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Want to turn a laptop into a Linux kids computer

Doug Van
Doug Van asked
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Last Modified: 2017-06-05
Hello all,

Is there an up-to-date Linux distribution that is pre-configured and geared towards Children (age 9).

What I mean is that ideally, I would like a distribution that includes:
- Simplified menu of kids apps (locked)
- Built-in Web restrictions filter
- Kid friendly email app
- Some kid friendly programming tools.
- Ideally suited to young girls.
- etc.

My options so far...
  • Older distribution (last update about 2 years ago) - Like http://www.edubuntu.org/ - I've already installed this but it loads up like a regular Ubuntu interface... no simplified menu.
  • Chrome OS Linux distribution. At least, this is a simplified UI and there are plenty of Chrome apps such as WebFilter Pro.

Thank you
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Doug VanTechnical Writer

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Commented:
Hello all,

Thank you so much for your suggestions.

So far, I like Sugarlabs but it seems like a lot of work is required but I'll spend a little more time investigating this option before making a final decision.

I also really like Abdelouahed's suggestion for doudoulinux. My only concern is that the distribution seems like it is four years old.

Overall, I am really disappointed that it appears as though there are few kid educational Linux distributions available... especially ones that are up to date. I suppose, I might be more motivated to build my own if it were for my child. Maybe I should do this anyway, if none of the options presented are good enough to meet my expectations. :)

I am looking for simple because this eight year old girl has zero knowledge about computers... the parents are sadly a bit like Luddites and I worry this young lady will grow up ill prepared for the modern world. I'm donating a computer with as many educational tools/games (emphasis on educational games) that are age appropriate and engaging enough to keep her interested.

What do you recommend for an introduction to programming or other educational games? She will have ZERO support from her parents so I would love to find one or more programs that will get her excited about learning programming and other knowledge.

Thank you.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Doug VanTechnical Writer

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Commented:
Thanks for the additional comments.

Special thanks to Shaun Vermaak for www.gethopscotch.com/ and Tynker... although this isn't quite relevant to my original question, this looks like a great resource that I was previously unaware of.

I guess everyone ran out of ideas for a kid-friendly and up-to-date Linux distro? LOL

I'm still evaluating the earlier suggestions. Thanks again.
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)
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Doug VanTechnical Writer

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Commented:
Thank you Natty. I'll review that one when I get home this evening. :)
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)
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You're welcome
Doug VanTechnical Writer

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Commented:
It was disappointing to learn that Doudou Linux is also a fairly old distribution. But I've downloaded it and will test it tomorrow.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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You got lots of good information, you should come back and close the question.
Doug VanTechnical Writer

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Commented:
I had some technical problems getting the Doudou Linux distro to boot... then I was distracted by another project. I'll get back on this tonight.

I just sent myself a reminder. Thank you for your patience. :)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
The question came us as abandoned, and so that is why I posted. Please let us know as you are able to
Doug VanTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Thanks John.

I think EE's abandonment algorithm is a bit too aggressive. LOL

I determined that the Doudou Linux distro (on USB memory) is corrupted. I should have tested it b/f going to my sister's home (poor Internet connection there).

I'll try again this coming weekend.

But I have tested it in a VM and it isn't as nice/friendly as I had hoped. What I am really hoping for is a kiosk-style Linux shell that I can customize with selected children's educational apps.

If I was the parent, I wouldn't worry about a simplified interface because I would teach my own child but my niece won't get that kind of technical guidance from her parent (unfortunately) b/c they barely understand computers.

I'll grade the responses by Sunday. Thanks again to all.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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The question remains abandoned. Please follow up
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Answers provided, author has abandoned despite reminders.
Doug VanTechnical Writer

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Commented:
Hi John (et al),

I've been travelling so I haven't had time to follow up since that laptop failed.

It's not booting so I'll need to swap out its old hard drive. :(  I'll grade and close this message but also provide an update after I am able to reinstall the recommended Linux distros.

Thanks again to all.
Doug VanTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Oh... I see, it's already graded. Sorry I missed my opportunity.

Still, if anyone is interested in my follow-up, watch for an update in the coming weeks.
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