Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

R. Scott Belford scott at
Tue Dec 11 18:14:23 GMT 2007

I have been using, supporting, or advocating for thin client computer 
labs for 5 years.  I've always tracked the K12LTSP project.  Beginning 
about 3 or 4 years ago, I began tracking the Skolelinux, now debian-edu, 
project.  By tracking I mean that I subscribe to their user's mailing 
lists and watch the action.  I have given a substantial portion of my 
time, energy, and income to promote FOSS in education.

I am very disillusioned with Edubuntu, the leadership (or lack thereof) 
and the false claims of functionality.  I'll start with the last issue - 
false claims of functionality.  Please read the release notes for 7.10,

"The Edubuntu classroom server install builds on the functionality from 
the previous release simplifying common Linux classroom server 
deployment processes. It includes the very latest thin client software, 
LTSP-5. Thin client deployments offers clients a lower TCO (total cost 
of ownership), simpler installation and easier maintenance than typical 
IT deployments. With all data stored on the server, administrators have 
substantially eliminated the cost of updating individual workstations to 
ensure their security."

We can't say that 7.10 built on the functionality of 7.04 - it actually 
regressed.  Now, if you are upgrading from 7.04, I guess that you can 
get away with that claim since new installations don't work for most, 
but upgrades from 7.04 seem to mask the bugs.  We *definitely* cannot be 
making the claim that "Thin client deployments offers clients a lower 
TCO (total cost of ownership), simpler installation and easier 
maintenance than typical IT deployments".  The K12LTSP can, Debian-edu 
can, but Edubuntu has absolutely no right.  We can't even support the 
same older clients used by 7.04 (without hacking an lts.conf file).

Now, for the lack of leadership, please take a look at the recent 
release note for Debian-edu

and the centralized, updated, and consistent documentation for it

Is there *anyone* in the Edubuntu community either a. working on a r1 
release for all the bugs in 7.10 or b. working on consistent 
documentation for the varying incompatible releases?  If so, then where, 
so I can help.  If not, then why not, and should we change this?  I have 
tried to find ways to help by starting here

> If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

which took me to here

>  Getting involved
> We use Launchpad to track the Edubuntu teams. Even if you can't program, there are many ways to get involved with the Edubuntu project, whether it's documentation, testing, packaging, artwork, or reviewing of material.
> If you'd like to get involved, please send an e-mail to the edubuntu-devel mailing list, explaining where you would like to get involved, and how you would like to contribute.

So I went to Launchpad to search for edubuntu, and, well, there is no 
way to help.  I've been looking at the edubuntu-devel list, but there is 
no discussion amongst developers addressing the issues that arise on the 
users mailing list.  In fact, I see people asking for help, and getting 
none, on the developers list.

Last week I asked this question

> It seems in so many ways that 7.10 is a debacle.  There, I said it. Were there *any* production labs using a mixture of older clients that successfully tested the upgrade procedure from 7.04 to 7.10 *before* the release?  If not, are there *any* production labs actively participating in the bug squashing for the next release so that these problems never happen again?  I am personally offering myself to help, but I am not sure if any of the developers are actually on this list.

I am no troll.  I am the person that the FOSS community needs if we are 
going to grow past an insular morass of slightly advanced and eager 
computer enthusiasts.  We cannot be Edubuntu and claim to be Linux for 
Human Beings while going AWOL when the Human Beings struggle with our Linux.

Edubuntu is doing a tremendous disservice to the FOSS community by 
riding on the coattails of the K12LTSP and Debian-edu while pretending 
to be just as capable.  People are being fooled, drawn in, and then 
disappointed.  This is not honorable.

Is there anyone around capable, willing, and prepared to keep this from 
happening in future releases?


R. Scott Belford
Founder/Executive Director
The Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation
P.O. Box 2644
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
808.689.6518 phone/fax
scott at

More information about the edubuntu-users mailing list