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SWATTEC : Home Page > Tutorials and Help for Others > Linux on Netbooks

Please Note: While this content is relevant to the SUSD SWATTEC program, the http://ubermix.org website is the formal location for up-to-date content and information on the ubermix (SUSD Linux build), downloads, etc. 

One of the cornerstones of the SWATTEC project is the use of open-source software and Linux on netbooks. There are a number of reasons for this choice, some of which include:

  • Linux is thinner and lighter than Windows, which makes it faster and more efficient on lower powered netbooks.
  • By using free, open-source software we are able to provide students with a far broader selection of applications to use without cost or limitation.
  • Linux provides for far greater customization, as well as the creation of simpler interfaces that are easier for students and teachers to use and manage.
  • Innovative storage options enable rapid recovery from system problems, eliminating the need to "secure" or "manage" the machines.
  • Linux is not prone to spyware, malware, or other malicious software that plagues Windows-based systems.
  • We are able to distribute the same applications students use on their netbooks to parents for installation on home computers, regardless of the operating system, enabling ubiquitous technology access and empowering parents with the opportunity to learn with and assist their children with technology-driven activities.

One of our goals for this project was to try to make using a netbook as simple and reliable as a cell phone, so that our teachers  wouldn't have to spend time teaching students operating systems and students could get right to using them for creative projects. For our netbooks, we are using a customized install of Ubuntu Netbook Edition. As you can see below, the interface is quite simple and attractive (click the image for a larger view):


The interface is divided into two parts: categories on the left and application icons on the right. Non-essential applications and icons have been removed in an effort to "keep it simple". The design is extremely approachable for even the most inexperienced user, and doesn't "get in the way" of teaching and learning.

In the spirit of community fostered by open-source, we are making our custom version available to anyone who would like to use it. Our version works well on most netbooks. Further instructions on what we have done, how to get our version and install it on your netbook, and how to customize the setup are on the pages below.


jklein, 05/16/12 04:31 (GMT)

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