It’s Educational…

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Earlier, when you were introduced to the Ubuntu family of operating systems, Edubuntu was one of the Ubuntu projects mentioned. Edubuntu is an operating system built on Ubuntu that is designed for school environments, but is also a popular choice for students to use at home. Many similarities exist between Edubuntu and Ubuntu aside from the names. To begin with, Edubuntu is based on the Ubuntu architecture. Many of the developers who work on Ubuntu lend a hand on the Edubuntu version as well.

Edubuntu also follows the same development cycle that Ubuntu follows, with an expected release every six months. Edubuntu differs from Ubuntu in the software that is installed with the operating system itself. Many of the educational applications found in the Ubuntu repositories are already preinstalled in Edubuntu. Also, Edubuntu comes with some extra, kidfriendly themes.

You may be wondering why a completely different version of the operating system would be needed just to have a few educational applications installed and some extra artwork to choose from. The answer is actually twofold. First of all, the developers wanted Edubuntu to be easy enough for kids to take home and run on their computers. Like all versions of Ubuntu, Edubuntu has a live CD that allows the entire operating system and its applications to run without having to install anything. Kids who use GCompris or the KDE Edutainment Suite at school can pop an Edubuntu live CD into their computers at home and enjoy the same learning environment without any need to download, decompress, or install, and without regard for the operating system that the home computer is running.

The second reason for the Edubuntu release is that schools without a dedicated IT staff can successfully run the software on any type of computer just as the kids would at home. Edubuntu also helps schools that have very limited budgets to buy new computers. Many schools are the recipients of older-model computers, and teachers often find that the computers are too old to run the latest version of Microsoft Windows. This is where Edubuntu can help. Included in Edubuntu is the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). What this does is allow schools to turn old computers that may not have the computing power to run Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, or even Ubuntu into what are called thin clients. Thin clients are computers that run off the processing and storage of a central server. Basically, one really powerful computer, the server, handles all of the computing tasks and data storage for each individual thin client. Schools save money because they don’t need to buy pricey computers but can rely on inexpensive thin clients or even turn old computers into thin clients. Not only do schools save money on the purchase of computers, but they also save in reduced administrative costs since they only have to install and maintain the software on the server. Also, if a thin client should need repair, it can be replaced by just plugging a new thin client into the network.

While you may choose not to install Edubuntu on your home computer, you can run the live CD as you would any other version of Ubuntu. You can download the ISO image of Edubuntu by visiting www.edubuntu.org.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Osborne Media How to Do Everything Ubuntu

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