Linux empowers computer laboratories at schools !

Hanthana Linux project, founded around two years ago is now reaching it’s basic objectives. School computer laboratories were equipped with operating systems which require license and most of the installations were pirated copies. Things began to change recently.

The pilot project of nine computer laboratories with more than 200 computers, recently facilitated by the Ministry of Education entirely operate only on Hanthana Linux. Several other schools having grants from the world bank to better equip their laboratories have decided to shift to Linux operating system. They have the advantage of saving money spending to buy licensed software unnecessarily and from thus saved money, complete the computer network of their laboratories.

Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda, Richmond College, Galle, Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, Ferguson High School, Ratnapura, Sahira College, Gampola, Udayagiri College, Ampara and Maithreepala Sirisena College, Madawachchiya have received with computers by the Ministry of Education with Hanthana Linux as the only operating system. Wickramabahu College, Gampola and several others have started using Hanthana Linux in their computer laboratories.

At this point of writing, number of computers running Hanthana Linux as the only operating system in school computer laboratories exceeds 250.


Hanthana Linux deployment at Bandaranayake College, Gampaha.

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Training sessions for teachers on how to use Hanthana Linux to fulfill the educational needs have already started. Coordination of those sessions are done by the Information and Communication Technology Branch of the Ministry of Education. Selected teachers from education zones are trained at the National Institute of Education.

Issues that Linux address

Although at times a school receives a licensed copy of an operating system as a donation they hardly can install a newer version later of it since the school has no money to pay for the license.

Though it is a licensed operating system, threats from viruses remains the same. To keep them away, new software has to be bought and installed. With Hanthana Linux there is no hassle from viruses since the threat from those are minimum and the latest security updates are available on the internet to be downloaded for free.

In general there comes a bundle of useful software with a Linux system and they all are installed in less than a 30 minutes time.

The finance for basic laboratory infrastructure for most of the laboratories are as foreign debt. With licensed software what happens it that we have pay the foreign for licenses. Further the quality of the software which comes free with Linux operating system are in good standards.

Sri Lanka is a developing country depending highly on foreign debts. In such a scenario projects like Hanthana Linux saving the flow of money to multi national companies and selecting qualitative options are of national importance.

8 Replies to “Linux empowers computer laboratories at schools !”

  1. Linux is a mature system suitable for any situation. Of course, it has been leading in the server and appliance sectors for years.

    I downloaded Hanthana. It is 3.6 GB! That is way too big. You must have a DVD drive for it and also a fair size hard drive. (Will you allow this reply to publish when I am running down Hanthana?). Besides, there is nothing special for Langkaa in it, except the name. I am particularly attracted to the name because I lived the earlier part of my life in Kandy in Mulgampola my house facing the mountain… memories of the past… Mahaveli ganga… Elephant Bath… Peradeniya Gardens… Peradeniya Unniversity … Easala Peraheara etc.

    My humble opinion is that going for a system that unnecessarily requires expensive hardware is a bit vain. (Feeling rich is good, but being actually rich to waste is not so good). One of the primary purposes of Linux is conservation. I am a member of NTLUG. That is the way we think here in North Texas. If I mention this project to them, they’ll be surprised why we go for an expensive system when a cheaper but equally good (arguably even better) system could be had.

    I propose that you also try Puppy Linux. It was specifically started to counter the crime of throwing away perfectly good computers.

    Puppy Linux was a response Microsoft’s conspiracy to work with hardware vendors to sell new computers. The US Federal Government refused to buy Windows Vista because it requires new hardware. So, M$ was forced to make Windows 7 to be able to sell to the government.

    I have both Windows XP and 7, but most of the time I use the Live CD Puppy Linux with a USB drive because it is lightening fast and I could work on the Windows files through Linux. Instead of bloated Open Office, I use AbiWord.
    See comparison:

    GNumeric is used to work on Excel files. In my daily work, I help people running Windows by connecting online using TeamViewer through Linux!

    Puppy Linux can make everyone carry their ‘personal computer’ inside a USB drive. Imagine every child is given a USB drive and they could work in the Library that is setup with diskless computers with a CD drive. The school library needs only computers with 1GB RAM. That is the amount of memory I have on my workhorse computer running Windows XP, 7 and Puppy Linux. I haven’t tried graphic programs. The CPU is Intel Celeron 2 GHz old Dell machine.

    There are very rich people in Langkaa who probably throw away old computers to buy new ones for their spoiled brats. What you could do is to offer to haul the ‘junk’ away. And we can make computers for school libraries on the penny without compromising on anything. Where am I wrong?


  2. All the best Linux Hanthana, Let LINUX empower Sri Lanka.

    Opensource will someday RULE

  3. @Jc. how big is Puppy Linux and how do I get into working with windows based programs through Linux?
    I have teamviewer on my pc running XP

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