Hanthana Linux 17 (i386) released 3 weeks ago received overwhelming feedback from the existing and new users from all over the world with over 9000 downloads so far (over 15,000 altogether) and growing.
Many of our user were eagerly waiting for the 64-bit release, and we apologize for the delay in release. We hate to keep our community waiting but unavoidable technical challenges kept us from releasing this earlier.
You may find it hard to believe that Hanthana Linux released are build on personal laptop computer. And in Sri Lanka we are faced with less than 1Mbps internet connection speeds when uploading ISO files to the mirror servers.
Plans are underway to get a cloud based build server and we are in need of donations to get this project move forward.
Let us know if you willing donate a system with at least 3GB of RAM capacity, 50GB of Disk Space and root access to build next, release of Hanthana Linux. We will use this server only for build purpose.
Please contact us on info [at] hanthana [dot] org.
You generous donations are welcome!
Project began with the goals of Introducing and promoting Free and Open Source Software to the masses, especially to those with low technical knowledge, no access to the Internet or under privileged, and has now been deployed in a lot of schools, individuals, private sector offices, public sector institutes and government offices.
Hanthana Linux operating system was officially released on the 19th of September 2009 and by now the the number of copies distributed by the Hanthana Linux Project and individuals has counted up to the thousands. According to the SourceForge website, just one of the repositories that provides the distribution, there’s over 6000 downloads from all over the world. From those, at least 8 countries (excluding Sri Lanka) has downloaded a minimum of 100 copies and atleast 96 countries has at least one download.
This information excludes the local repository, LEARN, which is used by Sri Lankans as well as the Ibiblio repository.
The School Labs project which was inaugurated in 2012 by the Hanthana Linux project has already facilitated labs to 2 schools already and is planned to provide for more schools.
Schools in the Walapane educational zone of the Nuwara Eliya district and in the Kebithigollewa educational zone of the Anuradhapura district are next in this project and you too can join this project in facilitating IT knowledge to underprivileged school children in these areas.
Hanthana Linux is not just another Fedora respin. As a project it facilitates the deployment of Free and Open source Software amongst the everyday PC user as well as the localization of FOSS software,Documentation and provide training workshops as well.
Hanthana Linux is not a commercial product. Its a project for the betterment of the community by the community.
While the initiative to provide computer labs for schools project is going forward as planned, a project to bring PCs in the classroom for primary schools was held as a pilot project was held at the Malalgoda Siriseewali Primary School. Invest a few moments of your precious time to see the feedback and opinions of the students, teaches and parents when Hanthana was provided for them for the very first time…
Proving the saying “Only the Best for the children”, Hanthana Linux was introduced to the school children of the Malalgoda Siriseewali Primary school which is located in the Habaraadoowa Educational zone of the Imadhoowa Provincial Council within the Galle District, on the 30th of January 2012.
This school had been closed down for around one year and was re opened on the 16th of January 2012 under the 1000 Schools initiative. The school comprises of 15 students, Grade 1 class teacher, an English teacher and the principal.
The opening was made possible entirely due to the work done by the locals and the parents, the majority of whom are estate workers and private sector employees. Another special point to highlight here is that a family, who’s father is a labourer and the mother employed as a house keeper abroad, donated the PC which was worth about 12000/- Rupees. Upon inquiring from the mother, she said that had her child had to go to another school (due to this school being closed down), they will have to spend 1200/- a month for three wheeler charges and it totals out to around 12000/- a year and rather than spending that amount just for travelling, she’s happy to spend it on a PC for her child as well as other children for the their education.
Far thinking parents of this schools, such as her, were instrumental in getting Hanthana Linux installed and help the primary education. Also need to highlight that other parents who labour during the day, spend sleepless nights dedicated on maintaining and repairing the school buildings and equipment. These villages personify “lead by example” from the sacrifices they make to educate their children.
On the first day Hanthana was used for the primary education several things of note took place. As there was only one PC, the multimedia projector of the Habaraaduwa Educational Zone Office was used in the class to illustrate the theories for the various subjects using the Educational Software Packages that comes with Hanthana Linux. Especially the “Identifying Colours” lesson. In contrast to other occasions, the children partook the lesson most enthusiastically and constantly requested their teacher to allow them to use these software by themselves. This bought many a happy tear to the eyes of the Director of Education for the Habaradoowa Educational Zone, who attended the occasion, as well to the principal and the parents who were present.
“I’m hungry.. I’m hungry…” the lunch time grumble that comes up everyday were not be heard on this day as the kids were so engrossed with computer aided lessons.
The teachers agreed that teaching subject concepts and theory using the educational software were extremely easy as opposed to other methods. Also even after the school time was over the children were still in class on this day.
As the students are the focal point in the educational system within the school, a single PC and multimedia projector is hardly sufficient. There should be at least a PC for every four students for this to properly work out. In areas such as these where the majority of the people are low income earners, the parents hardly has the capability to sponsor the required number of PCs and equipment. External sponsorship is highly important for cases like these.
A qualitative school education system helps the whole nation to grow. Therefore the Hanthana Community is committed to the task of building the school IT education using Hanthana Linux through the Hanthana School Labs Project.We hope that you’ll join us.
Come lets pave the way for these children to Sign in to the future…
Hanthana Linux team, with the collaboration of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, is about to a conduct an awareness event on Free and Open Source Software and Hanthana Linux on 7th and 8th of February at “Deyata Kirula 2012″ Education and Trade exhibition which is held at Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura in line with the 64th Independence Day. Lectures series which 100 people can participate at a time, opportunity to use free and open source software installed on computers and people will get the chance to get their queries answered.
Following topics will be covered in lecture series.
Free and Open Source Software
Free and Open Source Software for education
Hanthana Linux project
Contribution for Free and Open Source Software
Free and Open Source Software launched and sponsored by ICTA
Get to know about Free and Open Source Software, visit ICTA stall at Deyata Kitula exhibition premises on 7th and 8th of February. Please be kind enough to spread the word to teachers and students of North Central Provincial area as well as to other who wish to visit the exhibition.
Apart from that Information Technology Unit of the Ministry of Education is about to conduct a awareness session of Free and Open Source Software in their stall.
For Deyata Kirula, Hanthana Linux 15.5 was released and ICTA has made arrangements to deliver a copy of the operating system for those who need at the exhibition premises. Visit this link to get the latest version. Danishka, Bandula, Kalhara and Hiranya representing Hanthana Team will assist you in Deyata Kirula exhibition premises.
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.
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.