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Old 07. Feb 2011, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Linux Distro For Kids

With web threats becoming ever more common and threatening, keeping your kids safe online is a constant worry.

Doudou Linux removes this threat totally via a CD distribution which only runs as a live environment. This means that it cannot be corrupted or otherwise interfered with like a fully installed system. In the event that little fingers do manage to prevent something working, then a simple reboot restores everything back to its original format. Doudou Linux cannot access your local files and folders and it makes no internet connections other than those instructed by the user.

Doudou claims to be suitable for children aged only 2 and above and this is clearly reflected in their choice of desktop. Most of the included applications require no notion of files and folders and their respective operations can be run without having to “read” anything.

The system itself is Debian based and complete on download, requiring no additions, updates or administration settings.

As you might expect it contains a wide variety of games for both educational and fun use.

The latest version ships with real-time web content filtering so you don't have to worry about your kids accessing inappropriate sites.

Because of local conditions affecting my own internet connection at the moment, I've not been able to have an in-depth look at DouDou myself yet, but I do intend to accomplish this over the next week or so.
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Old 07. Feb 2011, 01:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would like to see a persistent version of linux to run off a USB drive. Everything runs straight from memory but still allows changes to be saved to the USB. I'm thinking in terms of a twelve year old who I want to open the world of linux to. If he breaks the system I can just do fresh install on the thumb drive.
Web filtering should be included as well.

I am fond of Puppy Linux but in his words (the games are really lame). I have run Ubuntu from a USB drive but I believe I ran into problems because I only had 2 gigs of memory.

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Old 08. Feb 2011, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thats easy wdhpr, just select the thumb drive as your install target when you install the distro.

~Jeff
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Old 08. Feb 2011, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff91 View Post
Thats easy wdhpr, just select the thumb drive as your install target when you install the distro.

~Jeff
From the Doudou Linux article
Quote:
USB key startup specificities

This works like the CDROM startup except that you don’t need to switch the machine on quickly to be able to insert the USB key! However, only recent machines are able to start using an USB key (≥ about year 2004). Moreover USB key startup is not so frequently activated even if the machine can do this. In this case you need to find at computer startup the key which displays the boot menu or to change the startup options in the BIOS.

Main USB key version advantages are the following:

* easier to carry
* silent
* faster than CDROM [4]
* modified data can be recorded on the media directly (see persistance)

The drawback is that activating USB key startup in the computer may be a very technical operation. The USB key version is then targeted at people who feel comfortable enough with their computer. We plan to build in the future a CD that just starts the USB key for you so that no obscure tuning will be required anymore.
Thanks Jeff

Actually I never got this far with the article.
After giving it a quick look I thought my 12 year old may think he's too old for this. I'm finding out twelve year old boys can be a little hard to please. He's already playing battlefield type games on the Internet.

Anyway after giving it a closer look I may give it a try and hope he at least gives it a chance. The idea is, he will be curious enough to a play around with it.

Then again I could always change the password for his Windows log in
(Youth and skill will never overcome age and tyranny)

Wdhpr

Last edited by wdhpr; 08. Feb 2011 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Had to add the last bit
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Old 08. Feb 2011, 07:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also for younger kids Qimo http://www.qimo4kids.com/page/What-is-Qimo.aspx
"Qimo is a desktop operating system designed for kids. Based on the open source Ubuntu Linux desktop, Qimo comes pre-installed with educational games for children aged 3 and up.

Qimo's interface has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use, providing large icons for all installed games, so that even the youngest users have no trouble selecting the activity they want"
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Old 08. Feb 2011, 07:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdhpr View Post
After giving it a quick look I thought my 12 year old may think he's too old for this. I'm finding out twelve year old boys can be a little hard to please. He's already playing battlefield type games on the Internet.
My 12 y/o really enjoyed installing first Crunchbang and then Ubuntu 10.10 in dual-boot with Vista and then just tweaking them and generally playing with those o/s and having fun and learning.
Current favourite is Lego Universe ... it's not just bricks these days!
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Old 16. Feb 2011, 06:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I finally got a chance to look at this in a bit more detail and it really is quite appealing except for one thing. DoudouLinux failed to recognize my very common wifi setup and there is no way to change this without going through the whole drivers/packages/dependencies routine.
I contacted the developer and their response was that extra drivers were not included because they were unsure of a subsequent ability to fit everything else onto a single CD. They also said that "internet connectivity was not a priority, but this is changing".

A new release of DoudouLinux is due at the end of this month or early March so I think I'll wait to see if this issue is addressed then. I appreciate the internet isn't a priority for two year olds but the main target audience will certainly want it, so it needs to be easy to achieve.
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