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Re: Need some direction with edu packages ported from ubuntu to debian


On  Mo 02 Jul 2018 12:56:32 CEST, Dashamir Hoxha wrote:

On Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 2:13 PM Wolfgang Schweer <w.schweer@gmx.de> wrote:

To my understanding it's all about:
(1) the meta-package namespace
(2) the approach how to organize the educational packages into
(3) the list of packages such a meta-package recommends.

ad 1) I propose to use the Debian Edu Blends approach; this makes detailed
      information about packages available for interested people, see:
      That said, meta-packages should be maintained as Debian Edu tasks,
      see: https://salsa.debian.org/debian-edu/debian-edu

ad 2) Debian Edu is organizing educational packages by topic, Edubuntu
      by education level. IMO there's no reason against level related
      Debian Edu meta-packages in addition; actually, the meta-package
      education-primaryschool is already one.

ad 3) Edubuntu seems to recommend by far less packages compared to
      Debian Edu (with some newer ones like gcompris-qt, scratch,
      thonny definitely missing). So maybe there could be level related
      Debian Edu meta-packages with a base set of recommended packages
      (revised Edubuntu list), and additional suggested packages.
      These meta-packages come to my mind:
      - education-preschool
      - education-primaryschool (already existing, to be modified)
      - education-secondaryschool
      - education-highschool (like ubuntu-edu-tertiary)
      - education-university

Education level related meta-packages might also come in handy as far as
the Debian Edu modular installation approach (still work in progress) is
concerned, see:


I agree that level related meta-packages can be useful to DebianEdu,
in addition to topic related meta-packages. This gives users better choices
about what to install.

/me nods.

About the namespace of the meta-packages, I also see packages starting
with `debian-edu-` (for example if you try `apt list debian-edu-*`)
But if you say that `education-*` is the right namespace to use, I would

The education-* bin:pkgs come from the debian-edu src:package.

Ideally, you put your education-level-based meta-package also into the debian-edu src:package.

All the other debian-edu-* packages relate to pre-configuring Debian Edu systems in the school network (-install and -config) or to special artwork (-artwork-*).

The meta-package `education-university` that you propose does not seem
useful to me, because unlike the other levels of study, the topics of study
on this level are too broad, so you cannot suggest a list of packages that
can be useful for everyone (or the list would be huge). Topic meta-packages
are more useful for this level of study.

I agree. Anything could be put in -university.

If we can depend on your help and support, I would encourage the student
(Deepanshu) to create the relevant Debian Edu tasks (about the meta-packages
that you mentioned: education-preschool, education-primaryschool,
education-secondaryschool, education-highschool) on the salsa repository.
This should not be a difficult task for him.

Deepanshu can file merge request on Debian's GitLab instance salsa.debian.org. He can sign up for a guest account on salsa.debian.org under

As far as I know, due to missing contributors Edubuntu is LTS since 2014
with supposed EOL in 2019, see:

Unfortunately yes, Edubuntu is not an official Ubuntu flavor anymore.

Mainly because Jonathan is now working on Debian stuff and also on other topics and Stéphane has also shifted his focus to LXD project lead. However, I am not sure if he even works for Canonical anymore.

But as long as the meta-packages are maintained (which is not a difficult
this is OK, since they can be installed on any Ubuntu flavor or derivative.
I have also suggested the student (Deepanshu) to think about becoming
an Edubuntu maintainer, if he likes.
But this is not a requirement for this GSoC project.

It took me a bit to find the project description:


Also, to my understanding, the Virtual LTSP Server project intends to be
sort of an replacement for it (as a classroom installation), obviously
involving people with teaching experience.

Virtual LTSP is not exactly a replacement for Edubuntu. Rather it is an
attempt to offer an easy installation and usage of LTSP in a classrom.

How do you handle the DHCP / PXE boot stuff in a class room that already has DHCP setup for the site?

How will the clients be booted?

It is inspired by the observation that secondary and high schools in Albania
mostly have a classroom of old computers and that's all, no complex IT
infrastructure. These computers usually are connected to a LAN and have
access to internet. They already have Microsoft Windows installed and nobody
will give you permission to replace it with Linux (since they claim that


Microsoft tools is required by the official educational program).


Maybe they
will allow you to make them dual boot, but it is too much work to install,
maintain and update all of them (and nobody will pay you for a work that
they did not ask you to do, and you just do it for fun).


In these conditions it would be easier to have a LTSP server on a virtual
on your laptop, with all the programs that the students need to use (like
kturtle, scratch, etc.) and boot the computers of the classroom from the

As LTSP FAT Clients or LTSP thin clients? I would get scared of having 15+ students logged into a VBox instance on my notebook.

With LTSP Fat Clients, this might work, depending on the client hardware in computer labs.

You should definitely look at two LTSP extras:

  desktop-autoloader (makes only sense, if clients get booted before class

Maybe this is specific only to Albania, no other countries are in such
conditions, but I think that it is still a useful and interesting project.

I am pretty sure that there are other countries that are in a similar bad or possibly even worse condition.

In fact, it does not seem so much different from some school situations I encounter here in Germany.

Joining forces to identify, evaluate and package educational applications
seems to be useful.

I agree with this. Thanks for your help and support.

Thanks for all the extra infos.



mike gabriel, herweg 7, 24357 fleckeby
mobile: +49 (1520) 1976 148
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