Open Week -- Edubuntu -- Stephane Graber -- Wed, May 5

EDT -5

(01:05:12 PM) highvoltage: Good evening everyone!
(01:05:29 PM) highvoltage: Stephane couldn't make it this evening so I'll be presenting this Edubuntu session.
(01:05:51 PM) highvoltage: I'll provide an overview of the Edubuntu project and try to not to keep it too long so that there's enough time for questions. I'm going to try to keep it concise so if anything needs further explenation, feel free to ask after the introduction!
(01:06:06 PM) highvoltage: For those who have checked our website, we're aware that it's out of date, we're working on a new website that will be live and up to date before the end of the month!
(01:06:25 PM) highvoltage: So, where does Edubuntu come from?
(01:06:34 PM) highvoltage: The first Edubuntu ideas were discussed at the Ubuntu Down Under UDS in Australia in 2005. Later that year those ideas were solidified at the Edubuntu Summit in London, the first release was in October 2005 - Edubuntu 5.10.
(01:06:50 PM) highvoltage: The project has gone through quite some changes since it was initially founded. Initially, Canonical did most of the work. Oliver Grawert worked full time on Edubuntu and did a lot of the important initial groundwork.
(01:07:04 PM) highvoltage: Today, Edubuntu is purely a community project. We make use of Canonical's build infrastructure for packages and iso images, and we're fully integrated with the Ubuntu Community.
(01:07:19 PM) highvoltage: We have a council that consists of 6 members who are responsible for deciding on Edubuntu's technical and community direction, it's also a delegate for the Ubuntu Technical Board and Community Council.
(01:07:35 PM) highvoltage: Other Edubuntu teams may have other leaders that may not necessarilly be part of the Edubuntu Council, although all Edubuntu teams report to the Edubuntu Council.
(01:08:17 PM) highvoltage: That's quite a bit to read! But before I take questions, I should probably give a brief overview of what Edubuntu actually is!
(01:08:46 PM) highvoltage: and apologies for not having slides, we'll do something more fancy for the next openweek, I promise!
(01:08:56 PM) highvoltage: Our current scope of work is to package and maintain educational apps in the Ubuntu archives, allowing Ubuntu users to easily access the best in open source educational apps that's available.
(01:09:14 PM) highvoltage: We're also responsible for the Edubuntu installation disc, which aims to be generic turn-key solution for classrooms and standalone machines used in homes and schools.
(01:10:05 PM) highvoltage: Currently Edubuntu includes educational suites such as GCompris, Tux4kids, KDE-Edu and a few other loose apps. We also aim to make it super-easy to install an LTSP server, making it easier to manage smaller computer environments on tight resources.
(01:11:00 PM) highvoltage: For the past few releases we haven't put much energy into server-side apps that may be useful in classrooms, but we aim to focus a bit more on that over the next few releases.
(01:11:52 PM) ChanServ has changed the topic to: Welcome to the Ubuntu Classroom - || Support in #ubuntu || Upcoming Schedule: || Event: Ubuntu Open Week - Current Session: Edubuntu - Instructor: highvoltage || Questions in #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(01:11:57 PM) highvoltage: I hope that this provides a good and quick overview of where Edubuntu is today and what we aim to do.
(01:12:37 PM) highvoltage: Apologies if some things sounded weird, English is my second language.
(01:12:48 PM) highvoltage: Let's do some questions!
(01:13:39 PM) ClassBot: mhall119 asked: what is LTSP, and how does it benefit Edubuntu?
(01:14:43 PM) highvoltage: LTSP is the Linux Terminal Server Project. When installed on an Ubuntu machine, it allowes you to boot other machines on the network from that machine, allowing a few or many users to effectively use one machine
(01:15:46 PM) highvoltage: This means that a school, library or NGO could set up a computing environment very quickly, since they only need to install and maintain one machine instead of a whole bunch
(01:16:43 PM) highvoltage: lower setup and maintenance work and costs often make LTSP a great choice for low-resourced areas or even really big sites like universities.
(01:17:27 PM) highvoltage: Ready for more questions! (feel free to ask in #ubuntu-classroom-chat by prepending QUESTION: to your question)
(01:17:40 PM) ClassBot: waltercool asked: How is Edubuntu handling the Microsoft Adversiting on schools? Because the other day, i tried to install Ubuntu on my cousin' computer and have problems, because on his school are teaching Microsoft Office
(01:18:23 PM) highvoltage: It's indeed a known problem, and recently there has been some progress in that area
(01:18:44 PM) highvoltage: some curriculums are set on teaching and using MS Office XP or 2003 or 2007 specifically
(01:19:04 PM) highvoltage: the problem is that once the students graduate it would probably be an outdated version anyway.
(01:19:44 PM) highvoltage: The ICDL (International Computers Drivers License) Foundation has it's ICDL course which is recognised internationally and covers MS Office
(01:20:11 PM) highvoltage: the difference is that they cover the concepts more than which clicks to memorize in order to accomplish a task
(01:20:44 PM) highvoltage: They have a course called OpenICDL that is pretty much the same as ICDL but which covers Linux systems and rather than MS Office.
(01:21:17 PM) highvoltage: Having worked with some pretty Microsofticized Education Departments before, I realise it's a hard sell to make them change anything.
(01:22:01 PM) highvoltage: but the best you could probably do in your area is creating some awareness around things like ICDL and OpenICDL.
(01:23:13 PM) highvoltage: Larger than that it's a very tough problem to target directly, MS Office remains very popular and I'm fairly confident that more changes will happen over the next few years that will put some dents into this problem.
(01:23:41 PM) highvoltage: It's certainly not a very short-term problem, one that I can't see us fixing withing a 6 or 12 month cycle. I hope that answers your question!
(01:24:06 PM) ClassBot: Ihmepupu asked: Is there information online about successful Edubuntu projects? (Sorry for the simple question, I couldn't find any with quick googling)
(01:24:21 PM) highvoltage: it's a very relevant question!
(01:24:45 PM) highvoltage: our old (or current, rather) website has been static and boring for years now
(01:25:01 PM) highvoltage: it's actually the oldest drupal installation I have which is more than 4 years old now!
(01:25:33 PM) highvoltage: with our new website we aim to feature community better, because Edubuntu is about people and learning and not just about some technology
(01:25:52 PM) highvoltage: we want to feature stories (good and bad) from our users and people who have implemented Edubuntu.
(01:26:29 PM) highvoltage: we want to know what works and what doesn't, and show off some of the innovation that educators to in schools that gets almost zero exposure anywhere currently
(01:27:29 PM) highvoltage: so in short, we don't have a place for great use cases yet, but towards the end of the month we'll be launching the new site. bencrisford who is also in this channel is leading up the renewed Edubungu Advocacy group (look it up on
(01:27:51 PM) highvoltage: part of the Edubuntu Advocacy project is to gain user stories and make them heard.
(01:28:10 PM) ClassBot: vocx asked: What is your perspective on higher education? I mean, I don't have a need for children's toys, I need scientific software, finite-element-analysis, sparse-matrix solvers, advance plotting facilities. Do you think the Edubuntu project can take this into account, or will it remain a elementary education suite?
(01:28:52 PM) highvoltage: Most of the software that the Edubuntu disc currently installed is aimed at kids from 4-18
(01:29:06 PM) akgraner: remained of his question:  of Edubuntu can be made for different ages.
(01:29:20 PM) highvoltage: it's probably not ideal for higher education, however, that doesn't mean that we don't care about higher education
(01:29:42 PM) highvoltage: Our longer-term goals is to include and maintain more higher education packages for Ubuntu
(01:30:12 PM) highvoltage: tertiary institutions usually have better budgets and hence also better sysadmins, infrastructure and other resources
(01:30:32 PM) highvoltage: so they probably won't need to rely on a complete turn-key solution such as the Edubuntu installation disc
(01:31:03 PM) highvoltage: in their case, we'd want to stay out of their business on how they want to implement they're Ubuntu solution
(01:31:25 PM) highvoltage: and focus on keeping the best of tertiary education packages up to date and in great shape
(01:32:17 PM) highvoltage: The last 12 months we haven't been doing much of that, since our main goal was to get the Edubuntu installation disc in great shape. We're quite happy with the progress so far and plan to gradually increase our scope.
(01:32:40 PM) highvoltage: we're happy to get feedback from users in tertiary environment so your feedback is greatly appreciated.
(01:33:10 PM) highvoltage: The Ubuntu installer supports a feature called "tasks" which allows you to choose the typical uses for the system being installed
(01:34:10 PM) highvoltage: in the future we plan to have different "tasks" pre-defined so that a user could choose options such as "Kindergarden classroom computer" or "Kids home computer" or "Scientific workstation" and then the installer would install the appropriate packages automatically
(01:34:27 PM) highvoltage: I could go on about this a bit, but I'd like to give other questions some chance as well...
(01:34:40 PM) ClassBot: mhall119 asked: Can I get Edubuntu DVDs from Shipit?  If not, is there somewhere I can get them free or cheap?
(01:35:47 PM) highvoltage: Unfortunately, not at this moment. In the past, Shipit did send Edubuntu discs, but Canonical dropped Edubuntu and Xubuntu discs due to the high costs of printing, administering and shipping the extra discs
(01:36:23 PM) highvoltage: cheap discs are usually available from many image downloaders and shippers in many countries.
(01:36:49 PM) highvoltage: There are also companies such as Zareason that will even pre-install en Edubuntu computer and sell it to you.
(01:37:48 PM) highvoltage: Possibly with the next release, we can make Edubuntu shine brightly enough and convince Canonical do at least do a limited run.
(01:37:58 PM) Ursinha-lunch is now known as Ursinha
(01:38:05 PM) ClassBot: simar asked: I am a student of computer science and is intrested in linux development and programming  .Is Edubuntu will be more beneficial for me than simple Ubuntu ...
(01:38:31 PM) highvoltage: We get many similar questions. "Is Ubuntu better for x, or is Edubuntu?"
(01:39:01 PM) highvoltage: Edubuntu is built from the same software repositories as Ubuntu, and all the exact packages are available in both.
(01:39:24 PM) highvoltage: The Edubuntu disc is basically an Ubuntu build but with a few more packages installed by default.
(01:39:47 PM) highvoltage: When you install Ubuntu, you can even turn it into an Edubuntu system by simply installing the Edubuntu packages.
(01:40:23 PM) Ancho|away is now known as Ancho
(01:40:25 PM) highvoltage: In short, there's really not much difference (if any) between what an Ubuntu system and an Edubuntu system can do. They merely provide different defaults.
(01:41:11 PM) highvoltage: All of the technical work that the Edubuntu team does goes directly into the Ubuntu project
(01:41:44 PM) ClassBot: sebsebseb asked: I installed edubuntu-desktop into a Ubuntu 10.04 RC VM that later also got upgraded to the final. Whilst having my very brief and not proper look, I noticed the Me Menu, maybe only since Ubuntu was also installed. Anyway surely since the  me menu isn't really for young children, it shouldn't really be in the default install of  Eubuntu if  it is? Same thing for the Music Store if it is.  Also of course different versions
(01:43:09 PM) highvoltage: Indeed, a Me menu will be pretty useless to you if you're too young to even be allowed to register for the social networking sites that power it
(01:43:27 PM) akgraner: of Edubuntu can be made for different ages.
(01:43:37 PM) highvoltage: however, some schools deploy their own microblogging services such as Statusnet that also integrates with the Me menu
(01:44:44 PM) highvoltage: so instead of trying to dictate it one way or another, we include some administration tools such as Pessulus and Sabayon that allows an administrator to easily remove items such as the Me menu by default for all users
(01:45:30 PM) highvoltage: Disabling the Ubuntu One music store is also as simple as removing a package.
(01:45:45 PM) highvoltage: As for having it by default, we're open to discussing it!
(01:46:01 PM) ClassBot: ZachK_ asked: What is an easy way to get involved with this project? Sorry if that's not a good question....
(01:46:23 PM) highvoltage: that's a very good question indeed, and one that I often have some trouble answering :)
(01:46:36 PM) highvoltage: mostly because there are so many levels to get involved in
(01:47:21 PM) highvoltage: the easiest way is to join our meetings every Wednesday (Europe: Eveneing, US: Morning) meetings and get a feel for our current problems
(01:47:47 PM) highvoltage: you can also then introduce yourself there or to the edubuntu-devel mailing list
(01:48:32 PM) highvoltage: once we're familiar with your skills we can also suggest some work for you. whether you have educational, marketing, coding or web skills we'll have work for you :)
(01:48:57 PM) highvoltage: IRC and mailing list details are available on
(01:49:08 PM) ClassBot: mhall119 asked: What programs/programming has been done specifically by or for Edubuntu?
(01:49:46 PM) highvoltage: Currently, just the Edubuntu Menu Editor. Some other programs such as Sabayon have received extensive testing and bug fixing by members of the team
(01:50:19 PM) highvoltage: LTSP Live CD functionality was also specifically written for Edubuntu, but will make it to other derivatives in the future.
(01:50:41 PM) ClassBot: sebsebseb asked: Oh got a administration tool,  that has the same name as that Gentoo based distro,  Sabayon?
(01:51:23 PM) highvoltage: Yes, the same name, but completely different project. Just as there's a gentoo file manager in Ubuntu that's unrelated to the Gentoo distribution :)
(01:51:35 PM) ClassBot: ubuntoogle asked: I think collaboration among educational groups is important. Have you thought about expanding into web-services?
(01:51:57 PM) highvoltage: Right, so we're discussing that at the Ubuntu Developer Summit next week as well
(01:52:14 PM) highvoltage: most of those tools are web-based, and web-based tools are often a nightmare to maintain package-wise
(01:52:49 PM) highvoltage: we're going to have a session where we investigate creating and packaging tools that will install and manage web based collaboration suites
(01:53:04 PM) highvoltage: rather than managing it completely via the package management system
(01:53:57 PM) highvoltage: this should take load off package maintainers and also make it possible for users to get updates faster, although I'm not sure it's been done yet so it is a bit experimental. I'll be able to tell you more about plans on this area after next week :)
(01:54:48 PM) highvoltage: The first package we'll be targeting is Moodle
(01:55:18 PM) highvoltage: Debian is considering orphaning it so we'll be looking at creating the tools for that collaboration suite first.
(01:55:42 PM) highvoltage: 19:54 <ClassBot> There are no questions in the queue.
(01:55:51 PM) highvoltage: Any further questions before we run out of time?
(01:56:19 PM) highvoltage: stgraber just entered, who does a lot of work on Edubuntu. any questions for him perhaps?
(01:56:31 PM) stgraber: hey everyone, sorry I couldn't make it and thanks a lot highvoltage for replacing me here !
(01:56:47 PM) ClassBot: mhall119 asked: Where can we find more information about the Edubuntu plans for Maverick?
(01:57:30 PM) stgraber: currently we have some plans on, a list of ideas is also available on the wiki (URL in a sec) and some specs have been registered for discussion at UDS next week
(01:57:57 PM) stgraber:
(01:58:33 PM) highvoltage: Yep, that URL contains ideas we brainstormed so long. Next week at UDS some of them will be planned and formalized.
(01:58:53 PM) highvoltage: (oh sorry stgraber did mention that before)
(01:59:42 PM) highvoltage: There's some openweek sessions later this week on how to attend UDS remotely
(02:00:14 PM) highvoltage: if you're interested in joining our sessions, it would be great if you familiarize yourself with the developer summit this week
(02:00:33 PM) highvoltage: That concludes our class! Thanks to everyone who joined it!

MeetingLogs/openweekLucid/Edubuntu (last edited 2010-05-05 18:18:24 by pool-71-123-16-225)