Edubuntu could return in 2023 as an official flavor

Edubuntu with its new logo

It has been more than six years since we wrote about Edubuntu for the last time here in Ubunlog, or at least that's how it appears to me in the search. But the truth is that the official version for education was discontinued in 2016. Since then, anyone who wanted to use something for educational use should look for an alternative, or download Ubuntu and install everything necessary on it. That could change in 2023, which we have just entered.

The story is not exactly short, as we read in this thread from the Ubuntu Discourse. In it, Erich Eickmeyer talks about how is thinking of reviving to Edubuntu, and what has led you to make that decision. The one who had a lot to say was his wife, Amy, who has been in education in the US for 16 years. She currently works for a non-profit organization that provides early education resources to Somali refugee children in the Seattle area, and the concept of Ubuntu is an essential part of her ethos.

Edubuntu, this time with GNOME desktop

The developer went this past November to the Ubuntu Summit as Ubuntu Studio leader, and it was there that he took his wife, who realized the potential of Ubuntu and open source software in general. When they returned home they talked about bringing Edubuntu back to life, and began to assess what would happen, including planting the first seeds. Amy would be the project leader, but, let's say, in the offices, since Erich is the one who understands all this and he would be the leader in the shadows.

Among what would change from the old Edubuntu to the new one, we would have to they would use GNOME. The intention would be to build it on top of existing Ubuntu, which would ensure configurability and manageability as they would not have to "reinvent the wheel". Basically, having a solid base on which to add the software for education. The theme used would be the red variation of Yaru, which would be consistent with the logo. Speaking of the logo, it would be the one you have in the header screenshot, more or less, since it has been edited to make it look good. I would follow the evolution marked by Ubuntu, with the rectangle and the new circle of friends, but the former student raising his hand.

Future plans

As it could not be otherwise, the first point of the plans or what indicates how the new Edubuntu will be, we have the applications, which by default will include a packet for education (like Math, Science, Language, etc). As for the installer, I would use one similar to the one for Ubuntu Studio, which allows metapackages (ubuntu-edu-preschool, ubuntu-edu-primary, ubuntu-edu-secondary, ubuntu-edu-tertiary) to be installed on any official flavor of ubuntu. A meta-uninstaller would also be included to remove groups of irrelevant applications, also known as bloatware. A new web page will also be made and it is intended to reimplement the Linux Terminal Server Project component, but this after becoming an official flavor, if applicable.

Edubuntu vs UbuntuEd

Edubuntu is the veteran, the one we all know, the one that was already an official flavor. But during the time that the "king has been dead", the young Rudra Saraswat considered leaving his own "king in place". His proposal was called Ubuntu Education o ubuntued, and the intention was somewhat the same, that there would again be an official flavor of Ubuntu focused on education.

It was in July 2020 when Saraswat he presented to the community to your ubuntued, saying that it would be available in GNOME and Unity. Your desktop would be the default option, but GNOME would be installed and could be chosen from login. Now, to be honest, I don't know how serious he was.

Personally, I think that Saraswat has tried to cover too much, since we must not forget that, in addition to Ubuntu Unity, it has also developed gamebuntu y Free Web. Without talking to him, I can't tell if he intends to get it all out or his real intention was to be part of Canonical, something he has already achieved. If so, it is likely that UbuntuEd will end up being abandoned, especially knowing that the leader of Ubuntu Studio, along with his wife, intend to bring Edubuntu back to life.

If I had to bet my money, I would bet on Edubuntu, partly because it already existed under that name, partly because Erich is behind it and partly because the visible head is someone who already knows about education. Now, it remains to be seen when it becomes an official flavor. Will this be 2023?

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