HowTos for teaching and learning

All the Debian packages on this page can be installed by running either aptitude install <package> or apt-get install <package> (as root).


Moodle is a free, Open Source course management system - software designed using sound pedagogical principles to help educators create effective online learning communities. You can download and use it on any computer (including webhosts), yet it can scale from a single-teacher site to a University with 200,000 students. Some schools in France use Moodle to keep track of students' facilities and credit points.

There are moodle sites all over the world, mostly concentrated in Europe and North America. Check the site of an institution near you to get an idea about it. More information is available at the moodle project page, including documentation and support.

Teaching Prolog

SWI-Prolog is an open source implementation of the programming language Prolog, commonly used for teaching and semantic web applications.

Monitoring pupils

Some schools use control tools like Controlaula or iTALC to supervise their students. See also the iTALC Wiki (and the documentation in bug 511387).

/!\ Warning: make sure you know the status of the laws about monitoring and restricting computer users' activities in your jurisdiction.

Restricting pupils' network access

Some schools use Squidguard or Dansguardian to restrict Internet access.

Smart-Board integration

Some schools use the products of Smarttech for their teaching. You need a workstation with drivers and software for this, Smarttech has published some working non-free Software in a Debian Repository as a download. A local copy of this repository needs to be put inside the school network, so that the smartboard software could be installed on our machines. So teachers and pupils can prepare for class on every computer:

Providing the repository on tjener

Download the repository as a tar.gz file from

# move the tar.gz file to a repository directory on the school network's webroot (by default located on tjener):
mkdir /etc/debian-edu/www/debian
mv smartnotebook10_2sp1debianrepository.tar.gz /etc/debian-edu/www/debian
# change into the new directory
root@tjener:~# cd /etc/debian-edu/www/debian
# extract the file
root@tjener:~# tar xzvf smartnotebook10_2sp1debianrepository.tar.gz

Add the needed packages to the PXE installation image

Add the following lines to /etc/debian-edu/www/debian-edu-install.dat.local:

d-i apt-setup/local1/repository string http://www/debian/ stable non-free
d-i apt-setup/local1/comment string SMART Repo
d-i apt-setup/local1/key string http://www/debian/swbuild.asc
d-i pkgsel/include string smart-activation,smart-common,smart-gallerysetup,smart-hwr,smart-languagesetup,smart-notebook,smart-notifier,smart-product-drivers

Update the preseed file:


After this, new installations via PXE will have the ?SmartBoard software installed.

Adding the SmartBoard software manually after installation

The following instructions are for updating LTSP chroots.

Using an editor add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list in the chroot:

### SMART Repo
deb http://www/debian/ stable non-free

Start the editor like this:

ltsp-chroot -a i386 editor /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the repository key and install the software:

ltsp-chroot -a i386 wget http://www/debian/swbuild.asc
ltsp-chroot -a i386 apt-key add swbuild.asc
ltsp-chroot -a i386 rm swbuild.asc
# update the dpkg database and install the wanted packages
ltsp-chroot -a i386 aptitude update
ltsp-chroot -a i386 aptitude install smart-activation,smart-common,smart-gallerysetup,smart-hwr,smart-languagesetup,smart-notebook,smart-notifier,smart-product-drivers

HowTos from

The HowTos from are either user- or developer-specific. Let's move the user-specific HowTos over here (and delete them over there)! (But first ask the authors if they are happy with moving them and putting them under the GPL - see the page histories to find them.)