Debian Jr.

Email: <debian-jr AT SPAMFREE lists DOT debian DOT org>

Debian Jr. is a Debian Pure Blend to make Debian an OS that children will enjoy using. This is the documentation wiki for the project. See also Teams/DebianJr.

Junior Tasks summarizes what is included in Debian Jr.

Guiding Principles

We aim to help children and those who care for them to get the most use and enjoyment out of their Debian systems; to help them acquire some of the skills and experiences we have as adults; and to convey to them our values: our love of freedom, our appreciation for software that works well, and our strong sense of community.

That is to say, we do not aim to diminish or limit Debian to "domesticate" it for little people, but to give them the best of what Debian has to offer so they will grow to the point where they no longer need our help.

Behind every child user of Debian, we assume there is at least one older person who uses Debian and helps them with it: a guide, a mentor, a parent, a relative, a friend. So these people are our users too. It would be too easy to treat them as our primary audience. After all, they are the ones reading this web page. They are the ones installing and maintaining the system. However, they also have other places to get support in the broader community of Debian and free software. In thinking about where our energies should be focused, then, we place children first and their guides second.

Metapackage development

The debian-junior svn repository contains the latest development of our metapackages to date.

Debian Jr. Bugs summarizes bugs in the dependencies of these metapackages.

Check out the metapackage source with:

svn co svn://

or for developer access:

svn co svn+ssh://

Live CD development

At this point the prereleases of the Debian Jr. live CD are strictly for discussion purposes and are not yet intended for end users. That being said, images are available which you can try out if you want to help us make them better. But we are not yet ready to give user support for them.

Test images are temporarily available here:

If you would like to discuss the development of the Jr. live CD, please join #debian-jr on or drop us a note at

A Debian Jr. live CD can also be built using live-helper with the following steps:

sudo apt-get install debootstrap live-helper git-core
git clone git://
cd config-junior/gnome-junior
sudo lh_build

Currently the junior config in git is for an iso image and gnome desktop. You can change these parameters with lh_config before running lh_build, e.g.

lh_config -p kde-junior && sudo lh_build

lh_config -p xfce-junior -b usb-hdd && sudo lh_build

For more help with live-helper configuration, see ?DebianLive/Configuration or join #debian-live on

Desktop customization tips

A default Debian desktop is already fairly usable by children of most ages with minimal configuration changes. Of course, like older users, children will want things arranged for their maximum convenience and to suit their tastes. So we encourage you to spend some time with each child user you look after adjusting their account settings and, where possible, helping them to adjust them on their own.

Typical things you might want to change are:

But for the very youngest children, something a bit different from the standard desktop can be set up, if you prefer.