Ubuntu Open Week - Welcome to the new Edubuntu - St├ęphane Graber - Thu, Nov 5, 2009

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(02:01:09 PM) stgraber: Hey everyone, I'm St├ęphane Graber (french for Stefan).
(02:01:16 PM) stgraber: I live in Quebec, Canada and work as LTSP developer and Ubuntu liaison for Revolution Linux.
(02:01:27 PM) stgraber: LTSP stands for Linux Terminal Server Project and is about having
(02:01:32 PM) stgraber: thin clients booting (ed)Ubuntu from a central server.
(02:01:54 PM) stgraber: My friend and fellow Edubuntu council member, Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)
(02:01:57 PM) stgraber: also started working for Revolution Linux this week !!
(02:02:04 PM) ***stgraber waves to highvoltage 
(02:02:11 PM) highvoltage: hi everyone!
(02:02:21 PM) stgraber: In the Ubuntu community I'm mostly known as
(02:02:21 PM) stgraber: an Edubuntu council member and Ubuntu core developer
(02:02:21 PM) stgraber: mostly working on LTSP (that I maintain and develop),
(02:02:21 PM) stgraber: Education, Community (I'm part of the EMEA membership approval boards)
(02:02:23 PM) stgraber: and the QA team (ISO testing).
(02:02:37 PM) stgraber: Now, enough about me, let's speak of Edubuntu !
(02:02:47 PM) stgraber: For this session, I'll start by a quick reminder of what Edubuntu is as it's been released in Karmic,
(02:02:50 PM) stgraber: then we'll look back at Edubuntu's history for a bit
(02:02:53 PM) stgraber: and then I'll quickly go through our short, middle and long term goals.
(02:03:14 PM) stgraber: Then during the remaining time, I'll be answering any question you may have.
(02:03:15 PM) kirkland left the room ("Ex-Chat").
(02:03:41 PM) stgraber: Now, a quick reminder of what Edubuntu is (but all of you already know right ? ;))
(02:03:48 PM) stgraber: For those of you who haven't heard the name before, Edubuntu is an Ubuntu derivative for education.
(02:03:56 PM) stgraber: It's aimed for usage at school, at home with children as well as in high school and university on the server.
(02:04:22 PM) mode (+v LaserJock ) by ChanServ
(02:04:31 PM) stgraber: The distribution itself is directly based on Ubuntu
(02:04:31 PM) stgraber: with which it shares its desktop environment (gnome)
(02:04:31 PM) stgraber: and all of the Ubuntu software and then, on top of that, adds a lot of educational software.
(02:05:07 PM) stgraber: Edubuntu also optionally let's you install a LTSP server
(02:05:07 PM) stgraber: so you can then have thin clients or regular computers boot on the network
(02:05:10 PM) stgraber: and run Edubuntu in no time with nothing installed on their harddisks.
(02:05:24 PM) stgraber: In karmic, it comes under the form of a DVD image for 32 and 64 bit CPUs.
(02:05:32 PM) ***stgraber waves to LaserJock too
(02:06:03 PM) stgraber: It's mostly thanks to Jordan (LaserJock) that we had a rocking Karmic release and are back on www.distrowatch.com !
(02:06:20 PM) ***LaserJock waves to everybody
(02:06:24 PM) highvoltage: and ranking #26 for the last week as well!
(02:06:43 PM) stgraber: Now, before I quickly go through our plans for the future, let's speak of the past a little bit
(02:06:50 PM) stgraber: The Edubuntu project started in 2005 with 5.10 (Breezy Badger), then improved over the years as Ubuntu did.
(02:06:56 PM) stgraber: LTSP was included in Edubuntu making it more and more used mainly in the classrooms.
(02:07:05 PM) stgraber: An education server component was also added by packaging SchoolTool and Moodle.
(02:07:15 PM) stgraber: At some point (8.04 LTS - Hardy Heron), it was decided that Edubuntu wouldn't continue to be a distribution
(02:07:18 PM) stgraber: and would instead become a simple addon on top of Ubuntu.
(02:07:25 PM) stgraber: This change was criticised by most of our users as it was making Edubuntu's installation a lot harder and longer than it used to be.
(02:07:42 PM) stgraber: Also there was no longer a Live environment that you could use to demo or test Edubuntu.
(02:07:56 PM) stgraber: It took us over a year of meeting, discussions with Canonical and our users to revert that change in Karmic where we are a real distribution again !
(02:08:33 PM) stgraber: and as highvoltage noted, we seem to have done it quite well for a "dead" distro (as distrowatch used to call us for a while) !!
(02:08:52 PM) stgraber: Regarding LTSP, during 8.04's development cycle, LTSP was moved to Ubuntu Alternate and we wanted to keep it that way as it lets more users install LTSP.
(02:09:11 PM) stgraber: Though we also included it on the Edubuntu DVD so one can install a regular workstation, a server or simply use the Live CD without touching his harddisk.
(02:09:31 PM) stgraber: Before I start speaking of our goals, any question at this point ?
(02:11:18 PM) highvoltage: 21:10 < Jesi-Idle> Question: will you still be able to add the Edubuntu packages to your Ubuntu install?
(02:11:28 PM) stgraber: absolutely
(02:11:41 PM) stgraber: Educational softwares still appear in the software center
(02:11:45 PM) highvoltage: 21:10 < AlanBell> QUESTION: how do you have something suitable for education from pre-school through to university?
(02:12:51 PM) highvoltage: AlanBell: short answer: we don't completely, it's one of our aims and goals though so as time progresses we would hopefully fill more and more gaps
(02:13:02 PM) stgraber: Our approach is to have all applications on the DVD, then users can either install them all and filter them or only install the ones they want.
(02:13:14 PM) LaserJock: mind if I mention something on that one?
(02:13:28 PM) stgraber: LaserJock: please do
(02:13:45 PM) LaserJock: Edubuntu was structured to be somewhat modular
(02:14:14 PM) LaserJock: we've created what we call "application bundles" for Pre-school, Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary aged students
(02:14:29 PM) LaserJock: in the future we would like to not only do that with our applications
(02:14:58 PM) LaserJock: but also with themes (we currently have 2 different themes, one for kids and a plain one for older students)
(02:15:21 PM) LaserJock: so we make it work by being highly modular and hopefully flexible enough for users to decide wha they need
(02:15:38 PM) LaserJock: done
(02:15:50 PM) highvoltage: 21:11 < AlanBell> QUESTION in the UK and other countries there is a standardised national curriculum for schools, what is being done to ensure the whole thing can be taught on Edubuntu?
(02:17:09 PM) stgraber: Basically, with that modularity LaserJock mentioned, we should be able to filter through the menu and show only what's applicable to a certain region/school system
(02:17:47 PM) stgraber: it's part of our goals for 10.04 to be able to propose that kind of adaptation to the different school systems and countries
(02:18:30 PM) LaserJock: it will also likely take support from Ubuntu Local teams to help
(02:18:43 PM) stgraber: absolutely
(02:18:46 PM) LaserJock: Edubuntu can't know about all the standards of every country around the world
(02:19:26 PM) highvoltage: We would welcome contributions that would make Edubuntu more curriculum-friendly for any area though
(02:19:33 PM) stgraber: indeed, we'll need input from the loco teams on that
(02:20:00 PM) stgraber: I'll take one more question and continue, there will be room for more questions at the end
(02:20:36 PM) highvoltage: 21:11 < Jesi-Idle> Question: Edubuntu is great, I enjoy it and think it could be a great resource for many students, and teachers... but it doesn't matter how great Edubuntu becomes if we don't get people to use it, how whould you suggest one go about encouraging schools in their area to try Edubuntu?
(02:21:03 PM) stgraber: I believe that locoteam would be a good way to spread the word
(02:21:13 PM) highvoltage: Schools have a big problem in that their often left with products that are unsupported
(02:21:27 PM) highvoltage: I think if you can show them that you'll hold their hand and give them support,
(02:21:41 PM) highvoltage: and that there's a large community out there that can help them maintain their system,
(02:22:01 PM) LaserJock: With Edubuntu 9.10 DVD you can also do live demo's to help people see what's available
(02:22:02 PM) highvoltage: they'd be more inclined to try it out and keep using it as well
(02:22:35 PM) stgraber: thanks for all the questions so far, now I'll quickly go through our goals for the next few months, then I'll be taking questions again.
(02:22:47 PM) stgraber: so, our short term goals
(02:23:01 PM) stgraber: As some may have noticed, the current Edubuntu Council is only made of two members (Jonathan and I) as Jordan has resigned due to time constraints from his new job.
(02:23:10 PM) stgraber: So we will be having elections quite soon to get the council to at least 4 members and then 5 members (our goal).
(02:23:41 PM) ***stgraber wants to thank LaserJock again for the awesome work on Edubuntu he did over the last few years
(02:23:53 PM) highvoltage: ++
(02:23:56 PM) stgraber: Also, we have been working on a few documents that will help us get more and more contributors.
(02:24:01 PM) stgraber: That includes cleaning up the wiki a bit, creating task list for new contributors and improving our website.
(02:24:22 PM) stgraber: that's our goals for the next months or so, that way we'll be ready to work on Lucid
(02:24:35 PM) stgraber: Our middle term goals mostly focus on the next LTS release, 10.4 Lucid Lynx.
(02:24:48 PM) stgraber: The main changes we thought about so far and that will be discussed at UDS are:
(02:24:53 PM) stgraber:  - Having LTSP available in the LiveCD
(02:25:03 PM) stgraber:  - Avoid the text installer (saves space) except for server installation (Moodle for example)
(02:25:09 PM) stgraber:  - Add more applications and improve the ones already present (general goal)
(02:25:15 PM) stgraber:  - Work on the menus so we can easily show what's best for the user (depending on its country, language and grade)
(02:25:23 PM) stgraber:  - Include more packages from sister projects (Qimo, Guadalinex)
(02:25:38 PM) stgraber: (I hope I didn't forget anything major here ...)
(02:26:02 PM) stgraber: Our long term goals are quite obvious:
(02:26:06 PM) stgraber:  - Get more contributors !!
(02:26:14 PM) stgraber: That's probably the most important one ;)
(02:26:30 PM) stgraber:  - Easily configure the distribution so it matches the user's usage (country, region, language, ...) as the need in education is extremely different depending on where you are
(02:26:58 PM) stgraber:  - Propose other installation medias and maybe other "editions" (netbook ?)
(02:27:16 PM) stgraber: I see some questions on -chat, we'll be taking them again in a few minutes and will have plenty of time to answer them all
(02:27:51 PM) stgraber: Now, I hope that some of you want to join us ;)
(02:27:57 PM) stgraber: If you are interested in contributing to the Edubuntu project, you are more than welcome.
(02:28:08 PM) stgraber: You can easily get in touch with us on IRC (#edubuntu) or on our mailing lists (edubuntu-users and edubuntu-devel on http://lists.ubuntu.com).
(02:28:23 PM) stgraber: Feedback, help with bugs, new developers and more generally great people hanging around are welcome to join.
(02:28:43 PM) stgraber: If you attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Dallas (16-20 Nov), I'll be there and will be scheduling a few sessions.
(02:29:25 PM) LaserJock: The Edubuntu team hangs out in #edubuntu naturally enough
(02:29:41 PM) LaserJock: also the edubuntu-devel mailing list (on lists.ubuntu.com) is a great place to get involved
(02:29:49 PM) stgraber: That's basically it as far as presenting the project and our goals is concerned, I'll be taking questions again and will of course appreciate the input from LaserJock and highvoltage
(02:30:07 PM) highvoltage: 21:15 < Jesi-Idle> Question: this isn't really a question as much as it is a suggestion, so I'm sorry if it's out of place but one thing I think would great for Edubuntu is if we could gather free educational texts like study guides and reviews and package them
(02:30:50 PM) highvoltage: There's lots of requests for off-line content, especially in bandwidth deprived areas, and there are some nice content available out there, like the wikipedia for schools project
(02:31:32 PM) highvoltage: I'm going to compbine two questions here:
(02:31:33 PM) highvoltage: 21:17 < dscassel> Question: Are there institutions/districts that have rolled out Edubuntu you can tell us about?  Any success stories?
(02:31:37 PM) highvoltage: 21:18 < FrozenZia> Question: Follwing up on dscassel's Q, I'd be particularly interested in hearing about schools making use of old/refurbished computers...
(02:32:03 PM) LaserJock: well, I'll give a personal, non-school example
(02:32:18 PM) highvoltage: I worked on a project in South Africa where we installed 200+ computer labs using edubuntu and refurbished computers, there's a little write-up about it at http://jonathancarter.co.za/files/static/docs/tuxlabs.pdf
(02:32:28 PM) LaserJock: I recently gave an old ClassmatePC I had with Edubuntu on it to a neighbor boy, 4 years old
(02:32:37 PM) LaserJock: he loves it and his parents love it
(02:32:55 PM) LaserJock: in fact he just got a Wii and his parents told me they would rather he play on Edubuntu
(02:33:29 PM) stgraber: As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm working on LTSP-Cluster, that's large scale (hundreds to a few thousands thin clients) deployment of LTSP mostly in schools. They often don't directly use Edubuntu though they use the packages we maintain and debug. Some of them use new thin clients, some other use old computers (PIII being great as thin client for example)
(02:33:48 PM) highvoltage: 21:21 < mhall1191work> QUESTION: What tools does Edubuntu include to help teachers?  Things like lesson planning, gradebooks, attendance, etc
(02:34:15 PM) stgraber: currently, the main tool we ship that helps teachers is iTalc for classroom management (see what the students are doing)
(02:34:22 PM) stgraber: we also maintain Moodle for course management
(02:34:32 PM) stgraber: highvoltage, LaserJock: Something I forgot ?
(02:34:38 PM) LaserJock: hopefully in the future SchoolTool might also be included
(02:34:45 PM) highvoltage: I believe Schooltool would also be useful, it's not in Ubuntu at the moment due to broken dependencies
(02:34:52 PM) LaserJock: we're always open to suggestions
(02:34:56 PM) highvoltage: but it most probably will be again in the future
(02:35:08 PM) highvoltage: 21:25 < sebsebseb> QUESTION:  Do you think that  Edubuntu should become the only OS for a school?  Or do you think  students/pupils should be learning Windows as well, but maybe also Mac OS X if schools can afford to buy Macs?
(02:35:20 PM) LaserJock: of course ;-)
(02:35:46 PM) highvoltage: I believe that it would be good if a school can get by by only using Edubuntu, I don't think we'll ever want it to be a requirement
(02:36:15 PM) LaserJock: I think schools should use what works
(02:36:30 PM) LaserJock: Edubuntu will probably not fit *every* use case
(02:36:39 PM) stgraber: I think that showing different OS may be interesting for schools though we should be able to cover all their needs with Edubuntu
(02:36:59 PM) highvoltage: 21:31 < mhall1191work> QUESTION: Does Edubuntu do anything specifically for OLPC laptops?
(02:37:26 PM) highvoltage: we had some people involved who worked on packaging the Sugar interface for Ubuntu
(02:37:45 PM) LaserJock: that would be a great area for people to get involved with
(02:39:29 PM) highvoltage: 21:32 < bob3> QUESTION: For schools, the cost of setting up a lab is obviously very important. How much would an Edubuntu classroom of 40 computers cost considering that it would be using LTSP. What are the required specifications for the clients and for the server?
(02:39:54 PM) stgraber: starting with jaunty and now karmic, we have local applications working quite well
(02:40:08 PM) stgraber: in the past, the main issue with LTSP was firefox which was killing a server quite easily
(02:40:38 PM) stgraber: now, if your thin client is powerful enough (atom based being the best for new hardware or P3 with ~500M of memory) you can run these softwares locally
(02:40:46 PM) stgraber: and keep the others on the server
(02:40:56 PM) stgraber: that helps decrease the load considerably
(02:41:23 PM) stgraber: so for 40 computers, if they are capable of running local applications, I would think it's possible with a good dual-core and some 4GB of RAM
(02:41:32 PM) stgraber: network also needs to be good
(02:41:58 PM) stgraber: where I work, we can put up to 150 users on a dual-quadcore with 16GB of RAM, that's clearly entirely different hardware but that may give you an idea
(02:42:21 PM) highvoltage: QUESTION: Did you know that someone is selling ClassmatePCs loaded with Edubuntu? http://tinyurl.com/edubuntu
(02:42:22 PM) stgraber: if you need more specific information, feel free to poke me a bit later
(02:42:57 PM) highvoltage: We know of quite a few cases where Edubuntu is sold with PC's, personally I didn't know about that specific one yet.
(02:43:05 PM) LaserJock: one of the problems with running an open source distro that you give away for free is you never really know where it goes :-)
(02:43:16 PM) highvoltage: 21:36 < mhall1191work> QUESTION: For a large lab, getting a server with enough memory can be a challenge.  What options are there for labs with a memory-constrained server?
(02:43:32 PM) stgraber: development for the classmate was initialiy done by Canonical and Ubuntu improved so it works "quite" well on it. I personaly own a Classmate with Edubuntu too ;) (though not this one)
(02:43:37 PM) highvoltage: I think that ties in with what stgraber said earlier, if you use local apps, you can reduce memory usage on a server drastically
(02:44:13 PM) stgraber: indeed, same thing, if you want more detailed information, feel free to poke me directly as it depends on quite a few variables to determine what kind of hardware requirement you'll have
(02:44:14 PM) highvoltage: you can also use a smaller footprint user interface such as LXDE, although you'll lose out on some tools and functionality
(02:44:39 PM) stgraber: highvoltage: indeed, that may help, or even only running the applications you need (kind-of kiosk mode) if applicable
(02:46:28 PM) highvoltage: any answers that need clarification or further questions?
(02:46:49 PM) highvoltage: 21:45 < slacker_nl> QUESTION: does edubuntu also have tools for teachers and principals for student administration? or is that not the goal for edubuntu?
(02:47:23 PM) stgraber: I guess that's the goal with schooltool, though it's not in yet
(02:47:32 PM) highvoltage: We will include Schooltool (http://schooltool.org/) again once some of its packaging problems have been addressed
(02:47:44 PM) stgraber: but if someone is interested on working on it, that'd absolutely be great and it looks like a great tool to have
(02:48:50 PM) highvoltage: 21:47 < ewaldmire> QUESTION:  Will SchoolTool possibly be included in an update to Karmic, or will this have to wait until 10.04?
(02:49:32 PM) LaserJock: 10.04 I think
(02:49:38 PM) highvoltage: I doubt there would be a backport available for karmic, I think the Zope dependencies is the problem for karmic
(02:49:40 PM) LaserJock: SchoolTool does have a PPA
(02:49:49 PM) highvoltage: so 10.04 at the soonest officially
(02:49:51 PM) stgraber: 10.04 would be great, then we can backport or you can use the PPA
(02:50:17 PM) highvoltage: 21:47 < sebsebseb> QUESTION:  I assume  that most/all of Edubuntu can  still be installed into a standard  Ubuntu install  using for example sudo apt-get install edubuntu-desktop
(02:50:34 PM) LaserJock: and also edubuntu-desktop-kde for Kubuntu users
(02:50:48 PM) stgraber: yes, we still have package bundles and the edubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-desktop-kde packages
(02:51:02 PM) highvoltage: Absolutely! All of Edubuntu can be installed on an Ubuntu system, you can do a search in your favourite package manager for "edubuntu" to find the edubuntu meta-packages
(02:51:05 PM) stgraber: you can also install individual softwares through the new software center
(02:53:43 PM) highvoltage: I want to add that we have an IRC channel on this network- #edubuntu, all of you are welcome to pop in at any time even if it's just to say hi or to ask a quick question
(02:53:58 PM) highvoltage: otherwise you're more than welcome to also lurk around and contribute when you can
(02:54:14 PM) highvoltage: it's not an extremely busy channel so you won't get spammed too much :)
(02:54:22 PM) stgraber: Before giving the room to Elizabeth Krumbach with "Women in Open Source - Issues", I want to quickly give a few useful links:
(02:54:27 PM) stgraber:  - http://www.edubuntu.org obviously
(02:54:32 PM) stgraber:  - http://www.ltsp.org for LTSP
(02:54:38 PM) stgraber:  - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP as documentation for LTSP in Ubuntu
(02:54:50 PM) stgraber: ^ there's great stuff there
(02:54:53 PM) stgraber:  - http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/releases/karmic/release/ for those who'd like to download Edubuntu
(02:55:37 PM) highvoltage: stgraber: we still have a few minutes right?
(02:55:41 PM) stgraber: absolutely
(02:55:49 PM) highvoltage: 21:52 < ewaldmire> QUESTION: Can you give a brief description/update on LTSP-Cluster or any other ability to use multiple LTSP servers for  Edubuntu (with load balancing?)
(02:56:01 PM) stgraber: sure
(02:56:23 PM) highvoltage: LTSP-Clustee also has a nice web interface where you can manage your thin client settings without having to edit lts.conf by text file
(02:56:37 PM) stgraber: especially as I'm the main developer of LTSP-Cluster and now helped by highvoltage at Revolution Linux
(02:56:54 PM) stgraber: basically it provides you with a few of seeing your whole LTSP network
(02:57:05 PM) stgraber: configure it with that web interface
(02:57:15 PM) stgraber: have a lot of servers that will report their state to a central load balancer
(02:57:33 PM) highvoltage: 21:53 < Jesi-Idle> Question: What plans does Edubuntu have for students with special needs?
(02:57:35 PM) stgraber: which will in turn be used by the thin client before connection so you spread your load on all your servers
(02:57:52 PM) highvoltage: (sorry to cut you short there a bit stgraber)
(02:57:59 PM) stgraber: no problem
(02:58:20 PM) mode (+o akgraner ) by ChanServ
(02:58:42 PM) LaserJock: I would love to see people with a passion for special needs students and adults with learning disabilities join the Edubuntu cause
(02:58:46 PM) highvoltage: in terms of special needs, I speak under correction but I think it's an area that we should perhaps spend some focus on at some point
(02:59:08 PM) highvoltage: I've seen adult people who can't read who gained a lot by using some of the reading and touch-typing software
(02:59:12 PM) LaserJock: this is an area where Linux and the Ubuntu project can really shine, in my opinion
(02:59:14 PM) highvoltage: even tuxmath :)
(02:59:17 PM) LaserJock: but we need help
(03:00:44 PM) stgraber: Thanks everyone for attending and for the great questions you asked.
(03:00:48 PM) highvoltage: LaserJock, stgraber I guess that's a wrap?
(03:00:58 PM) highvoltage: thanks everyone! we'll continue on #edubuntu
(03:01:02 PM) stgraber: feel free to join #edubuntu if you have more questions or if you simply want to talk

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/Edbuntu (last edited 2009-11-05 20:27:20 by pool-71-182-105-84)