Linux4Afrika Integrates Sugar Desktop and WLAN

Jul 27, 2009

The Linux4Afrika development help project that is active in a number of east African countries has released the next verson of its software distribution. The donated used hardware will be expanded by new functionality.

The newest version of the Linux4Afrika terminal server solution will no longer require interested parties to buy from One Laptop per Child (OLPC) to test its Sugar learning interface. The GUI can be installed optionally and, after registration, started simply from the dropdown menu.

An extra built-in WLAN card expands the L4A server capability to a WLAN access point so that children with laptops or netbooks can have remote central access in the x2go network computing environment. The card costs about 20 Euros, provides Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) secure encryption and thereby reliable access to the server.

Linux4Afrika also provides numerous add-ons of diverse software packages and their configurations, including the X2gospyglass monitoring tool for teachers and the Squid proxy server. An individual host, such as the school principal's, can also access the domain per WLAN.

Hans-Peter Merkel of the initiative that is behind the project indicates, "The next to-dos are already set: we're working on an update from Lenny to Squeeze and want to make it possible for teachers to blank-screen individual students. Most interesting is the work on chipcard authentication for x2go, which might not so much interest students as larger organizations such as universities."

Linux4Afrika seeks donations and used computers in Europe to equip them with free software and provide African schools with Debian and x2go terminal server solutions. Only days ago a container left Germany for Kenya. More opportunities of bringing the project to schools may open up in Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and other African countries.

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