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The future of openSUSE-Education

January 27th, 2018 by

Logo of the openSUSE-EducationThe openSUSE-Education project tries to support schools using openSUSE. We create and describe additional software-repositories for educational projects and we created Add-on medias and finally a live DVD from the regular openSUSE distribution.

As you can see in our timeline, we achieved quite a lot in the past years, had fun and meet a couple of very nice people out there in our spare time. But the main team members moved on to new projects, with the hope that we would one day find some time to work more on openSUSE-Education again. This does not seem to happen – at least not for the foreseeable future.


openSUSE-Education 13.2 released

December 4th, 2014 by

openSUSE-Education Li-f-e CDThis time others are faster than the original source: Softpedia as well as Distrowatch already announced the new openSUSE-Education release 13.2.1, which is based on openSUSE 13.2.

While openSUSE-Education 13.1 had over 20,000 downloads alone via Souceforge (which is one of our largest mirrors) and the fact that many people seem to watch our activities so actively that they even know before any official announcement that there is “something new” is heartwarming crazy. To use marketing speak, openSUSE-Education is the most comprehensive Linux distribution for Education and Home use right now. …and now you can even download the most current release based on one of the best Open Source Distributions in the world!

This time we also provide 32bit and 64bit based Li-f-e ISO images – just have a look at our wiki page and choose the one you like most. Download and spread this awesomeness around this festive season.

Both ISOs contain the greatest and latest software available for openSUSE – including not only educational but also multimedia and many other useful software.


Gnome Classic edition of openSUSE-Education

May 22nd, 2014 by

If you have fun, the rest is easy…

Classic main menu The openSUSE-Education team is proud to announce the availability of another great release: the GNOME classic edition.

This one is nearly identical to the MATE desktop, but already includes a few minor bug fixes and some additional applications:

are added to the (already huge) list of available applications.

Quoting Jigish Gohil:

classic is so much better than standard gnome  i wonder why it is not standard

BTW: openSUSE Education releases always contain the latest official openSUSE updates and other cool stuff, so you should be able to get an up-to date live system up and running in a few seconds/minutes (depending on your hardware) – which can also be installed on your local hard disk with just a few mouse clicks. Just click on the “Live-Install” icon on the desktop.

Get Li-f-e GNOME Classic edition from here: direct Download | md5sum | Alternate download and mirrors

You want to join the team? Just ping us at #opensuse-education. We are hiring community members to help out on web work and marketing (be warned: we currently pay in honor and fun).

openSUSE Edu Li-f-e MATE available

May 19th, 2014 by

The openSUSE-Education team is proud to present a special, 64-bit edition of openSUSE Edu Li-f-e with the MATE desktop environment.

Li-f-e MATE desktop

Li-f-e MATE edition came about to support schools in Gujarat, India, they needed synfig studio: a very simple to use C and Java IDE, apart from standard fare of complete office suite and other applications. Gujarat now starts teaching open(libre)office in 9th grade, and Linux operating system all the way to shell scripting in 10th, and Java, C, HTML, Javascript etc in 11th and 12 grades. This Li-f-e edition tries to get everything they need in an integrated bundle which they can use on a stand alone PC or set up LTSP server to PXE boot their entire lab without having to modify their existing setup on the client PC side.

The MATE desktop was choosen as default desktop manager as it looks close to the pictures in their textbook, however latest GNOME desktop is also available at the login screen. MATE is well known for being a traditional desktop environment, a fork of the classic GNOME 2 session. It uses a two-panel layout and darkish theme, as well as a neat collection of educational apps, such as gElemental, Scilab, Xcos, Scinotes, Geany, Inkscape, Synfig Studio, Bluefish, Epoptes, and LTSP.

Default applications include the Pidgin multi-protocol instant messenger, Mozilla Firefox web browser, GIMP image editor, pluma text editor, VLC Media Player, as well as the entire LibreOffice office suite.

Download the operating system as a Live DVD ISO image that must be burned onto a DVD discs or written on a USB flash drive in order to boot it from the BIOS of the PC.

As with all openSUSE-Education releases, we based on the recently released openSUSE (13.1) with all the official online updates applied.

Get Li-f-e MATE from here: direct Download | md5sum | Alternate download and mirrors

Quoting Marius Nestor on softpedia.com :

openSUSE Edu Li-f-e MATE is a surprise addition to the educational edition of the award winning and widely used openSUSE Linux operating system. The MATE desktop environment will provide for a faster working environment suitable for classroom use.

Announcing openSUSE Education Li-f-e 13.1

December 18th, 2013 by

Get Li-f-e from here : Direct Download | Torrents | Metalinks | md5sum

openSUSE Education community is proud to bring you an early Christmas and New Year’s present: openSUSE Education Li-f-e. It is based on the recently released openSUSE 13.1 with all the official online updates applied.

We have put together a nice set of tools for everyone including teachers, students, parents and IT administrators. It covers quite a lot of territory: from chemistry, mathematics to astronomy and Geography. Whether you are into software development or just someone looking for Linux distribution that comes with everything working out of the box, your search ends here. (more…)

Announcing the release of openSUSE Edu Li-f-e 12.3-1

May 8th, 2013 by

openSUSE Education Team is proud to present Li-f-e (Linux for Education) 12.3-1. This first release is based on openSUSE 12.3 with all the official updates applied. Li-f-e incorporates the latest stable versions of all popular desktop environments such as KDE, Gnome and Cinnamon. It includes wide range of software catering to everyone’s needs from the openSUSE Education repository, multimedia from the Packman repository, development tools, and KIWI-LTSP -that allows normal PCs or diskless thin clients to network boot from a server running Li-f-e and lot more. Everything you need to make your computer useful is available right out of the box as soon as Li-f-e is installed on it.

Get it from here:Direct Download | Torrents | Metalinks | md5sum

Since this edition is based on openSUSE 12.3, all the official 12.3 updates, repositories from build service and Packman can be used to install additional software and keep it udpated.

Minimum hardware requirement are 1GB of RAM and 15GB free disk space. Installation from a USB stick will take about 40 minutes to complete depending on hardware capabilities. From a DVD it takes much longer. Check this howto for creating live USB stick on vfat partition or other GUI and terminal ways.

Here is the sample of some of the software available on the iso. A complete list of packages with version numbers is listed here.

This time, we also have an openSUSE Edu Li-f-e 12.3 64bit version in SUSE Studio – if you want to give it a try, download the ISO image or log in and run the image via “Testdrive” in your local browser! (Please note that 64bit edition has not been through a rigorous QA.)

Test reports are always welcomed – if you encounter any problems, feel free to contact us via any way mentioned in our wiki or write a bug report.

Have a lot of fun!

Your openSUSE Education Team

openSUSE Edu Li-f-e 12.2 out now!

September 14th, 2012 by

openSUSE-Education li-f-e logoopenSUSE Education team once again presents Li-f-e (Linux for Education) built on hot new openSUSE 12.2 including all the post release updates. As always this edition of Li-f-e comes bundled with a lot of softwares useful for students, teachers, as well as IT admins of educational institutions. Apart from stable versions of KDE and Gnome, Cinnamon is also available. Sugar desktop suite makes a comeback thanks to the work of Xin Wang packaging it. Li-f-e also give full multimedia experience right out of the box without having to install anything extra. The live installable DVD iso stands at 3.3G as an incredible array of softwares from open source world are available on it, we have not just bundled them in, but have tried to integrate it with the distribution to give everything a seamless feel.

KIWI-LTSP brings Li-f-e a very easy to setup LTSP server for PXE booting thin-clients/PC/laptop over the network with many new features and improvements. It can be deployed at schools, homes or even offices. Epoptes lab administration tool makes its debut replacing italc, epoptes allows control of every aspect of the clients, such as: lock/unlock screen, full remote control, messaging, broadcasting display, reboot/shutdown etc.


DVD boot screen   Bootmenu openSUSE-Education   Splash screen openSUSE-Education

Sugar Windowmanager   Li-f-e applications   Multimedia applications

Get it from here: Direct Download | Torrents | Metalinks | md5sum

As this edition is based on openSUSE 12.2, all the official 12.2 updates, repositories from build service and packman can be used to install additional softwares and keep it up to date.

Minimum hardware requirement is 1GB of RAM and 15GB free disk space. Installation from USB stick will take about 40 minutes to complete, from a DVD it takes much longer. Check this howto for creating live USB stick on vfat partition or other GUI and terminal ways.

Here is the sampling of some of the softwares available on the iso.  Complete list of packages with versions here.

Have a lot of fun…
Your openSUSE Education Team

openSUSE Edu Li-f-e 12.1 out now!

January 1st, 2012 by

Announcement by Jigish Gohil

openSUSE Education team is proud to present another edition of openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) based on openSUSE 12.1. Li-f-e comes loaded with everything that students, parents, teachers and system admins of educational institutions may need.

Softwares for mathematics, chemistry, astronomy etc, servers like KIWI-LTSP, Fedena school ERP, Moodle course management etc., full multimedia, graphics, office suite, many popular programming languages including AMP stack, java, C, C++, python, ruby, latest stable Gnome and KDE desktop environments and lot more is packed in this release. More about softwares included here.

Geeko goodies

To know more about openSUSE Education project, file bugs, request enhancements, participate, or to get in touch with us visit Education Portal.

Create live USB stick or DVD with this image. About 15GB disk space and 1GB RAM is required for installation, more is better. Please note that we release 32bit image only, for users with RAM 4G or more install and use kernel-pae package.

Hosted at sourceforge.net

Direct Download | md5sum

Hosted at opensuse-education.org

Direct Download | new metalink | old metalink | md5sum | torrent

Use download manager or Metalink client such as aria2c for most efficient way to download.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Happy holidays…

openSUSE Edu Li-f-e 11.4 update release announcement

August 15th, 2011 by

The openSUSE Education team is proud to announce the release of updated openSUSE Edu Li-f-e – Linux for Education. A Linux distribution that provides parents, students, teachers as well as IT admins running labs at educational institutes with education and development resources for their needs. Edu Li-f-e is based on openSUSE 11.4.

How to start a project: Education

July 13th, 2011 by

Edu Li-f-e DVDThe Education project provides parents, students and teachers as well as IT admins running labs at educational institutes with education and development resources for their needs. Jigish Gohil, lead developer of the Li-f-e (Linux for Education) distribution and Lars Vogdt, founding father of the project, tell us in this interview how they started their project to share their knowledge and experience with people that want to start something own as part of openSUSE.

Question: Tell us a few things about openSUSE Edu Li-f-e?

Jigish: openSUSE Edu is Linux for Education, provides a complete education and development resources for parents, students, teachers as well as IT admins running labs at educational institutes.

Lars:Well, Li-f-e stands for „Linux-for-Education“ and that is what the Project is about.
Teachers and students can run and test Linux – and all the beautiful Educational Applications shipped with the ISO – without installing anything to their local hard drive.

Everything runs directly from the Media. Teachers can also save the environment by burning only one DVD: all other things are in their Computer LAB already: some (old) PCs for their students and a network. Via the pre-configured LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) system on the Media, it is really easy to boot a dozens of Clients from one central PC – and again: everything runs without touching any hard-drive.

We hope to get some answers from our primary target group (schools) about the installed applications, can answer their questions, help with further setups and give the feedback back to the upstream developers of those applications.

The Li-f-e Media helps us and our „customers“ to get fast results: our customers can test the Media easily without any fear and give us feedback. We can use the feedback to fix bugs and implement new features – and the Open Build Service helps us to integrate and release new Medias shortly after.

Question: How did the idea for creating openSUSE Edu Li-f-e came up?

Jigish: It had nothing to do with the bath. Lot of things falling into place lead to the creation of Li-f-e. Lars Vogdt the lead developer of openSUSE Education and everyone else on the openSUSE Edu team were working on creating a exhaustive repository for Education, online on openSUSE Open Build Service instance as well as an addon media containing those software. Then KIWI came along that enabled us to create live medias, so once we have so many useful applications and tools available to create live distribution it is only the natural next step in evolution.

Lars: We started with the openSUSE Education Add-on Medias for openSUSE 10.2 years ago (wow! Is it really such a long time? Yes!). We got a lot of positive feedback from a lot of people (see http://old-en.opensuse.org/Education/Press for some Press announcements) – but also got the feedback that users just want to test our applications to see if they fit in their curriculum.

As the folks from the openSUSE Build Service started to integrate KIWI for easier Product Building, we were the first project that used the new technology directly in the Build Service. Special thanks to Jigish Gohil who was driving this.

Question: What do you think about similar projects such as EDUBUNTU? What does openSUSE Edu Li-f-e have to offer that will make users choose it over the other Education distributions?

Jigish: Many more educational Linux distributions are out there, they are all put together by hard working communities, many of them have software selection overlapping the ones we have. It would be nice if the users explored each of them thoroughly and used the ones that fit their requirements best.

What make Li-f-e stand out are the unique features that other distributions do not have, like:<
* Single hybrid ISO to make a live DVD or USB stick
* LTSP server to network boot your entire lab from a single server is integrated and easily enabled by anyone who can follow the instructions on the wiki page
* YaST, easy to use GUI system administration tool
* Stable versions of the major desktop environments like KDE and GNOME are included
* Multimedia works out of the box
* many more…

Lars:We are not in a competition with other Education centric distributions. Far from it: we already work together and try to increase this collaboration wherever possible. Some examples:
we started http://www.linux-for-education.org together with people from Edubuntu;
we attended a student working on a GUI for LTSP which is now available also for other distributions;
Heinz-M. Graesing from X2Go gave an introduction during the last openSUSE Conference – and even if he is more Debian centric, he assigned us to have more up to date X2Go packages.;
same happened for Sugar (and David Van Assche now also helps us with the li-f-e.org webpages);
Seminarix allowed us to us some of their training Videos;
the Open School Server team integrated our Add-on;
HP used some of our packages on their pre-installed desktop machines;
we are in good contact with upstream developers from GCompris, Tuxpaint, Tuxmath and Tuxtype (the three last three ones came from Debian and help us packaging their applications in the Build Service)

…So what makes openSUSE Education different? Maybe the idea of collaboration and working across borders is something that makes us different?

Question: Are you in any way related to education?

Jigish: I went to school, does that count? Professionally, I run Linux solutions and training business, mostly corporations, I sometimes also teach at the University here.

Lars: I studied to become a teacher – but this is years ago. Currently my wife is a teacher – and my daughter will go to school in a few years.

Question: Are you taking feedback from users about openSUSE Edu Li-f-e? And what is the quality of the feedback, I mean does that feedback actually help you (the developers) to evolve the distribution?

Jigish: Yup, we value all feedback (See Communicate on Portal:Education). People who care to give feedback are mostly well informed, that benefits the project a lot.

Lars: We have different „channels“ where users can gilve us feedback. And from time to time we receive feedback that equates to the used channels.
People in IRC (#opensuse-edu on freenode) or in the forum (on forums.opensuse.org) mostly want a fast solution for their current problems. People writing us via our Mailinglist (opensuse-edu@opensuse.org) are often interested in collaboration or promoting. People using bugzilla (bugzilla.novell.com) have a deeper technical knowledge and most of the time already a patch for their problem at hand.
We are also present at fairs like the big educational fair „Didacta“ in Germany,“Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften“, Linuxtag in Berlin or go to schools in our region (like Yogyakartha in Indonesia or Universidad de Panamá in Panama). The schools are the most interesting ones to get direct feedback, as there’s no one who is more direct than a child.
The quality of the feedback is very good and helps us to improve the packages, add/remove packages from the Li-f-e Media – and also helps us to get more contributors. The different boot-splash themes and wallpapers are coming from a student who likes to help us. Others helped us to write documentation or increase the translation quality of the applications they use. It’s often just a small step from requesting feedback to getting contributions. People want to help – they just need someone who „is there“ and can lower the technical level or solve their initial problems.

Question: Do you see a world that schools will use a Linux distribution as an educational tool?

Jigish: In many parts of the world it is already happening, I live in one of those, Gujarat, India over 5000 schools are all running Linux, other states in India like Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc are also into Linux big time. Indonesia, Russia, China etc seems to be going Linux as well.

Lars: I already know some schools that use Linux for education daily. I personally also know at least 2 schools that migrated their LABs and also some of their teachers workstations to Linux.
But most of the schools I know are using their computers as an additional resource to fulfill their curriculum. So the computers are not standing on their own: their applications need to fit into the environment.
My answer for schools asking me if they should switch to Linux is always a counter question: what is your plan for computer usage in your school? – Instead of aligning their applications to their needs – teachers often align their courses to the available software, which is wrong in my eyes. If I want to learn something new, I’m not trying to learn it with tools that are far away or not helpful for my educational objective.
My hope is seeing a world that schools define their goals together with their teachers and students and afterwards evaluate their needs in an objective way. I saw schools using kino, gimp, blender and OpenOffice in their marketing courses. Other schools use Eclipse or Netbeans for their programming courses. For endorsers it should not matter which OS they use – but they should know that learning the position of an icon can not be the goal for a trained computer user.

Question: Why Linux for Education instead of a proprietary software solution, apart from the cost of it?

Jigish: Ease of use, availability, administration. No more tracking licenses, hunting for virus, reinstalling, frequent rebooting. Everything required comes bundled on single OS disk, anything else that is required can be installed easily via 1-click, there is an option of running proprietary OS virtualized on Linux for things that are not available natively.

Lars: Because you can look behind the scenes and adapt the software to your needs, if you like, instead of adapting your mind to the software.
I know „Windows Gurus“ that are Gurus because they know the „right“ installation order of their software stack – if they use another order, Windows becomes unusable. They could not tell me the reason for this order, they just know (after thousands of test-installations) that it works this way. I know Windows Administrators that know where to click to start their DHCP server – not knowing what a DHCP server is. I can continue this list of „technical idiots“, if needed, but I think you know already what I mean.
I know „Linux Gurus“ that can tell me the problem inside my network just by analyzing 100k tcpdumps. They could tell me the header details and payloads of every package inside that dump. They invite me to watch them analyzing FCOE traffic problems with an Intel ixgbe driver.
I know that it’s not fair to say there are no real Windows Gurus with the technical background of the Linux Gurus – but I’ve much more respect for real Linux Gurus.

Question: How did you recognise the needs of such a distribution? What were the criteria for the included software?

Jigish: There is no OS including software specially created for Education that can boot from DVD or USB stick and can quickly turn into LTSP system to boot up a classroom. Software is carefully selected based on various age groups and grades, for example we have gcompris for very young students, math applications for primary to secondary level students, LAMP stack and other development tools for University students studying IT. There are applications like Moodle for teachers and Student Management Systems for administrators of educational institutions. So the popular applications that users demand are usually picked, of course maintainers for the packages on openSUSE Build Service are required first.

Lars: This answer is simple: discussions at schools, feedback from our customers.

Question: What is the purpose of openSUSE Edu Li-f-e and in what percentage that this purpose has been accomplished?

Jigish: The purpose is to provide a complete Educational OS for students, teachers, parents and administrators of school labs, with everything they require for work or fun. Going by the wide array of applications included, I’d say Li-f-e pretty much accomplished what it is meant to do.

Lars: I do not think that we’ve a general purpose of openSUSE Edu Li-f-e, so I just can tell you my own purpose: I’m learning by creating packages, ISOs and other stuff for openSUSE Edu Li-f-e and I like it if others find my contributions useful. I also hope to interest people in Linux and Education in general. I like people who are not happy until they know the deep details behind something like an OS or computer.

Question: Do you interact with other projects generally or is openSUSE Edu Li-f-e the only one? Who are those projects and what are they related to?

Jigish: Some of them, yes. KIWI-LTSP project is LTSP built with KIWI imaging system. I also worked with Compiz for some time, openSUSE Education as a team interacts and actively works with many other projects such as Gnome, KDE, Build Service etc.

Lars: Most of the projects I interact with are influencing my daily work here at SUSE. As my team is responsible for providing some of the infrastructure behind openSUSE, I like to say that I’m in contact with many other projects – and I really like to have more time in my life to get more insights in those projects.

Question: How do you see the future openSUSE Edu Li-f-e?

Jigish: Students should get the best available tools for Education, hopefully openSUSE Edu Li-f-e will fulfill the need for software and IT infrastructure of the next generation schools. Currently very few schools are using Linux, once all of them do, Li-f-e should at least be on a modest number of them.

Lars: Green? :-)

Question: How do you promote openSUSE Edu Li-f-e? Do you think you get the promotion you need?

Jigish: Social media, blogs etc. Some team members give out DVDs at events, nothing on a grand scale. No amount of promotion is enough, we have a great distribution, unfortunately the target users are unaware that something like this can even be available, that too for free.

Lars: Depends: promotion is always double edged. If you promote your project aggressively, you get much feedback that you need to deal with. If you do not promote your project, you get no feedback and end up in not respecting your customers.
If you get promoted by others, they might promote you wrong – on the other hand, they take the work away from you and show (you) their view of the project.
In the first 4 years, I did not like promotion – as there were too many rough edges that need to be fixed first. But starting with 10.2, our work promotes the project. It became a fast-selling item: people start using it and showed it to other people. And as we worked on the project since years, we were (and are) a good team knowing how to help. This also brings positive feedback and promotion.
I like to „promote“ our work with our work – and let others do the „marketing stuff“. I also like meetings with real results and action items – and no meetings where people attend just to talk.

Question: Is there anything else that you would like to add? Close this interview the way you like.

Jigish: Get involved in the project in whatever way you can, maintain packages, test, triage bugs, help new users on IRC/forums, write/improve documentation on wiki, spread the word.

Lars: I like to thank all the wonderful people I had the pleasure to meet during all the years. In the end, the „Linux for Education“ folks are just a small group – comparing to that fact, the outcome of this group is very awesome. I hope to see more people in the future who take the reins and start helping childs to grow. It’s really easy – if you find the right way to start…