The best Linux distro for schools?

In today's open source roundup: Which Linux distro is best for schools? Plus: Wine 1.7.51 released released. And how Chromebooks have improved over the years


The best Linux distribution for schools?

Linux has much to offer students in any school. But choosing the right distribution can be a bit tricky as one redditor discovered when he was chosen to teach his school's staff about Linux. Fortunately, he got a bunch of helpful suggestions from fellow Linux users. 

Hessesian asked his question in the Linux subreddit:

I am about to teach about linux to school staff, which will come to contact with linux world for the first time.

It is also my duty to recommend them system to be used, and because my individual knowledge isn't end-all-be-all, I will take any good experience and advice.

Have you installed linux en masse ? Do you have valuable insight that I don't ?

Please share, that's what community is about :)

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His fellow Linux redditors responded with their thoughts:

Bjornoss: ”You should take a look at Debian Edu[1] "Debian Edu is a complete and free "out of the box" software solution for schools that reduces costs, prolongs the lifetime of hardware and covers almost every aspect of the schools’ IT needs."”

Sssam: ”You probably don't want to be doing big updates every 6 months, so find something with several years of support. (Debian, Ubuntu LTS or Redhat/centos). You'll want a deployment/management system. (Kickstart, puppet, Landscape). For a DE, something like GNOME or Unity will make it harder for users to break things. For example they can't accidentally remove the menu bars.”

Seminallyme: ”...Linux Mint does have a lot going for it. It's based on Ubuntu with an easier use philosophy that supports proprietary software with the same level of LTS. It would be more useful out of the box, being able to support all the major codecs and Flash(for what it's worth) and Java.”

Gutigen: ”Considering this is for mass desktop deployment at school where kids are suppose to learn I would go with the most popular, solid, polished and stable desktop distro out there - Ubuntu LTS. Everything else is great in some areas, Ubuntu is really good at everything (not best, but good).”

Korgtronix: ”Choose one with a familiar layout to windows. It will make life easier for you if you dont use something like unity as you will get inevitable "where is so so and so application" "windows is so much easier." I would recommend start with something like debian with xfce (panel at bottom) to make it easier from a documentation point of view and ease of use”

Headbite: ”I find the opposite to be true. By using a desktop that looks nothing like windows new users better understand that they are on a new system. I would go with gnome. It's the most phone/tablet like which I think is what's more familiar to people. People spend more time on their mobile devices.”

ZombieWithLasers: ”Debian Stable with KDE or Cinnamon installed. Personally, I'd go KDE. With Debian, you have a large package repository, some third party package support, and a long stable release cycle with a clear upgrade path for future releases.”

Omicronxi: ”If you install linux on 200 computers I would first think about how to rollout/provision them. There is a great project called "" which also has a good wiki for setting everything up. They recommend Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.”

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