About the Project

How can Skolelinux be free of charge?

With very few exceptions, most of the software included in Skolelinux has user- friendly, free (as in ‘freedom’) software licenses. These licenses ensure all the benefits of free software – including zero cost. 82% of the developers of free software do it for a living. Their wages are paid by companies that see the advantages of free software. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they pay for enhancements and continued development of free software. An example of such activities is the cooperation between Sun Microsystems and three Norwegian municipalities. They pay for the translation of OpenOffice.org to Norwegian. For the students, it is free to download.

How well do Skolelinux and Windows coexist?

It is possible to have Windows machines in a Skolelinux network. The software package ‘Samba’ makes this possible. Note that the Windows machines should be part of the Skolelinux network – not vice versa.

Is Skolelinux only for geeks? Are great computer skills needed?

No, definitely not. Skolelinux strives to be easy to install and maintain. Skolelinux is developed in cooperation with schools, by professionals that have carefully designed the solution, configured the various services and made it easy to install. With alternatives such as Windows, or another Linux distribution like ‘Fedora’, this has to be done manually for every single school. That, however, needs the necessary qualifications.

Is it possible to test Skolelinux on a Windows machine?

Short answer: No. Long answer: It is not possible to demonstrate the advantages of Skolelinux with one computer. Skolelinux is a network solution, and that is its strength. As a server operating system, Skolelinux presumes that it may use the entire disk. The standalone profile may, however, coexist with a Windows installation.

To only test Linux, one can use ‘Knoppix’. Knoppix is a complete Linux system that runs from a CD — no installations are necessary.

We recommend trying Skolelinux with two or more machines — to try the network capabilities Skolelinux possesses.

What is the user interface like?

Skolelinux uses KDE. KDE is a great desktop environment, which is easy to adapt to.

What is a ‘thin client’?

A thin client is a computer with a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse that shows the image from applications running on a ‘thin client server’. Nothing is installed on the thin client, and it does not need to be a powerful machine. Thus, it is possible to use older hardware that would otherwise be retired and trashed. Additionally, thin clients make maintenance easier, as the thin client server is the only machine needing software updates.

A Pentium 133 MHz suffices for a thin client. A network interface card supporting PXE-boot (Preboot eXecution Environment) is recommended.