Turn your Ubuntu into Edubuntu “Lite”

If you’re like me, you want the best of all worlds 🙂

I want my Ubuntu to have all the great educational tools that are on the Edubuntu Distro, but I don’t want a separate environment.  I want to let my kids on my Ubuntu computer for an hour to play math and spelling games, but then jump right back to my work environment.

Edubuntu has a vast selection of educational programs.  You may not want (or don’t have room) to install over 500MB of new packages.  Instead, here’s the top educational tools that by adding them to your Ubuntu, your kids will certainly enjoy.  These packages will give you a good taste of the Edubuntu suite of programs before you decide if you want to add the rest.  All of these tools can easily by installed in Synaptic Package Manager, or on your terminal command line (e.g. sudo apt-get install kalzium , etc…)

kalzium screenshot
kalzium screenshot

Kalzium – Periodic table of elements

Kbruch – A great math game / skills test.  The kids (and adults) will have a lot of fun with this.  This is a KDE tool, but it works great on my Gnome Ubuntu

Khangman screenshot
Khangman screenshot

Khangman – A simple but effective visual hangman game to encourage your kids to practice their spelling. Comes with nice background choices and hints.

Tuxpaint – Tux Paint is a drawing program aimed at younger kids.  It includes audio sounds integrated with the actions being drawn.  For example, you can “stamp” a frog on the screen and hear the sound that a frog makes too.

Tux Typing – A nice typing tutor that adds a space-invader type arcade game.  You save the Linux penguin from being smothered by the falling words by correctly typing them.

Tux Math – A nice game / math learning tool integration.

Tux4Kids – Another great learning tool from the Tux group.

Gcompris – Kindergarten aged kids will love this learning program.  There are many different modules, including spelling, math, telling time, etc…  (Gnome based tool that works in Kubuntu as well)

It’s amazing that all these tools are open-source.  Grab then now and make Ubuntu that fun learning tool you always wanted for your kids.

KDE Apps on Ubuntu – The Best of Both Worlds

So you’ve decided to leave Kubuntu and headed over to the world of Gnome on Ubuntu

Who ever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

From the linux forums these days it seems that many former hard-core kubuntu users are fleeing to ubuntu after the failed-start of KDE 4.x They, and other Ubuntu users who have only known from the Gnome world, are devoid of all the rich application tools available to the KDE community.

Compusa (Systemax, Inc.)

I am not willing to leave the Ubuntu distro, as others have suggested, to try KDE on Mandriva or on other KDE driven distros. I am very familiar with Kubuntu, the command line, the tools, the whole ‘way of doing things’.

I switched to Ubuntu last week and haven’t looked back yet. What’s the key to my success? I kept most of the familiar KDE tools. Even though I’m on Gnome, I am using Amarok for music playing, Kstreamripper to save audio from my favorite streams (shh…, the best kept secret on the internet), and other KDE specific tools that I’ve been using for years and don’t want to depart from so quickly.

Adding KDE apps on Ubuntu is simple. From the command line, you can add an app by typing:

sudo apt-get install program_name

If you can’t find the KDE app you want to install, then you’ll probably need to add the app source lists for KDE tools, which can be found by search on Google and at the Kubuntu website.

On the other hand, for all us KDE users who switch to Gnome, you will be pleasantly surprised. There is a rich world of many apps that work great and are well stitched to the linux distro. I kind of wonder what it would have been like had I started on Ubuntu in the first place. I’ll discuss in a later article more in depth the greatness of the Gnome deployment on Ubuntu – especially for developers.