Linux: Ubuntu In My Lab

What Works

What is working, in comparison to running a Windows-only lab? Well, as I said before, having a repo mirrored locally is great and allows me to add software that I may not have thought to have otherwise. This puts, “adding new software,” mostly on par with Windows. But we will go into this later. Also, the software I am getting is intentionally and legally free, and fits all my needs. I even have access to professional-quality CAD software in the form of Ubuntu-community supported QCad builds, which a few of the technical drawing teachers have been appreciative of, and one of them has dedicated himself to teaching himself QCad because sadly I know nothing of CAD software.

The biggest advantage at the moment takes the form of anti-virus. When I was administering Windows machines, I was literally re-imaging every two months because of Kenya’s virulent USB disk-based viruses. Even with anti-virus, I could never stay ahead of the curve, especially without nightly definition updates. Machines would bog down, files would start to go missing and headaches would ensue. My only solution to this, which is currently implemented on the 8 Windows partitions I maintain, is to basically deny any access to, “dirty,” flash disks, which forces teachers to bring me their disks so that I may clean them… on my Linux machine. I have yet to re-image any of my Ubuntu installs (except the one currently down), and have no intention of doing so because they all seem to be performing just as they did when I first imaged them.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Linux: Ubuntu In My Lab

  1. Great post on some of the problems with ITC in Africa. USB viruses are the bane of all volunteers existence. Do you have all your teachers put an autorun.inf folder on the drive? At least stops the virus from spreading.

    The distribution model of Linux is horribly suited for the low bandwidth experienced here, but when I used it back home in the States it was amazing! The amount of FLOSS software that is out there is amazing. Though not all of it lives up to professional standards that are definitely sufficient for everyday use. One thing I really want to do here is a photo editing class using GIMP, but the right combination of motivation and timing from my counter parts hasn’t happened yet.

    Have you looked into the games available in the Ubuntu repos. Might be another good way to get people to try them out. Personal I like simple logic games like those found in the package sgt-puzzles, but there are tons of 3-D games too.

    Thanks for the link to Camera.ie. Looks like a cool organization, need to look into it more.