Linux for Irish schools was Re: [ILUG] AGM 2004
singer at redbrick.dcu.ie
Sun Oct 17 15:50:42 IST 2004
> I've not used Skolelinux in this regard, but I have used Debian. With
> regard to your "infrastructure" point below. Many of the schools I know
> do have infrastructure. However it's equipment that has been built up
> over a number of years, so they need an OS that can run on Win98 PIIs
> and WinXP P4s. Thus, Skolelinux looks (to me) to be a little resource
Skolelinux sits on top of Debian - they've pumped their work back into Debian.
(Martin mentioned last night that a lot of the work on the new wonderful Debian
Installer was done by the SkoleLinux folks!) The default config is a choice of
KDE or Metacity. It is architected for use with a mixture of hardware - the
minimum requirements are pretty much the same as the rest of Debian (though the
"server" really should have as much disk, ram etc. available as possible,
especially if you're using 486/low end pentiums as dumb terminals).
Here are two cool documents about the architecture of Skolelinux
I particularly like this bit -
What makes Skolelinux special:
* Complete system architecture out of the box
* Easy to get started
* Targeted at large scale deployment
* Hides complexity
* Enforces sensible defaults
> 1) Support for teaching/learning the ECDL
I have no experience with EDCL etc., but using Skolelinux will no more
restrict the ability to teach than using any other distro.
> 2) Support for educational software
A lot is available for free with debian and and is installed by skolelinux.
> 3) Support for users with special needs
This I don't know much about.
> 4) Support for the Irish language.
Volunteers will come forward if there's some results from their work - i.e.
it's tough to get people to do work if there's no real immediate reward. I know
that there's some Irish support in KDE, Debian etc., no doubt it needs more
people to work on it though.
> 5) Easy user management tools.
Webmin is pretty neat. :)
> Schools (especially Irish primary schools) are structured in a specific
> manner, we need to take advantage of this. There's no point in
> using /etc/passwd for user management, however there's no need for
> something as configurable as LDAP. I would use LDAP but provide a nice
> schema that is editable by a nice user interface (probably web based).
See the skolelinux architecture - they've done a fabulous job of solving these
> I think this _is_ important. We need to come up with some standard
> setup that could be supported by local businesses.
The Norwegian model is pretty neat and volunteers run the Irish schools' PCs
anyway. Offering community support for a single, stable platform integrated
with the Broadband Network ("Your server died? Good thing we've got all your
LDAP and user's home directories backed up over here... - put the CD into a PC,
set it up as a server and we'll restore the old data when it's back up!" ;) ).
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