Edubuntu 12.04 Beta 2 Released

Edubuntu version 12.04 Beta 2 is now released. This beta release is a pre-release version released for testing purposes and shouldn't be used in production.

Here are a few highlights since the last release:

  • This beta fixes a few issues that were identified in the previous beta release, including improved translations, a new Epoptes release and a new LTSP.
  • Edubuntu 12.04 will be the first 5 year LTS release of the Edubuntu project.
  • For this release we focused on quality and stability and refrained from any significant feature improvements.
  • iTalc, our classroom management tool has been replaced by Epoptes, which is more stable and better integrated with Edubuntu and LTSP.
  • LTSP is updated to the new major 5.3 release, fixing many bugs, improving performance, bandwidth usage and providing better fat client support.
  • Freemind and Geogebra were dropped from the default Edubuntu installation in an effort to avoid Java on our DVD. Both of these are still available via the Software Center, but aren't covered by the LTS support term.
  • The KDE version of edubuntu-desktop will only be supported on a best effort basis and isn't covered by the LTS support term either.
  • Edubuntu now includes vim and pastebinit by default to make the command line experience of advanced users more pleasant.

The full technical overview for this beta release is available on the Ubuntu wiki. Be sure to read the Ubuntu parts too, since it also impacts Edubuntu.

The installation media can be downloaded from the Ubuntu cdimage site.

If you find any bugs, please report them at the usual place and tag the edubuntu-dev team. Happy testing!

Edubuntu at Ubuntu Developer Week

It's that time again! Tuesday, 31 January is the start of another Ubuntu Developer Week and Edubuntu will be there.

We'll be taking 30 minutes to talk about Edubuntu, where it is, what we're doing, and where we actually want to go.

There will be some time for questions too, so if you're curious about Edubuntu, feel free to join in!

All the information is up on:

See you there!

Anki - A Flashcard Learning Program


Anki Tutorial

One of the things we'd like to do in Edubuntu in 2012 is showcase more of the software that we ship and tell stories of people who use it.

We stumbled upon a great write-up of Anki, a flashcard reader program installed in Edubuntu and otherwise available via Ubuntu Software Center.

Here's a snippet:

"Prepping for a Linux certification exam? Helping the kids with schoolwork? No matter what the subject is, Anki can help you commit it to memory. The flexible open source study system is based around the flashcard concept, but with support for audio, video, and more, and the program can adapt to your learning style."

Read the full story by Nathan Willis on

Edubuntu 12.04 will be a Long-Term Support Release

New developments in LTS

Historically, Edubuntu releases weren't released as long-term support releases with their Ubuntu LTS counterparts. While the Ubuntu LTS release was supported for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on the server, the Edubuntu release was supported for the standard 18 months.

Ubuntu 12.04 takes a huge leap forward by not only supporting the server for 5 years, but also the desktop install. Derivatives can also separately apply for LTS status.

Some necessary changes

The Edubuntu team decided to apply for LTS status for 12.04, and had to made some changes in order to support Edubuntu 12.04 for such a period. The most notable changes is dropping the Java runtime files from the default installation, since we don't have the capacity to maintain security updates for it for 5 years. This leads to the removal of Freemind, a great mind mapping tool, as well as Geogebra, an algebra tool. The good news is that both packages will still be available a few clicks away in the Ubuntu Software Center.

iTalc is being removed and is replaced with Epoptes, which is actively developed and integrated in Edubuntu.

Better planning and support

Having long-term Edubuntu releases will allow administrators to better plan and co-ordinate software deployments and upgrade. It also allows contributors to better focus backports of packages and encourages developers to focus on the supportability of the product.

Edubuntu will also have point releases for the 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) release. This means that updated installation media will be made available that will include up to date packages for all software shipped. Point releases will be made along with the Ubuntu release schedule.

The Edubuntu 12.04 LTS proposal can be found on the Ubuntu wiki.


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