Linux systems for the education sector

Ever Expandable

You can incorporate several Edubuntu LTSP servers in a cluster using LDAP and NAT. See the HowTo at the project website [13] – you'll need profound knowledge to make this work. The documentation is poor overall and is limited to a few scenarios. As with any Linux system, you can upgrade the software manually from Ubuntu's repositories and expand the system to taste.


DebianEdu (also known as Skolelinux) is a Debian-based educational distro based founded in Norway. DebianEdu uses the KDE desktop and offers a wealth of learning and production software.

Edu (Figure 8) supports the use of terminal servers, which, in turn, operate their own thin clients. Edu also manages conventional workstations and laptops with Linux on the central server, which take cares of both LDAP and DNS and DHCP. The server provides an internal email system that can be configured for external use.

Figure 8: DebianEdu used provides extensive learning software and various server solutions you can choose during the installation.

The network also manages Windows and Mac computers. The graphical interface is GOsa (GONICUS system administration, [14]), which also offers user management via LDAP. The GOsa project was originally developed for the Limux project in the city of Munich. GOsa provides an extensive set of tools for managing users, groups, hosts, services, and workstations. You can set up a workstation from the central server via the network. The detailed manual explains how to perform the installation and also provides valuable tips for further configuration.

openSUSE Edu-Life

OpenSUSE also provides its own Linux for the education sector, in the form of Edu-Life (Linux for Education) (Figure 9). Like Edubuntu, the openSUSE derivative is available for schools as a live DVD with numerous applications for pupils of all ages.

Figure 9: Edu-Life is an openSUSE version specifically compiled for schools that provides extras such as onboard development tools.

Like Edubuntu, openSUSE's Edu-Life provides a terminal server based on LTSP. Instead of the remote control software Epoptes used in Edubuntu, the makers of openSUSE Edu-Life use iTALC [15]. In addition, the server also uses the Moodle educational platform [16] and the alternative ATutor educational management system [17].

OpenSUSE Edu-Life focuses on programming and includes numerous development environments by default, which help pupils with how to deal with Java, C, C++, Pascal, and Mono.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Edubuntu

    Don’t know much about history? Don’t know much biology? Don’t panic: Edubuntu will lead you to the wonderful world of classroom Linux.

  • UberStudent Project Releases UberStudent 3.0

    Specialty distro keeps the focus on advanced learning.

  • Linux4Afrika

    Linux4Afrika collects used hardware in Germany to equip African schools. Linux Magazine editor Markus Feilner went to Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and other places in Tanzania to hunt down Linux machines.

  • LTSP

    The Linux Terminal Server Project offers a comprehensive approach to terminal services in Linux, including easy access to local sound cards, printers, and USB sticks.

  • OLPC Computers for Palestinian Refugee Children

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has instituted a three-year program together with Sugar Labs and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More