Hello everyone! Since Edubuntu is no longer an official flavor, I couldn’t figure out a good place to post this, so this seemed to be most appropriate.
If you’ve been around Ubuntu for any amount of time, you may have heard of Edubuntu, the official flavor of Ubuntu that was for classrooms, schools, homes, and communities of education that was discontinued in 2016.
This past November, I was given the opportunity to attend Ubuntu Summit as the leader of Ubuntu Studio and for my nearly five-year contributions to Ubuntu. I brought my wife and son with me. My wife, Amy, was sad to learn that Edubuntu wasn’t a flavor anymore. She didn’t realize you could do so much with Ubuntu and open-source software in general. She felt inspired by the many talks and conversations she had while there.
For some background, Amy is a 16-year veteran of Early Childhood Education here in the United States and has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Education and Family Studies from the University of Washington where she graduated with High Honors. She currently works for a non-profit that provides early education resources for Somali refugee children in the Seattle area, and the concept of Ubuntu is a core part of their ethos.
When we got home, she asked me about what it would take to get Edubuntu going again, and I took a look and saw that everything was still there that was needed to make it happen, including the seeds. We decided to talk to the Community Council and the Technical Board to get the necessary permissions to get access to those items, and now here we are.
Amy will be the Flavor Lead in this case while I’ll be her technical lead. Right now, we’re still in the early stages and we don’t yet have a .iso image, but if you want to try it out on a Lunar Lobster daily, it’s pretty easy from a minimal Ubuntu Desktop install: simply install the
edubuntu-desktop package and you’ll have it!
You’ll notice a few differences from the Edubuntu of old.
- We’re using the GNOME desktop. Edubuntu will simply, from a .iso image standpoint, be built on-top of the Ubuntu Desktop. This will ensure ease of configurability and administration as we won’t have to “reinvent the wheel” and instead use what the Ubuntu Desktop team has already established for workstations.
- New logo:
You’ll notice this is based on the new Ubuntu logo as of this past March. We’re keeping with the concept of the Circle-of-Friends with one person raising their hand, much like the old Edubuntu logo. This one, however, is modernized to be much like the current Ubuntu logo.
(As an aside, we [Ubuntu Studio] did something similar with the Ubuntu Studio logo when the new Ubuntu logo released, and I really hope that the other flavors follow suit in keeping uniformity and consistency.)
- The theme uses the red Yaru variation in keeping consistent with the red logo. This saves from having to run our own icon theme. Additionally, Qt-based applications don’t take to the dark theming, which is unfortunate.
Please do note that this is very much work-in-progress. Plans do include:
- Default application folders by education subject (Math, Science, Language, etc.)
- An installer much like Ubuntu Studio Installer which allows the metapackages (ubuntu-edu-preschool, ubuntu-edu-primary, ubuntu-edu-secondary, ubuntu-edu-tertiary) to be installed on any official flavor of Ubuntu
- A meta uninstaller much like Ubuntu Studio has which lets groups of irrelevant applications be easily uninstalled. For instance, a preschool classrooom wouldn’t need what a secondary school classroom would need, etc.
- Further curation. So far, we’ve worked through the preschool and primary seeds, but application curation can take hours.
- A new website. Right now, edubuntu.org redirects to ubuntu.com, which is a wee-bit problematic. I believe after reaching official flavor status we can get IS to get us set-up with a site and we can go from there.
- A stretch (and secondary) goal is to reimplement the Linux Terminal Server Project component, but I think this would be after reaching official flavor status.
We have been in communication with the Technical Board about our intentions, so this is no surprise to them, but we at least wanted to make it known that this is going on and that you can at least see a “preview” right now. Again, very much work-in-progress, and hopefully we can get the ball rolling further.