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

The press package contains the following pieces:

  1. A general press release announcing availability of Skolelinux 5.0. with media contacts from five countries and general information.
  2. Quotes from users, beta-testers, developers and media contacts
  3. Please include pictures of users and screenshots of desktop and applications? <fixme: please suggest pictures>

The press package is available in English and other languages <fixme: add them when we have them> 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

1: Press release

Debian-Edu: Skolelinux 5.0 (5.0.4+edu0) available for free download!

* Oslo, Hamburg, Badajoz, Tokio, Taipeh - February 8, 2010

Skolelinux 5.0 is ready. This is a community release with comprehensive support from regional and national projects in Norway, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Taiwan, Japan and other places. Skolelinux is Debian for education, produced by the Debian Edu team.

Several other projects have contributed additional functionality to Skolelinux, to tailor it for both local and international needs. Skolelinux can be installed in more than 50 languages.

What's new:

Skolelinux is now deployed at many schools in municipalities, regions and states throughout Europe, Asia and South America. It is used by 250.000 students and teachers at 200 schools in Extremadura. The German states of Rheinland-Pfalz and Hamburg are providing Skolelinux for their schools. The Indian state Karnataka are basing their ICT@School project on Skolelinux. The Debian Edu team also co-operates with the Debian based Linux Educacionale distribution, used by more than 30 million students in Brazilian schools.

Enterprise solution

Skolelinux is design to be extremely stable for millions of students. In many countries, the educational sector maintains more computers than any other parts the government. When supporting ten thousands or millions of users, bleeding edge software is not an option. The software installed with Skolelinux is carefully hand picked and configured with stability in mind.

Skolelinux is build on Debian which got 2-3 year release cycles with an extend period of security fixes. Debian is the most comprehensive and rigorously tested GNU/Linux distribution in the marked. It's is the most popular server systems in German businesses. It's the basis for Maemo, the Nokia's mobile PC platform which is used on N900. Being built with Debian, Skolelinux promotes stability and low maintenance cost.

The newest Skolelinux require less machine resources than proprietary alternatives. Instead of upgrading to newer hardware when a proprietary vendor upgrades their operating system, schools extends hardware lifetime with 5-8 years using Skolelinux. This allows schools to run twice the number of computers with Skolelinux. Due to less hardware requirement and no license cost, schools might get twich as many machines when buying new computers with Skolelinux.

Due to stability, enterprise features and diskless workstation, Skolelinux provides half the operational cost compared to any other desktop alternative in schools. The software is hand picked by teachers and experts on computers in education. The annual personnel cost maintaining a Skolelinux workstation is less than 50 Euro. This according to maintainers of 80.000 computer in Extramedura, Spain. We recommend centralized maintenance with Skolelinux, which might take 4-8 hours a week to maintain when having 50-100 workstations and 320 users at a school. This might be reduced with centralised maintenance, due to the Skolelinux scalability.

Some computer departments argue for a zero maintenance polity in schools, stating that computer with proprietary systems don't need maintenance. Unfortunately such schools don't have any usable computers after a couple of weeks. When having 5-10 different students using a computer each day, it's just a matter of weeks or days before proprietary software don't work. Destructive students, malware or viruses making machines useless. Manpower and enterprise configuration management are needed to restore such machines. An unmaintained Skolelinux system might work for a month or two. We have encountered schools running unmaintained Skolelinux for years.

Even if Skolelinux is stable when run on a solid network. It's unwise to skip maintenances. Skolelinux should be maintained professionally, even if it needs less maintenance than proprietary solutions according to schools authorities. Regular maintenance of hardware, software and services is mandatory when providing safe and acceptable computer services in schools.

It's not enough getting hardware and a computer network installed in schools. It's also a question of pedagogic use. A municipality need to invest both in system maintenance and educational training. Teachers needs training on how to include computers when teaching math, natural science, history and so forth. A major benefit with Skolelinux, is that low acqusition and maintenance cost gives more budget for training teachers in computer literacy.

Going forward

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 setting up to perform. Skolelinux provides:

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. The most active developers are in Spain, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, France, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Thailand and Australia.

<fixme: perhaps provide some links to large installations/institutions for reference>

Contact information

<please: confirm this list>

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/

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

2: Quotes

"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.

"After a few startup problems Skolelinux is now stable. It is very easy for me to maintain as a IT co-ordinator", says Astri Sletteng, IT co-ordinator at Ankenes and Håkvik school in Narvik municpality.

"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.