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Friday, May 4, 2012

[lubuntu] A "Light Edubuntu" ?

Hello Ubuntu community!

I am new to this forum. Hope to be in the right place to comment my project. If not please tell me where should I go...

My son has an old Compaq desktop that he wants to dedicate as a PC for my four grandchildren. He have asked me to help him in this project. I am a retired System Engineer and have plenty of time; however my background does not include Linux.

I have read some reviews about Linux for Kids. Edubuntu fits most of the features we are seeking, however after installing Edubuntu 12.04, I found it is too heavy for my old PC: it took about one minute to launch a simple program and the disk is continuously working... it seems to me that the system is paging or swapping memory a lot.

I also tried some variants of "mini distros for kids". They installed and ran pretty well in my PC, but they offer a limited set of applications and have a rigid, not customizable environment.

So I am looking for a light but standard Linux distribution, satisfying most of our "wishes" via pre-packed software or compatible applications that I could acquire/download later.

I have read about Lubuntu. It sounds to be the right distro for my project, but I am afraid I will lose the rich set of applications bundled in Edubuntu. So what I seek is something like a "Light Edubuntu" :). Lubuntu includes a Lubuntu Software Center customized for Lubuntu, but I don't know if all applications bundled with Edubuntu are available there.

In summary my questions are:

  1. How well Lubuntu performs in a little PC like mine? (Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, RAM 487.7 MiB; HD 39.4 GiB)

  2. Which of the functions provided by applications bundled in Edubuntu are not supplied by apps. listed in the Lubuntu Software center?

    What I am trying to figure out is which functions (in particular functions that are interesting in a kids learning/playing/working environment) am I loosing while switching from Edubuntu to Lubuntu. Note that I said "functions", not "applications".By example, I don't care which browser comes whith it... but it should be compatible with some parental control tools.

  3. Which is the right forum or mailinng-list to request for help on specific doubts once I start using Lubuntu?

We welcome any comments from users who have experience setting up this type of environment for children in small PC's.

Thanks in advance for your attention.

Oscar Rojas

Costa Rica