Computing is neither very safe nor cheap for children. We wanted to create a solution for an operating system that can be installed on old, recycled and refurbished computers that will be donated to title I schools and 501(3)s.
What it does
When you install an operating system such as Ubuntu, you download a ISO file, which contains an image of a minimal working system. Our image contains a couple of modifications, which make setting up computers for schools significantly simpler.
This image is bundled with Google Chrome (64 bit), or Chromium (32 bit). With Google Apps for Education integrated into the technological backbone of many schools, Google Chrome is the perfect browser for accessing these vital tools for success.
This image is also bundled with a basic antivirus, designed to patch vulnerabilities in the operating system before software is corrected.
We also installed bleachbit, a tool to help you clean a system's hard drive and rid it of unnecessary temporary files.
How I built it
We used a software called Cubic to set up the environment to allow us to run commands within the live CD filesystem. After the installation of the software, we generated the ISO file and burned it to a flash drive.
Challenges I ran into
We were unsure of the scope of the project and thus delegation of work between members of the team was very inefficient, sometimes impossible.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We rolled together our own Ubuntu distribution ISO that allows us to create an identical installation on multiple computers without the use of images, which are slow by nature.
What I learned
I learned how to generate a custom image for a Live OS, in this case, Ubuntu. I also learned how to flash the image onto a USB drive, make it bootable and then install Ubuntu from it. I also learned how to package some legacy wireless drivers with the boot disk.
What's next for Ubuntu for Students
Now, we need to deploy this to as many computers as possible. It's as simple as advertising it as a version of Ubuntu with more tools for schools.