Emmabuntüs is a desktop GNU/Linux distribution, first based on the Long Term Support versions of Xubuntu, and is now based on Debian Stable on XFCE, made specifically for refurbished computers destined for humanitarian organisations, and to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners, as well as to extend the lifespan of hardware and to reduce over consumption & waste in electronics.
It strives to be beginner-friendly and reasonably light on resources so that it can be used on older computers. It also includes many modern features, such as a large number of pre-configured programs for everyday use, dockbar for launching applications, easy installation of non-free software and media codecs, and quick setup through automated scripts.
The distribution supports English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German languages.
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Un des projets OpenSource les plus utiles à la communauté humaine !
I fix up donated computers & send them to developing countries (Cuba, Bolivia, currently Haiti). Previously we just sent bare formatted hard drives, but with my last shipment I sent a mix of mostly Ubuntu LTS Linux operating systems installed from CDs. I heard back that they would prefer Windows because that is what they know. Tough shit. They are welcome to install whatever they prefer, I need to format the drives for the privacy of the donators and I use Linux. And XP (which is all that will run on these boxes) will only be supported for another year, anyway and is a lot harder to install and update than Linux. This batch I am sending a i386 image of Ubuntu 12.04 that I have been copying to the hard drives with the redobackup CD. I have installed all the French language packages and codeces and several different nicely configured desktops, XFCE, KDE, lxde, Mate, Unity & Gnome3, just so they can play with them. But default the machines boot lxde or XFCE unless they are pretty powerful (>1.25 GB RAM), then maybe KDE will come up on first boot. I run a local proxy called approx to update the machines one final time before I send them. This is an interesting project for me. It is a beautiful desktop, and it already came nicely configured with a lot of neat programs, some of which I have never seen before. I installed it to one of my personal machines, if it holds up well I might use it as the basis for an updated install image. I encountered a few smallish snafus. When I first booted it wanted my password to run a script. The password didn't work, even when I changed it so I kept dismissing the dialog box. I've successfully run update.sh from the command line, I'm not sure if the other one will keep reappearing. The Cairo Dock at the bottom is neat, but probably overkill for the old machines I would be sending. Also, installing virtualbox on these old boxes is not too useful for my purposes, the intended recipients would never use it or be able to use it on the old hardware. On the other hand, for me it would be nice on a modern machine, but on such a box I would probably prefer a 64 bit distro. Until I ran some script that popped up the Cairo Dock seemed to disappear (although mousing over it would show the applications). I'm not sure if that issue is gone for good. Beating the French keyboard in to a corner took some doing, hopefully it will not keep reappearing (it hasn't popped up in an hour or two). But having French and Spanish already on the machine is great for my purposes. Also, there are many programs that I do not know that look very promising like OOo4kids, Imagination, Team Viewer 8, MultiSystem and some of the educational and game stuff. On the whole, I am happy with it. Normally, whatever I install ends up looking pretty much the same as I end up putting on my favorite programs (heavily weighted to KDE programs because of their configurability & power). But so many of the programs I use all the time are already on Emmabuntus that I think I'll try not to do that and run it fairly close to the way it was configured. That is a tremendous tribute to the distro. We'll have to see how it holds up, but I have to say I am very impressed.
One of the best Linux Operating Systems out there for a new user.