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Edubuntu 13.10

October 28, 2013
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Ubuntu comes in many flavors, and it’s designed for very different kinds of users. Edubuntu 13.10 is an Ubuntu spin for educators. It comes preloaded with quite a selection of education-related applications including some for science and engineering.

While this release does not have much in the way of new features, it’s worth looking at since it differs so much from the other Ubuntu spins. It also adds real value for those who want a distribution focused on learning rather than just a general desktop.

Here’s the official description from the Edubuntu site:

Edubuntu is a grassroots movement, we aim to get Ubuntu into schools, homes and communities and make it easy for users to install and maintain their systems.

We are students, teachers, parents and hackers who believe that learning and knowledge should be available to everyone who wants to improve themselves and the world around them.

Our aim is to put together a system that contains all the best free software available in education and make it easy to install and maintain.

Edubuntu 13.10 Preinstall Boot Menu

Edubuntu 13.10 Preinstall Boot Menu

What’s New in Edubuntu 13.10
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Unity: 7.1.2
LibreOffice: 4.1.2
Firefox: 24.0
Thunderbird: 24.0
Linux: 3.11
Upstart: 1.10
Python 3.3.2

System Requirements for Ubuntu 13.10
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:

A Pentium 4, 1GHz system is the minimum recommended for a desktop system.

Install Type RAM (minimal) RAM (recommended) Hard Drive
No desktop 64 megabytes 256 megabytes 1 gigabyte
With Desktop 64 megabytes 512 megabytes 5 gigabytes

Edubuntu 13.10 Download
You can download Edubuntu 13.10 from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 2.97 GB, so it’s not one of the smaller Ubuntu downloads. However, it does come with quite a bit of software. You can also get Edubuntu 13.10 in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. I used the 64-bit version for this review.

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in a virtual machine via VirtualBox before running it on real hardware.

Edubuntu 13.10 Installation
Edubuntu 13.10 uses the Ubuntu installer. It’s very easy to install though it does take longer for the install to finish than the regular Ubuntu 13.10 distro.

The installer gives you the option of installing the GNOME 3.0 fallback interface, as well as LTSP (the Linux Terminal Server Project). You can also remove educational application packages during the install if you want. This gives educators some flexibility and control over which kinds of learning applications are installed by default.

Once the install begins, you can view slides that provide information about some of the learning applications included with Edubuntu 13.10. If you’ve never used this distro, I recommend looking at the slideshow as it’s a good primer on the applications you’ll be using once the install finishes.

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Prepare

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Prepare

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Type

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Type

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Options Part 1

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Options Part 1

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Options Part 2

Edubuntu 13.10 Install Options Part 2

Edubuntu 13.10 Slideshow

Edubuntu 13.10 Slideshow

The Edubuntu 13.10 Desktop
The first thing I noticed after the desktop loaded was the odd wallpaper. It’s a few trees, with a purplish sky at sunset or sunrise, I can’t really tell which. Anyway, I say that it’s odd because it doesn’t have anything to do with education.

I generally like wallpaper that fits the theme or the mission of the distribution. But this wallpaper looks forlorn and rather depressing. I think some sort of education-oriented wallpaper that’s a bit more upbeat would work better in future releases.

Edubuntu 13.10 Desktop

Edubuntu 13.10 Desktop

Edubuntu 13.10 uses Unity for its desktop environment, so it’s quite easy to find your way around if you’ve used Unity in the regular version of Ubuntu. Icons for search, the home folder, Firefox, LibreOffice, the Ubuntu Software Center and System Settings appear by default.

Edubuntu 13.10 comes with more than 30 Dash plugins. Plugins include Audacious, Banshee, Chromium Bookmarks, Facebook, Google Drive, Picasa and lots of others. You can easily disable any plugin by clicking on its icon and then clicking on the Disable button.

Edubuntu 13.10 Dash Plugins

Edubuntu 13.10 Dash Plugins

Edubuntu 13.10 Applications

Edubuntu 13.10 Applications

Linux Software Included in Edubuntu 13.10
Here’s a sample of the linux software included in this release.

Games
AisleRiot Solitaire
Atomix
Blinken
Educational Suite Gcompris
Einstein
gbrainy
Kanagram
KHangMan
Laby
Mahjongg
Mines
Pairs
Pairs Theme Editor
Potato Guy
Ri-li
Sudoku

Graphics
Dia
Document Viewer
E-Book Viewer
GIMP
ImageMagick
Image Viewer
Inkscape Vector Graphics Editor
KolourPaint
LibreCAD
LibreOffice Draw
LRF Viewer
Pencil
Scribus
Shotwell Photo Manager
Simple Scan
Xaos – Fractal Zoomer

Internet
Desktop Sharing
Empathy IM
Epoptes
Firefox
Gobby Collaborative Editor
Liferea Feed Reader
Remmina Remote Desktop Client
Thunderbird Mail
Transmission
X11VNC Server
Xpra Launcher

Multimedia
Brasero Disc Burner
K3b
Rhythmbox Music Player
Sound Recorder
Videos

Office
Calibre
Document Viewer
E-Book Viewer
Gramps Genealogy System
LibreOffice
VYM – View Your Mind

Science & Engineering
Cantor
Chemtool
Fritzing
KAlgebra
Kalzium
KStars
LibreCAD
Rocs

Linux Software Management Tools in Edubuntu 13.10
Edubuntu 13.10 uses the Ubuntu Software Center, so it’s very easy to add or remove software. Edubuntu 13.10 comes with a lot of great educational software, but there’s plenty more to be found in the Software Center.

Be sure to browse through the Education and Science categories, you’ll find quite a bit there to check out. You can also see Top Rated applications for each category, as well as at the top level of the Software Center. There are also user reviews and star ratings to help you decide whether or not you want to install an application.

To add or remove an application, just click the Install or Remove button.

Edubuntu 13.10 Software Center Science and Engineering Category

Edubuntu 13.10 Software Center Science and Engineering Category

Edubuntu 13.10 Education Category

Edubuntu 13.10 Education Category

Edubuntu 13.10 GeoGebra Install Menu

Edubuntu 13.10 GeoGebra Install Menu

Edubuntu 13.10 GeoGebra User Reviews

Edubuntu 13.10 GeoGebra User Reviews

Problems & Headaches Found in Edubuntu 13.10
One minor problem I had was with the Ubuntu Software Center. It crashed the first time I tried to load it. I started it again and it loaded without any problems.

Aside from that, I didn’t notice any overt problems. Edubuntu 13.10 was very stable and reasonably fast. Please share any problems you’ve had in the comments below for the benefit of other readers. Thanks.

Where To Get Help for Edubuntu 13.10
If you’re having problems, please post your questions in the comments below or register for the DLR forum. Other readers might be able to assist you. You might also want to check out the Edubuntu community page, and the Edubuntu documentation page.

If you’re new to Linux, you might want to check out some of the books available about it at Amazon. You can learn quite a bit that you will probably find useful later on. You can also save lots of money with deals on laptops and tablets, desktops and monitors, components, and computer accessories.

Final Thoughts About Edubuntu 13.10
In some ways Edubuntu 13.10 reminds me of Ubuntu Studio 13.10. Both distros have staked out a particular market, and both do it very well indeed. Edubuntu 13.10 comes with many learning-oriented applications, and there are tons more that can be easily downloaded from the Ubuntu Software Center.

I highly recommend taking a look at Edubuntu 13.10 if you need an educational distribution. It hits all of the sweet spots for that market and should prove tremendously useful for teachers and schools.

Edubuntu 13.10 is suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.

What’s your take on Edubuntu 13.10? Tell me in the comments below.


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4 Responses to Edubuntu 13.10

  1. andy on October 29, 2013 at 5:40 am

    What about the educational software that’s already installed? You don’t say much about it other than “Excellent selection of educational software”. What age group(s) is it aimed at? Is it good from a teaching/learning angle? Did you try it on any kids? I don’t mean to complain but this reads like just another review of Ubuntu…

    • Jim Lynch on October 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Hi Andy, thanks for the note.

      I’m not a teacher so I can’t comment on which groups of students the software has been created for, you can see a list of the default apps in the software section.

      The review was meant to be an overview of the distro, not a review of the applications that come bundled with it. Sorry.

      There are also a lot more education apps in the Ubuntu Software Center so check those out as well.

    • Jim Lynch on October 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

      BTW, if you look at the Install Options Part 2 screenshot in the install section, there are options to customize Edubuntu for a particular group of students. So that would help you if you just want applications in Edubuntu for certain grade levels.

      Here’s a link to the screenshot:

      http://i1.wp.com/desktoplinuxreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Edubuntu-13.10-Install-Options-Part-2.jpg?resize=575%2C441

      Or just scroll up to the installer section.



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