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Linux For Kids

Believe it or not, there are several distributions of Linux intended for use by children as young as 3 years old. Child-oriented Linux distros tend to have a simplified interface with large, “chunky”, colorful icons and a specialized set of programs designed with kids in mind. Some of the better-known distributions aimed at children include:

1. Sugar: Sugar the operating system designed for the One Laptop Per Child project. Sugar is a radical departure from traditional desktops, with a strong emphasis on teaching programming skills, but is very strongly geared towards classroom use. Although I’m pretty comfortable using Linux, I’m afraid Sugar might be too different for me to help my nephew and niece make use of it.
Download Link: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Downloads

2. Edubuntu: Edubuntu is based on the popular Ubuntu distribution. Designed to be easy to install and very Windows-like in its operation, Edubuntu would be my first choice if I were using newer hardware. With its rich graphical interface, though, I worry that these years-old PCs, neither of which have graphic cards, will lag running Edubuntu. And given kids’ attention spans, I’m afraid that would be a major barrier to getting them to use it.
Download Link: http://www.edubuntu.org/

3. LinuxKidX: LinuxKidX uses a KDE-based desktop highly customized for children, and is based on the Slackware distro. The only drawback for me is that most of the support material is in Portuguese (although the distro I linked to is in English), making it hard for me to be confident about my ability to help if there are any problems.
Download Link: http://linuxkidx.blogspot.in/2009/03/linuxkidx-english-version-developed.html

4. Foresight for Kids: Foresight for Kids is based on Foresight Linux, a distro distinguished by the use of the Conary package manager. Conary is intended to make updates and dependencies much easier to manage than other package managers – in English, it should be easier to install and update software. On the other hand, finding software packaged for the Conary installer might be a challenge, though I expect the most popular programs are being adapted by the Foresight team.
Download Link: http://www.foresightlinux.org/foresight-kids/

5. Qimo: Qimo is another system based on Ubuntu, but designed to be used by a single home user instead of in classroom instruction. The system requirements are fairly low, since it’s designed to be run on donated equipment which Qimo’s parent organization, QuinnCo, distributes to needy kids.
Download Link: http://www.qimo4kids.com/

6. DoudouLinux: DoudouLinux is specially designed for children to make computer use as easy and pleasant as possible for them (and for their parents too!). DoudouLinux provides tens of applications that suit children from 2 to 12 years old and gives them an environment as easy to use as a gaming console. Kids can learn, discover and have fun without Dad and Mum always watching!
Download Link: http://www.doudoulinux.org/web/english/index.html


Linux Software For Kids:

1. GCompris: GCompris, a set of over 100 educational games intended to teach everything from basic computer use to reading, art history, telling time, and vector drawing.
Download Link: http://gcompris.net/

2. Childsplay: Childsplay is another collection of games, with an emphasis on memory skills.
Download Link: http://www.schoolsplay.org/

3. TuxPaint: TuxPaint, an amazing drawing program filled with fun sound effects and neat effects.
Download Link: http://www.tuxpaint.org/

4. EToys: EToys is a scripting environment, more or less. The idea is that kids solve problems by breaking them down into pieces, scripting them, and running their scripts – the same way programmers do. But the goal doesn’t seem to be to teach programming but rather to provide an immersive learning environment in which kids learn foundational thinking skills.
Download Link: http://www.squeakland.org/about/intro/

5. SuperTux: SuperTux and Secret Maryo are Super Mario clones, because kids love Super Mario. You already know that.
Download Link: http://supertux.lethargik.org http://www.secretmaryo.org

6. TomBoy: TomBoy, a wiki-like note-taking program.
Download Link: http://projects.gnome.org/tomboy/

7. TuxTyping: TuxTyping, a typing game intended to help develop basic typing skills.
Download Link: http://tux4kids.alioth.debian.org/tuxtype/index.php

8. Kalzium: Kalzium is a guide to the periodic table and a database of information about chemistry and the elements. Great for older students.
Download Link: http://edu.kde.org/kalzium/

9. Tux of Math Command: Tux of Math Command is an arcade game that helps develop math skills.
Download Link: http://tux4kids.alioth.debian.org/tuxmath/index.php


Linux is a complex operating system, but it’s also a highly customizable one – for kids, that means a system that can grow as they do and a powerful learning environment. Of course, children’s computer use should not be totally unsupervised – any kid can stumble across Web content that might be pretty uncomfortable for mom and dad to have to explain – but kids should have a chance to explore the possibilities of today’s technology and get their hands dirty, like kids do. And worst-case scenario – your 6-year old borks the operating system and you re-install. Wouldn’t you rather it was on the Edubuntu system, rather than on your mission-critical work PC? (Make sure you back up the /home directory regularly so you don’t lose all your kids’ drawings, poems, stories, or whatever.)

Do you know of other kid=friendly Linux distributions? Have you set up a Linux PC for your kids? Are their other games or programs you’d recommend? Let us know your experiences in the comments.

Most Of Part In This Article Is Copied From: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/linux-for-children.html
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