What is it?

DebianEdu/Skolelinux is an operating system intended for educational use and a Debian Pure Blend . As skole [skuːlə] is the Norwegian word for school, Skolelinux's literal translation is "school linux". It has been created as an overall free software computer solution designed to fit to schools' resources and needs, and is currently being developed by a large and growing international community.
Skolelinux provides a terminal server environment suitable to most educational scenarios, and comes with most services pre-configured out-of-the-box. It allows both a technical and non-technical installation process depending on the user's needs and expertise and highly simplifies middle-to-large system deployments and configurations.

A bit of history

Skolelinux's seed was planted during a warm summer day in 2001 when a group of four computer talented people started discussing the computer situation at schools and how much they disliked the market domination by proprietary software. They dreamed of a better scenario where Norwegian students could enjoy software natively translated and where they could have access to the source code to be able to learn from it. They were also conscious of schools' problems with high costs and the restrictions that proprietary software impose.

With great enthusiasm, they started working on a solution and officially founded the Skolelinux project on July 2, 2001. Twenty-five computer programmers and translators combined efforts to improve and promote educational software. Naturally, some pioneers were more interested in developing software and some others in providing as many native translations as possible.
At about the same time, Raphael Herzog started the Debian Edu project in France to create an education-related meta-packages collection, and the two projects joined forces in 2003.

Soon DebianEdu/Skolelinux's importance grew and it became associated with the "Free Software in Schools" organization (earlier called "Linux in schools") which was founded on July 16, 2001. During 2002, German teachers, developers and translators joined Skolelinux. In 2003, Skolelinux incrementally became included as a standard part of Debian, and since then, many developers from around the world have collaborated on the project. During 2009 Skolelinux was tested in a pilot phase at eleven Norway schools, and also introduced in Hamburg schools.

Nowadays the project has established cooperation with many other free educational software projects such as LTSP, gnuLinEx, Edubuntu, K12LTSP, KDE, Gnome, Firefox and OpenOffice.org.

DebianEdu or Skolelinux?

At some point during the spring and summer of 2001 both DebianEdu and Skolelinux projects began as independent attempts to create a GNU/Linux distribution for educational purposes. Raphael Herzog started DebianEdu project as a member of a group called IIRC with the objective of creating education-related meta-packages and Skolelinux started from a Norwegian group as a project intended to create a CD distribution. After some initial collaboration, the French group left package maintenance to the Norwegian group which started to include them on their CD. By that time people all over the world were contributing, and at that point both projects effectively became one. Some say that DebianEdu is the name of the project, and Skolelinux is the name of the distribution, but in practice both names now actually refer to the same project.

Project objectives

Why consider it?


Opinions and articles

Many schools that are currently using it are listed on the DebianEdu Wiki. There is an illustrative case study of implementation at a school in Greece that also deserves mention.
Take a look at some more interesting opinions and articles

Who is behind it?

From the Skolelinux side

Skolelinux's staff

Skolelinux has three employees. One has responsibility for development and documentation and two have responsibility for user administration and the international aspects of Skolelinux.

SLX Debian Labs

Skolelinux has received a loan of NOK 4 mill. from the foundation "SLX Debian Labs". SLX Debian Labs has its own board and its own organization number.

The institution "SLX Debian Labs" is financially responsible for the Skolelinux project. SLX Debian Labs sponsor FRISK to fund the development of Skolelinux through an joint agreement.

Skolelinux's member organization

FRISK (Free software in Schools), formerly "Linux i skolen" (Linux in school), has an independent member organization with its own board and organization number. It is an idealistic organization, arranging and promoting the use of free software in Norwegian schools.

The "FRISK" (Free software in schools [Norwegian nonprofit organization]) member organization is an interest community, which takes care of the actual development in tandem with the larger Debian-Edu community across the world. FRISK has around 120 developers with an active core of around 30 developers, and a board, and are always welcoming new people.

From DebianEdu side

Where are we now?

Current achievements

Existing solution is now able to simplify administration and maintenance by providing:

It is now able to reduce costs by:

It is now able to fit real scenarios by:

Is now necessarily documented to:

It is a valuable medium to test and develop many technologies:

More detailed information can be found on the Product-pages.

How can I contribute?

Join a team

There are many teams you can join to contribute on performing activities such as developing, documenting, creating artwork or maintaining packages to name just a few. It is also a great way to get in touch with interesting people!

You can help us by donating some money to the project. We invest it in developer gatherings and many other project activities.

Other things you can do

It is not only about working or donating money. Sometimes it can be as easy as spreading the word about the project or just helping people you know with installing or resolving troubles they may find. Be creative! The sky is the limit!