Category Archives: Linux for Education

Linux for Kids

Linux for Kids

Now that I have talked about Linux games it is imperative I should write something on Linux that parents can use with their supervision (this is important since some distribution might go straight to the wider web with one or two clicks).
There are many and I will dispense with the distribution first before talking about the software packages.


2.Knoppix for kids


4. DoudouLinux

5.Foresight for Kids (Latest finding that I am going to download soon)

6. SOAP (Sugar on A Plastic (means a Flash Drive)

Out of the packages GCompris comes first and SUGAR (OLPS Project) second.

I like Tux paint and Tux Typing the best though.

Some distributions incorporate these packages in the iso image but if it is not their one should not worry.
One can download from the software repository.
Latest Unity Ubuntu did not have SUGAR and in five to ten (5-10) minutes especially in the night one can download and install them.

Linux In Sinhala-Hanthana Linux included

I have waited over a decade to see a Linux version in Sinhala and finally it has arrived.

Our own Anurahdha who was an expert in Linux and especially Debian initiated it well over a decade ago and he produced an experimental version named Sinhala Linux(I still have a copy).


Then after 1994 tsunami he was drawn into presidential task force (had nothing going on at that time) to steer all web applications and e-commerce and the Sinhala project was push to a back burner.


I have been testing Live CDs (over 150 now, except Ubuntu) for the last 18 months and when I tested Debian 6, I accidentally discovered Sinhala Installation Capability which was a pleasant surprise. I downloaded all the Debian CDs and some DVDs for testing and they were pretty good.

Immediately blogged this fact at parafox and asokaplus (using them for promoting Linux 100) my rambling spaces in the web.

I am trying to distribute these Debian CDs / DVDs after thorough testing.

But I personally prefer to install them in English which is second nature to me and activate the Sinhala capability afterward since the Sinhala terminology is somewhat GREEK to me.

Mind you Debian is not for the weak minded and certainly not for a newbie or a novice.

And today I find Hanthana (I live down the Hanthana Range- on the other side of the University) Linux 3.6 GiB DVD released which is Fedora 14.

It takes 3 to 10 days to download a DVD in Sri-Lanka and very few will bother to download it.

Now I have tested all Fedora 14 releases and Fubuntu (installed only Fubuntu for further testing) and all Fedora CDs freeze in installation (tried on several of my computers) but did not bother to see Sinhala capability.

In fact because of this nuance in Fedore 14 I decided to download all the 6 (5 CDs and one netboot) Fedora (13) CDs for posterity.

It has some problem with the Grub file too.

I cut my teeth with Redhat 8 and 9.

Debian I learned many moons later.

Then again Fedora 3 was the first Linux to allow Sinhala font in Open Office and later Mandrake.

I wonder whether the introduction of Sinhala font into an experimental Linux distribution is a wise decision (hope my reservation prove wrong).

Anyway we have two robust distributions having Sinhala capability.

I hope Ubuntu will pick the trend and run faster than both of them.

I won’t pass my judgment just for a little while!

Linux Activator and Linux-100

My approach to Linux 100 was purely academic but I never thought that lot of guys. especially the guys developing Linux would care to listen to my comments with any enthusiasm and would take them with good spirit and add utilities that I tend to like the most. 

One of the utilities was PHP / MySQL Admin. since in my age and time I am tired of working on a terminal with poor eyesight and trying to work only on command line.

It is imperative that to encourage newbies that come from Microsoft background to get a hang of (good example is myself- having worked with SPSS and Access especially for my research work and trying to do some work only on terminal was anathema by itself) Linux before delving into commend line and scripts.

This is especially so when admirable utilities with graphic front has or being developed are available for wider use.

When these are incorporated in a distribution that make life easy for lot of users who are not full time administrators but have to get involved in administrative functions, especially database management ( for example in Medical Practice).

I thought only a few Linux guys especially the

newbies would be interested in my comments as a way of grumbling and wining especially coming from the windows background like a spoiled brat. 

Judging by the Linux outputs recently my reservation was ill founded.

There are lot of guys /girls with a global picture with lot of dynamism.

Another reservation is for us in the countries where download speed is hopelessly inadequate downloading a DVD is a nightmare and lot of little CDs are much better than a FAT DVD distribution with lot of utilities rarely used.

This where PCLinux was a trend setter on its own right.

It is nice to see even Fedora 14 has taken a leaf out of PCLinux history and following its foot paths.

Sabayon is doing it (of course they have been doing it independently).

Salix is introducing Live KDE.

I never thought this will happen in my life time.

There is lot of
convergence in spite of the diversity.

That is the beauty of Linux.

I hope I never made a comment to hurt any guy / girl doing hard work for Linux with shear dedication.

All my comments were in good spirit since I am a Linux fanatic by choice and not by descent.

If I had made any comments sharp, they were to tone the commercial trends and subtle insinuation by rival distributions to undermine the advance of Linux.

This is happening everyday.


I believe in small is beautiful and small (bet on the strength of the hand but not what others have-re-rival companies) is powerful when chips are down and the stock market is tumbling.

It is nice to see UK stock market is following the footsteps of US stock market even 3 years later (US probably anticipated the crisis 2 years before the event, I guess!)


Electronic Linux Professional Licentiate in Linux (Elpix-2.0) is a very good distribution sitting in the archives and gathering dust in the shelves like books written in English in our universities (nobody to read them). 

I was extremely disappointed that it is relegated to archives.

I downloaded it from Distromania archives.

It is a very good distribution not one actually two in one CD.

It has Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (long term support) as default Live as well as install.

It also has Fedora 9 KDE (I gave it up at core 3) Live and Install which is pretty good.

Both connects readily to the internet and elpicxs (German and English).

Its lessons are pretty good for a newbie.

This distribution should wipe its dust and come out of the shelf sooner than late.

I was hesitant to download the 1.4 GB thinking that I will get an old (not live) installable CD and my decision to have a go after 100 was a gutsy attempt (I am getting bit fed up with Linux now) and my gut feeling were culinary satisfied.

There is another worthwhile point there which I gathered, like the CD / DVD of the Linux Bible from Christopher Naegus bundling number of Live and Installable CD versions in a DVD saves lot of time for us SriLankans who has to spend over 24 hours to download one DVD.

Very few will go abroad like me and download a few to bring home on a holiday abroad.

This DVD with two distributions well tested, I recommend without any hesitation and I believe it should come out of the shelf (shelf life of of Linux is changing very fast) sooner than late.


Longtime ago when I knew only a little about Linux and learning it myself without a Guru I was looking for any Linux distribution I could lay hands on. 


Then I had Debian (6 CDs and Redhat 8, DemoLinux and probably Mandriva 9).


There was nobody in my city of Kandy except Anuradha (I only knew him through others and by then he had left Kandy) and when I entered a KIOSK and asked a young guy whether he had Linux CDs (he was doing hardware work (installation and menial jobs) he showed me ALT Linux probably a Redhat derivative then installed in one of the computers. 

I asked him a copy for money and he did not have (then a rewritable CD ROMs were rare to find) a CD writer to copy.

I had it at home though.

After months of delay he gave me one.

That did not work because it was written on Microsoft by Nero.

Later I found another clever guy in Colombo who used to go to Singapore to get CDs including Linux.

His copy also I could not mount and I was looking for a copy for a long time and gave it up since by that time I had host of Linux (and books which included Joy of Linux- written the style of Joy of Sex) to play with and learn.

This Colombo guy got it for me from Singapore.

The guy from Kandy went abroad and I gave him good reference and advice that included don’t bother to send me an email and do not come back to Sri-Lanka.

He followed my advice to the letter and I have lost track of him.

If he happens to read this Hello, How are you in U.K?


Then next thing I knew about ALT Linux was that there is a Russian distribution. 

I download a copy in Singapore and unfortunately that was also Russian,

Then they had 4 GB odd English version only which I could not download in Sri-Lanka.

Hear this, yesterday I downloaded two CDs (now three) from and they are pretty good.

Military style clean and organized, KDE 3 with Flash plugging.

Unfortunately it cannot mount or read Ext 4 partitions.

I expected somethings like gcompris and the like but they were not there.

Today i tested the light version live and it is almost similar to the Desktop version and in my definition and criteria it is not at all light and over 650 MiB.

But it is sleeker than the the desktop version.

Anyway I am extremely happy and now onwards I am promoting this in Sri-Lanka

Updates on ALT Linux- English Version

With much trouble I finally found a Live CD in English.

Currently I am downloading it and I’ll be with you soon.

This is a distribution that Russian Guys and Girls are using in schools.

I want to promote this in SriLanka and in our schools.

I have been in touch with the Russian Webmaster too.


I am not an Old Communist Guard but I love Russia for the leadership it gave some decades ago

Our old communists (Sri-Lankan politicians) are bum sucking here and impotent I may have to do it alone.

Only way the Russians can catch the old prestige is to master English and develop this distribution with scientific inputs and promote it in the third world.

I know Russian politicians with money are corrupt and I also know average Russian consumes a lot of Vodka but 99% of Russians are nice guys unlike Americans with or without money.

You still have lot responsibility to contribute to this world like protecting us from Hitler and Stalin.

We do not want leaders Like them in the third world emerging and eating the social fabric what we we proud of.

It is nice to see the English edition is coming from United Kingdom.

Well done Guys and Girls.
Desktop 4 is a good one and I will have a separate entry.

This CD iso I found in

Thanks Guys and Girls at biblio.og for keeping an Archive Copy.
I had trouble finding old copies of PCLinux.
Luckily a web Linux friend found me an alternative site.

I am a collector of old versions for posterity!

I saw some instructions coming from PCLinux not to download from its packages.

Where else can we find an old copy to download from?

You are doing a great service.


This live Cd is the only one where I found MySQL Admin and MySQL query in its utilities and many web applications one which looked like (I did not go deep) a visual basic variant (not Gambase)

These three additions make me to recommend it for a newbies to download and use it live.
Unfortunately one cannot install it to hard disk. Had it being I would have done more deeper digging to it’s heart.

When the next version comes I hope they read my comments and use it for special application for using MySQL with graphic applications.

I am nearing nervous nineties and I have to download few more and test them to finish my target.