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debian-edu in Ireland.

Hi folks,

I recently gave a talk at the Irish Linux User Group [0] AGM, proposing
a community led project aimed at rolling out Linux in schools in
Ireland [1].

Things are in their early stages, and I'm looking for some guidance and
information. In my presentation [2], I discussed two things - Firstly, the
Schools Broadband Program [3] [4], followed by the wonderful
architecture of Skolelinux and then going to the floor for some
discussion of the project. The talk seemed to go down well, and I have
some good contacts and some volunteers out of this.

What I think is both achievable and cool would be to offer a branded,
integrated debian-edu based Custom Debian Distribution. Because we will
have a standard network with defined services, I think that it will be
useful to have a Linux platform customised for this, and branding will
help the initiative - for example, there is a Debian mirror [5] on the
backbone of the Schools Broadband network, DHCP will be running on the
CPE in the schools, every school will have ample routable IPv4/IPv6
addresses, there will be a web proxy in place, etc. - additional
services will be offered, like web-hosting and email that changes the
requirements of the services that will be run in the schools.

Am I correct in thinking that building a CDD based almost entirely on
Skolelinux/debian-edu is the correct way to go this? Are there any
massive disadvantages that I am not thinking of?

Regarding branding, I recognise that crediting debian-edu is important,
however the promotion task will be easier if it is clear to schools that the
software is customised for their requirements. The current plan is to call
the project "scoil-linux" (scoil is Irish for schools!). Would do you
think of this approach?

It is hoped that by placing Linux in schools, we will get more
volunteers to help out with the localisation and development of the
underlying packages, and these will, of course, be fed back into
debian-edu. While there will be some difference in the documentation
requirements, I would think that most documentation produced would be
relevant to debian-edu.

Once we have the platform operational and the volunteers are comfortable
with it, we will start contacting schools etc. - your guidance here
would be much appreciated!

Incidentally, my day-job is as a systems administrator for the Schools
Broadband network in HEAnet, it's through my work there that I've seen
the need for an inexpensive, supportable platform in schools.

Thanks for your time,

[0] http://www.linux.ie/pipermail/ilug/2004-October/019275.html        
[1] http://www.linux.ie/pipermail/ilug/2004-October/019294.html
[2] http://www.redbrick.dcu.ie/~singer/ilug-talk.pdf
[3] http://www.ncte.ie/Broadband/ProgrammeOverview/
[4] http://www.heanet.ie/services/services.php?serID=122&subID=34
[5] http://ftp.heanet.ie/about/

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