Pop quiz: what as the name of the education-focused flavour of Ubuntu that was tailored towards students, teachers, and schools?

Answer: Edubuntu — and guess what? It’s coming back to class.

Edubuntu arrived on the scene in 2005 when it debuted as part of the Ubuntu 5.10 “Breezy Badger” series. The scholastic spin continued to issue new releases up until Edubuntu 14.04 LTS which, due to a lack of contributors, wound up being its final release an official favour.

Fast forward to 2023 and the forgotten flavour is feeling optimistic about its future.

During its original run Edubuntu was available variously as a LiveCD, a LiveDVD, and as a series of packages users could install atop a regular Ubuntu release. Curating and shipping educational software and tools was always the core focus, with GNOME and Unity desktops driving the core UI during its original tenure.

Ubuntu Studio’s Erich Eickmeyer and his wife Amy, whose background is in education, are the ones stepping up to reboot and revive this spin. They’ve reams of ideas, plans, and goals under their collective sleeves and seem well-placed to help reposition this flavour for a new generation.

So what’s tentatively planned for Edubuntu 23.04?

  • Will use the same desktop and apps as regular Ubuntu
  • New logo
  • Will use Yaru’s red theme by default
  • Default application folders by education subject (Math, Science, Language, etc.)
  • An installer based on Ubuntu Studio’s
  • Curated software metapackges based on age (ubuntu-edu-preschool, etc.)
  • A meta uninstaller to quickly remove ‘groups of irrelevant applications’

Plus, no doubt, other aims will arise as the foundations and frameworks are laid and feedback from enthusiasts and educators rolls in.

The aim is to take part in the Ubuntu 23.04 release this April and, if all goes well, re-apply to become an official Ubuntu flavour.

Read through the announcement post on the Ubuntu Discourse for more details on what’s planned and, perhaps mos importantly, how you can get involved in the revival to help spread the use, adoption, and access to free and open source software in education.

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