There are Linux distros for the desktop, for gaming, for privacy, for penetration testing and there are quite a few Linux distros for education. One awesome alternative to the very popular Edubuntu is UberStudent. The developers seek to provide a Linux distro that focuses on teaching and learning for secondary and higher education students. Out-of-the-box, UberStudent provides an ideal platform for Linux newbies and all computer users with a focus on the core academic skills such as reading, studying, self-management skills, research, and writing. Let’s check out how this distro really fares.
UberStudent runs the very popular XFCE desktop which means you get a blend of modernity and simplicity without wimping on functionality. You have your main panel located on the top of the desktop and second one at the bottom. The experience is smooth and simple but not underwhelming. One thing that will immediately impress you is the organization and placement of menus and applications. UberStudent runs quite impressively. I found it to be very smooth and responsive.
UberStudent comes with most of the usual software such as LibreOffice, Chromium, and Firefox for everyday tasks. The heart of activity in UberStudent is the Education Menu. The education applications and tools are clearly organized in categories and subcategories much like across all menus allowing users to easily locate applications. UberStudent packs some specially selected applications such as Freeplane which allows for easy brainstorming of ideas and thoughts. There is the very popular Zotero reference manager also available for academic writing purposes. Other notable applications include Cherrytree for taking notes, Artha thesaurus for synonyms everywhere in UberStudent. There are also other software such as GIMP for photo and image creation and editing. These tools are all neatly organized under Education from the Start menu. Sub-menus such as Books, Subjects, Data, Research and Writing, Time Management and Study Aids to aptly point users in the direction of particular tools and software. You may also easily add additional Educational software by going to the aptly named ‘Extra Education Apps’. UberStudent comes with a lot of software.UberStudent also comes with extensive and useful documentation and tutorials to get you quickly going. These aids are all located strategically throughout the distro.
Uberstudent also comes with useful resources that provide excellent starting points to students and users that they may otherwise be unaware of. These resources sub-menus are also located at various places within the Application menu.
UberStudent also packs a handful of carefully selected games. These games will help release the stress of studying and also help train the brain in the process. Logic based games such as Cut the Rope, gbrainy, Kenken, Luminosity, Mines, Puzzle Collection, Sudoku, Wonderputt, Xabacus are all included in addition to other Action, Arcade, Board, Card and Simulation games. Steam is also included out-of-the-box.
UberStudent also comes with extensive multimedia support for music and movies. Audacious, VLC Media Player and Totem are all provided. Streaming options are also provided with Amazon Cloud, gPodder, Netflix, Pandora, TuneIn and a few others.
Edubuntu allows for all the extensive customization you may want. After what is Linux without customization and theming. You may easily configure the distro to please or suit your personal and individual needs. Moreover, like all open-source projects, the underlying source code for UberStudent is available for free. So you may customize it or improve on it anyway you choose.
In addition to the extensive documentation, tutorials, and help that are available already in the distro, it also enjoys good online support in the Uberstudent forums. Uberstudent developers, as well as expert-level community members, are available almost instantly to provide support.
UberStudent is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures so make sure to download one suitable for your PC. The latest iteration Uberstudent 4.3 is codenamed ‘Heraclitus’ and is supported until 2019. You may download UberStudent clicking the button below. You may burn your downloaded ISO file to disc or make a bootable USB thumb drive with popular utilities such as Rufus on Windows or Unetbootin. After burning to disc or making the bootable USB, you can go ahead and boot from the drive.As UberStudent is based on Ubuntu, the installation process is the same and as usual very simple and straightforward. The process takes just a few minutes to complete.
In short, Uberstudent is more than just an operating system, it provides a very customized Ubuntu based distro with some carefully curated education software available out of the box. You have graphic applications, tools for research and writing as well as presentations. The choice of XFCE also allows for a light and smooth desktop and user experience. If you are looking for a distro for education purposes, you should definitely check out UberStudent. It may bring out the Super(Uber) student in you. Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below.
Mohd Sohail is a web developer and a Linux sysAdmin. He also loves to write how-to articles, applications reviews and loves to use new Linux distributions.