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'''What is Skolelinux?'''
Skolelinux is made as free (as in speech) software, and is an overall computer solution based on school's resources and needs.
* Skolelinux is a network architecture tailored for use in schools.
* Skolelinux is developed and supported by a large and growing international community.
* Skolelinux is designed to be easy and cheap to maintain.
* Skolelinux gives the students their own usernames, home directories and services.
* Skolelinux includes [[http://www.openoffice.org|OpenOffice.org]]
== The benefits of free software ==
Skolelinux, Debian and all auxiliary software components we use are free software – free as in freedom. The term "free software" implies the following rights:
* Freedom to use the software regardless of purpose and adapt it to ones needs.
* Freedom to study how the software works.
* Freedom to redistribute the software so ones neighbour can benefit from it.
* Freedom to modify and enhance the software and publish those modifications so everyone benefits from them.
These rights form the foundation of both Debian, Skolelinux and all the software we use. They enable us to use the various software components, put them together in our specialized network design and package and redistribute the software as "Skolelinux". With proprietary software, such as Microsoft Windows, all adaptions and modifications have to be redone everywhere. With Skolelinux, modifications and enhancements done by a school in Norway may benefit schools in Eritrea – and vice versa. Windows is the most commonly used operative system used in schools today, but as Windows is proprietary software, it is not possible to tailor Windows for school usage and call it "!SkoleWindows".
== "Skolelinux" – a Custom Debian Distribution ==
Skolelinux (aka debian-edu) is a [[http://cdd.alioth.debian.org/|Custom Debian Distribution]]. This means that Skolelinux is a version of the [[http://www.debian.org/|Debian GNU/Linux]] operating system that is customized for schools. Debian is a state-of-the-art, user-friendly operating system. The goal of our customization of Debian is to make it easy to install and maintain for schools. – with all applications available in the students mother tongue.
== An advanced network solution ==
Despite how easy Skolelinux is to install, asking only a handful of (non-technical) questions, it is an advanced network solution, with many pre-configured services. With ordinary, closed, proprietary software, these services have to be configured manually for every single school – and that needs careful planning and expertise!
Amongst several pre-configured services are the following:
* Central user catalogue: One username and one password for several machines and services.
* Central storage: Regardless of which machine you use in a Skolelinux network, you have access to your files and meet an interface with your settings – an interface you are familiar with.
* Thin client solution: The applications are run on a thin client server, which is a powerful machine. The image from those applications is drawn on a "thin client", which usually is an old and cheap machine. This enables you to use old hardware. Moreover, it eases administration, as you have one server to maintain.
* Printers may be shared and made available in the network.
* A proxy server caches files downloaded from the Internet, resulting in a faster surfing experience.
More detailed information can be found on the [[DebianEdu/Product| Product-pages]].