if you are able either physically or by remote participation.

Jonathan and Stéphane, thank you so much for taking a moment to tell Ubuntu Users about this great educational Ubuntu derivative. To Find out more about Edubuntu go to:

To find out more about Ubuntu and how you can participate, contribute or just download it please visit:

Questions, comments, suggestions please feel free to drop me a note to: amber [At] ubuntu-user [DoT] com.




Follow along as Ubuntu enthusiast and Community organizer Amber Graner helps put the "You" in Ubuntu.

Amber Graner is an active Ubuntu community member and organizer who encourages everyone around her to participate, support, and learn about Ubuntu and Open Source. With a smile and a sense of humor, Amber reminds people that there is a place for everyone in the Ubuntu community – regardless of technical skill level (or lack thereof). She is constantly looking for people, places, and events within the Ubuntu community that help inspire Ubuntu users to participate actively within the Ubuntu community. Email Amber at amber AT ubuntu-user DOT com.


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