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As partially already mentioned above, Skolelinux' new features are:

Press Package to be released to the media upon release of 5.0.

The press package contains the following pieces:

  • A general press release announcing availability of Skolelinux 5.0.
  • Links to screenshots
  • What's new
  • Quotes from users
  • About Skolelinux
  • General and local contacts

The press package is available in English and other languages: online at http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/PressReleases/

Media information

This is the freely available 'press package' about Debian Edu ("5.0.4+edu0"), which is a Debian Pure Blends Linux distribution based on Debian 5.0.4 ("Lenny").

For questions regarding the 'press package' or any content found within, please contact the Debian-Edu media contacts found here: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/PressReleases/PressPackage_5.0/English

Press release

Debian-Edu: Skolelinux 5.0 available for free download!

  • Oslo, Hamburg, Badajoz, Tokyo, Taipeh, Karachi - February 8, 2010

The Debian Edu Team is proud to take the next step in making free software suitable for educational purposes by releasing Skolelinux 5.0. Skolelinux is an adaptation of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny", with customized services which make it easy to set up and maintain an entire network of computers in schools and similar environments. Supported by regional and national projects in Norway, Germany, Spain, Denmark and even Taiwan and Japan, it is available in more than 50 languages. Skolelinux 5.0 is available free of charge at http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/Download.

Skolelinux Developers

As usual, Skolelinux comes with predefined installation profiles making it easy to set up the network, ranging from the main server to workstations and even thin clients. Skolelinux is based on Debian 5.0 "Lenny" and is therefore compatible with LSB 3.2. It uses kernel 2.6.26, KDE 3.5.10, and - for the first time supported in Skolelinux - GNOME 2.22.2.

The setup of terminal servers has been improved and now even supports diskless workstations out of the box. Maintenance is easier as software is installed and maintained centrally for many client computers. Other improvements include web browser plugin support using free software products such as Gnash, Java and others. System administrators, and teachers performing that role, will be glad to see the machine and network monitoring setup that automatically reports the status of all machines on the network.

Screen shots are found here: http://www.slx.no/en/take-a-tour

An article about Skolelinux enterprise capabilities can be found here: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/PressReleases/PressPackage_5.0/Enterprise

What's new in Skolelinux 5.0

As partially already mentioned above, Skolelinux' new features are:

  • Skolelinux is based on Debian 5.0 "Lenny" and is therefore compatible with LSB 3.2. It uses kernel 2.6.26, KDE 3.5.10, and GNOME 2.22.2. The ?LinEx GNU/Linux based educational project of Extremadura in Spain has now merged with Debian Edu.

  • The GNOME desktop is now supported in addition to KDE.
  • Improved student desktop with educational software shortcuts to GCompris, Kalzium, KGeography, KMplot, KStars, Stopmotion and the OpenOffice suite.

  • The documentation has been further improved and translated from English to German, Italian and Norwegian. Incomplete translations are available for Spanish, French and Chinese. Please consider helping by translating to your native language or by reviewing the English original!
  • Improved browser plug-in support with free software products including Gnash, Java and other plug-ins.
  • Added PulseAudio in addition to ALSA and OSS sound system for better audio and multimedia performance on workstations and diskless workstations machines.

  • New PXE startup menu allowing users to choose between a diskless workstation, a thin client workstation, and even a PXE-installation of Skolelinux.
    • Diskless workstations retrieve the OS and application software from the server, and then run them on the local machine. All software comes from the server instead of the local hard drive. That means software can be installed and maintained once for many clients.
  • Improved and simplified user and machine administration tool known as LWAT (LDAP Web-based Administration Tool).
  • Improved machine and network surveillance now reporting status on all machines added to the network.

Quotes

"Unlike similar projects, Skolelinux takes care of the whole school network, not just the student computers. This makes it possible for me to deploy far more machines in a secure and stable network, without worrying about how to configure and maintain services, and without any tech support." Nigel Barker, IT co-ordinator and Chemistry teacher, Hiroshima International School.

"We will most likely be able to reach the goals of The Knowledge Promotion Reform because of Skolelinux.", says principal Heidi Olsen Sværd at Håvik school in Narvik municipality.

"It is easy to maintain. We have had a few startup problems, but surprisingly few", Monica Larssen, IT co-ordinator/ advisor in Harstad municipality says.

Going forward

  • The next milestone is a pointrelease, 5.0.4+edu1, around mid-March 2010, with updates to the documentation and its translations as well as some important bugfixes.
  • The subsequent milestone of Skolelinux development includes the introduction of major new features and aims to release simultaneously with Debian Squeeze, which is currently scheduled for the second half of 2010. The Squeeze-based release (6.0.0+edu0) will include the Sugar desktop, an upgrade to KDE 4, and shall provide alternative desktop environments for netbooks.
  • Full support for social desktop features. Both Sugar Desktop and KDE 4 have built-in social desktop features. The Sugar Desktop enables a journal where students can track their activities. Both Sugar and KDE 4 include online friend to friend and group communication for sharing content, tasks and activities. With exiting applications such as Turtle Art for simulations and Tam Tam for making music, students can explore, learn and grow.

About Skolelinux

Skolelinux is a complete software solution tailored to the needs of schools and other educational institutions. It provides a complete system, from the central server running all the services the school needs, to the desktop software students use in class. Skolelinux works out of the box with no tricky setup to perform. Skolelinux provides the following:

  • Full support for networked thin clients, diskless workstations, and disk-based workstations and laptops. With diskless workstations users get full PC functionality combined with the maintenance level of thin clients. Sound, video, USB memory sticks, and DVDs are supported. A new start up screen also allows local installation over PXE.
  • Skolelinux has over 80 applications pre-installed specifically for educational use. It is available in over 50 languages. Many new applications have been introduced in addition to popular classics such as GCompris, KDE Edu, Firefox (branded as Iceweasel due to Trademark restrictions) and OpenOffice.org.

  • Installation is a breeze. You can install Skolelinux from a network install CD or from a single DVD supporting several processor architectures (i386, PowerPC and AMD64/Intel EM64T). Skolelinux still has low hardware requirements. A diskless workstation runs nicely with 256 MB of RAM, local swap and a 800 MHz processor. We recommend slightly more powerful specifications for multimedia use.
  • Skolelinux is free software. The primary goal is to provide schools and students with every building block of a computer system. By providing an easy to use system, including the source code, students can study software, learn how it is written, and create software code. We emphasize learning by doing. Students can grow and excel by participating and sharing knowledge. The software has no restrictions on use, copying, or learning.

Skolelinux is the result of the work of the Debian Edu project. Debian Edu is an official part of Debian, and Skolelinux is a "Debian Pure Blend". It is installed at many or all of the schools in municipalities, regions and cities throughout Europe, Asia and South America. Several regions and states run and maintain Skolelinux centrally with commercial service providers or public employees. Smaller installations at single schools can be maintained part-time by a teacher with no particular training. Reports from commercial and public installations suggest that diskless workstations require half the maintenance costs compared to ordinary desktop alternatives.

Contact information

<please: confirm this list>

  • General information about Debian-Edu or Skolelinux:
    • E-mail: debian-edu AT lists.debian.org
  • Media contacts
    • France
      • Xavier Oswald <xoswald AT debian.org>

    • Germany
      • Alexander Reichle-Schmehl <tolimar AT debian.org>

        Kurt Gramlich <kurt AT skolelinux.de>

    • Norway
      • Knut Yrvin <knuty AT skolelinux.no> +47 934 79 561 (cellphone)

        Ole-Anders Andreassen <olea AT skolelinux.no>

    • Spain
      • José L. Redrejo Rodríguez <jredrejo AT edu.juntaextremadura.net>

    • Taiwan
      • Andrew Lee (李健秋) <ajqlee AT debian.org> +886 988 978760 (cellphone)

    • Pakistan
      • Tariq Farooqi <tariq AT linuxpakistan.org> +92-21-36622134 (officephone)

For more information about Debian-Edu/Skolelinux please see our webpage at

Download:

Manual, most current version:

Manual, Translations: http://maintainer.skolelinux.org/debian-edu-doc/

Release notes:

Screenshot:

A complete list of improvements have been made available at http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/ReleaseNotes

A complete featurue list http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/Documentation/Lenny/Features