New Features in Edubuntu 12.04 LTS
Edubuntu is the Ubuntu flavour for education and children, it's based on Ubuntu and integrates additional software for use at home or in the classroom.
It's produced as a DVD image that can also be converted to an USB stick and includes support for most languages by default.
Edubuntu 12.04 LTS is the first 5 years, Long Term Support release of the Edubuntu project. This release will be supported until April 2017.
Edubuntu now features Epoptes, a classroom administration tool that replaces iTalc. Epoptes is a Greek word that means "overseer", this tool allows you to watch, broadcast, lock and send messages to all the screens in a classroom.
LTSP has been updated to the latest upstream version (5.3.x). Both LTSP live and the Edubuntu LTSP installer brings numerous bug fixes. The new LTSP should be faster, more stable and reduce your bandwidth consumption.
Due to the Long Term Support commitment, Java is no longer included by default. As a result, Geogebra and Freemind aren't included by default either. However, both are available from the Ubuntu Software Centre under the usual non-LTS support terms.
- The KDE version of edubuntu-desktop will still be supported on a best effort basis but isn't covered by the LTS support term.
- By popular request and for the convenience of administrators, the full vim, as well as pastebinit are now installed by default.
Edubuntu now ships with Wubi, a tool that allows you to install Edubuntu from within Windows.
- There is a new way to quickly search and access menu and indicator actions, called the "HUD" (Heads-Up Display). Tap the Alt key and enter some letters and words, and it will show the corresponding entries, including some fuzzy matching; then press enter to execute the action. The search will include all menu entries of the currently focused application, as well as all indicator facilities (like managing emails, sound list, or logging out of the session). It learns from your previous choices to make the search more and more accurate for you.
System Settings has several new "options" to customize Unity's look and behavior.
Nautilus quicklist support has been added to Unity launcher.
ClickPad devices are trackpads where the physical button is integrated into the trackpad surface. Ubuntu 12.04 now has enhanced support for these devices. When the button is pressed on a ClickPad device, a second finger may be used to drag the cursor.
ClickPad support requires extra handling that conflicts with "Click Action" support. Click Actions allow for separate actions when multiple fingers are active on a trackpad. The default Ubuntu settings enable right button behavior when two fingers are in contact with the trackpad surface and the physical trackpad button is pressed. Because of conflicting behavior, ClickPad devices do not support Click Actions in this release.
Most Synaptics brand ClickPads are recognized out of the box. Apple MacBook trackpads are recognized as well. Support for Apple Magic Trackpads and more Synaptics brand ClickPads will follow in the next release.
Network Manager now uses dnsmasq for improved DNS reliability and support for split-DNS on VPN links. You can learn more here.
- IPv6 and IPv4 are now equally supported in Network Manager: an IPv4 address is no longer required for a connection to be considered as working.
The default music player has been switched to Rhythmbox, which again includes the Ubuntu One music store.
LibreOffice has been updated to 3.5.7.
- - Files (Nautilus) now has undo support.
- Several games have been modernized with useful help, simplified menus, and a less cluttered interface.
- - Files (Nautilus) now has undo support.
- When installing new software through software-center, corresponding language support packages (translations, spell check modules particular to that software, help files, etc.) are now installed alongside automatically. This removes the need to open "Language Support" after installing new software.
- The user can opt-in into personalized recommendations. This will show global, category and per-application recommendations to the user.
Payment support for PayPal.
- Web Directory to share applications with your friends.
- Support for multiple screenshots and videos is now available.
- Startup time and overall responsiveness was improved.
- Improved support for installing multiple versions via the ubuntu-backports project.
- The all new Control Panel now provides an installer, setup wizard, ability to add/remove folders to sync, and more.
- Proxy support is now fully functional.
- Ubuntu One contacts sync in Evolution is not supported any more and has been removed.
LTS Hardware Enablement Stack
In an effort to support a wider variety of hardware on an existing LTS release, the 12.04.4 point release will ship with an updated kernel and X stack by default. This newer hardware enablement stack will be comprised of the kernel and X stack from the Saucy 13.04 release. The hardware enablement stack is only intended for use on x86 hardware at this time. Those running virtual or cloud images should not need this newer hardware enablement stack and thus it is recommended they remain on the original Precise stack. To remain on the original Precise stack, there are a few options:
Install from a previous 12.04.0 or 12.04.1 point release and update. The previous 12.04.0 and 12.04.1 releases are archived at http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/
- Perform an update or upgrade to Precise from a previous Ubuntu release. Only those installing from the 12.04.2 media or newer will automatically receive a newer hardware enablement stack by default.
Perform a network install using the netboot images rather than the new quantal-netboot, raring-netboot, or saucy-netboot images.
Anyone wishing to opt into the hardware enablement stack for Precise may do so by running following command which will install the linux-generic-lts-saucy and xserver-xorg-lts-saucy packages:
sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-saucy xserver-xorg-lts-saucy
For anyone interested, the specifics regarding the exact policies and procedures regarding the support, maintenance, and upgrade paths for the hardware enablement stack has been documented at the following location:
- Up until Ubuntu 11.10, administrator access using the sudo tool was granted via the "admin" Unix group. In Ubuntu 12.04, administrator access will be granted via the "sudo" group. This makes Ubuntu more consistent with the upstream implementation and Debian. For compatibility purposes, the "admin" group will continue to provide sudo/administrator access in 12.04.
Hibernate (suspend to disk) has been disabled by default, as it was found to be unreliable, very slow and confusing to have two suspend modes. See bug 812394 for details. If you want to re-enable it, please follow this recipe.
- pm-utils now has two new scripts to power down USB and various PCI devices in battery mode. A number of desktop packages were fixed to wake up less often. Both of these reduce power consumption and thus improve battery lifetime.
resolvconf is now used to manage /etc/resolv.conf on all Ubuntu systems. You can learn more here
- Backports are now more easily accessible -- to enable users to more easily receive new versions of software, the Ubuntu Backports repository is now enabled by default. Packages from backports will not be installed by default — they must explicitly be selected in package management software. However, once installed, packages from backports will automatically be upgraded to newer versions.
- DVD Images -- the DVD images have been cleaned up significantly reducing their size to around 1.5GB to ease consumption. The remaining software remains available via download.
- As of 12.04.2, it is possible to install on UEFI systems with Secure Boot enabled (using signed versions of Shim, GRUB, and the Linux kernel). This is only currently set up for Ubuntu (desktop, alternate, and server) and Edubuntu images due to pressures of time.
Both the 3.2 and 3.5 versions of the Linux kernel included as part of the 12.04.2 release have a workaround for 1040557, which bricked some models of Samsung laptops when installing Ubuntu in UEFI mode. (The underlying problem is a firmware bug, and may still be triggerable in other ways.)
Ubuntu Kernel 3.11
By default, the 12.04.4 point release will ship with a newer 3.11 Ubuntu kernel from Ubuntu 13.10, and a matching X.org stack. This is based on the 3.11.0 Extended Upstream Stable Kernel Release. The purpose of providing a newer kernel in the 12.04.4 point release is for hardware enablement. For more information regarding the 12.04.4 LTS Hardware Enablement Stack, please refer to:
Upstart has been updated to version 1.5. More details are available in the Upstart Technical Overview.
Compared to the 11.10 release, the toolchain saw only incremental changes and bug fixes; comparing to the 10.04 LTS release, GCC updates include
- Updated frontends for better standards support (Ada 2012, Objective-C 2.0, improved experimental support for the upcoming C++0x ISO C++ standard, Fortran 2003 and 2008 improvements, new Go frontend)
- Improved optimizations, including better inter-procedural optimizations, and link time optimization (LTO).
- There is expanded support for Python 3 in this release, with Python 3 ports of python-dbus, python-feedparser, germinate, lazr.ui, wadllib, python-defer, python-keyring, and python-qt4 now included, among others.
Preparing your computer for Edubuntu is now much simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.
You can now reinstall or upgrade an existing copy of Edubuntu with the DVD installer, provided that your computer is connected to the Internet.
Edubuntu 12.04 images can be downloaded from:
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/releases/12.04/release/ (official source)
The minimum memory requirement for Edubuntu 12.04 is 512 MB of memory but 1024 MB is highly recommended. Note that some of your system's memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal; however, it will complete successfully, and the system will perform adequately once installed.
It's recommended to use the i386 image for computers with less than 1GB of memory. For these systems, installing using the "Install Edubuntu" option from the DVD boot menu will also be faster as it'll save some memory (compared to the "Try Edubuntu without installing" option).
When using Edubuntu 12.04 as an LTSP server, you should plan at least an additional 256 MB per client.
The Edubuntu 12.04 installation image does not include support for old computers that do not support PAE. If your computer is affected, you can either first install Edubuntu 10.04 or 11.10 and upgrade to 12.04 or you can use the Lubuntu or Xubuntu images. The non-PAE version of the Linux kernel will be dropped completely following the 12.04 release.
Upgrading from Edubuntu 11.10
To upgrade from Edubuntu 11.10 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2 and type in "update-manager -d" (without the quotes) into the command box. Update Manager should open up and display following message: "New distribution release '12.04' is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions".
Upgrading from Other Releases
Users of other Edubuntu releases need to upgrade first to 11.10, and then to 12.04.
For further information on upgrading to 11.10, please see the Ubuntu Oneiric upgrade instructions.
Edubuntu being based on Ubuntu, most known issues of Ubuntu also apply to Edubuntu, below is a list of Edubuntu specific known issues and the current list of Ubuntu known issues.
Specific to Edubuntu
In some cases, the default session in LTSP will lead to an empty screen, in such case, restart the thin client and select "Ubuntu 2D" as the session. (987726)
Boot, Installation and Post-Installation
Importing of existing Windows user accounts fails in some cases. (987902)
- Wubi (the Ubuntu installer for Windows) is not available as an option on the Ubuntu Desktop/DVD any more. Instead, it is now a separate download.
A bug in the firmware on certain Samsung laptop models leaves these machines at risk of being rendered inoperable ("bricked") when booted in UEFI mode. Steps have been taken with the kernel in 12.04.2 to mitigate this problem, but only a future firmware update from Samsung will resolve this issue with 100% reliability. It is therefore recommended that users boot their systems in CSM ("compatibility support module") mode to avoid this issue. (1040557)
Performing automatic encrypted LVM installation using Kubuntu and Xubuntu 12.04.4 alternate installer images results in a failure to configure encrypted volumes. Please either use manual partitioning to create encrypted volumes with any non-default "IV algorithm" setting or use 12.04.3 media to complete the installation. (1276739)
- If you have overridden the value of APT::Cache-Limit in /etc/apt/apt.conf or /etc/apt/apt.conf.d, you should remove these settings before upgrading. The release-upgrader-apt used by update-manager for upgrades from lucid to precise no longer has any hard coded limit on the cache size.
If you are running a KVM host with libvirt and are upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS you may find that some existing virtual machines are no longer recognized (virsh list --all). A change to each guest's XML file may be needed, related to how console and serial devices are now configured. (931350)
On ARM omap images, the networking support for the Beagle XM board is broken (838200)
On systems with an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card the system will boot to a black screen. As a work around edit the kernel command line in the boot loader and add "nomodeset". (725580)
Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M 7400 and Maxdata 7000DX wireless RF kill handling triggers a kernel panic preventing wireless from operating correctly. This may be worked around by editing your kernel command line and adding "noexec=off". (979253)
Beagle XM systems which are capable of running at 1GHZ will be initialised at 800MHZ leading to slower than optimal performance. (771537)
Some EFI systems fail to boot in EFI mode. BIOS mode is advised in these situations. (721576)
Edubuntu 12.04 LTS is supported for 5 years, Ubuntu LTS
- Security and bugfix updates for Edubuntu are provided by the Edubuntu community
- "Point releases" will also be provided at the same time as Ubuntu's, offering refreshed installation medias