Li-f-e: Linux for Education based on Ubuntu Mate

Hello Community

I’ve been exploring possibility of creating Li-f-e distribution based on Ubuntu Mate. Here is the result of the experiment:

Some background:

I intend to create Li-f-e release based on openSUSE if support for live medias return, however because not much work is required I would also continue creating Li-f-e based on Ubuntu Mate LTS releases. I would like to thank Ubuntu Mate community for creating such solid base.


Does this variant of l-I-f-e come with LTSP preinstalled?

@cyberorg looks good. Downloading it now I like to testdrive distro’s and remixes.

I’ve been looking for a good description or tutorial on how to create a live-cd. I do not want to create a distro, but just for personal use and just because I am curious on how to create one without the use of third party tools like PinguyBuilder.

Is it possible to create a tutorial/howto here?

No, just follow this to get it up and running.

sudo -i
add-apt-repository --yes
apt-get update
apt-get --yes --install-recommends install dnsmasq ltsp-server-standalone ltsp-client ldm-ubuntu-theme
ltsp-config dnsmasq
echo ‘IPAPPEND=3’ >> /etc/ltsp/update-kernels.conf

systemctl enable ssh && systemctl start ssh

openSUSE based Li-f-e comes with LTSP preinstalled, instructions for those here:


I followed

1 Like

PNP LTSP is not working anymore on Ubuntu. I know because I used it prior to 14.04. However, at 16.04, it stopped working. Or, at least, not in terms of any of the Ubuntu instructions. Additionally, even if it was working still, PNP LTSP is best suited to a 32 bit host image because the client image is a direct copy of the host image. Given that LTSP clients may often be physically 32 bit, it always pays to have the client image as 32 bit. That way it will run on both 32 bit and 64 bit client machines.

But, Ubuntu is soon to drop 32 bit support from what I understand. Thus, PNP LTSP, even assuming I could get it to work on Ubuntu 16.04, would be no good since it would only give 64 bit client images. The only type of LTSP that would get round this is the traditional LTSP setup, where the client image can be either 64 bit or 32 bit. But, that version of LTSP has not worked properly on Ubuntu since 12.04 except where it has been built into the installation, as with Edubuntu. However, Edubuntu has just died at 14.04.

I have tested those instructions I pasted before, it works fine. Alkis maintains Greek PPA and does a very good job of it, you can always drop in #ltsp IRC Freenode channel if you run into any issues.

32bit clients should best be used as thin clients, there is 32bit LTSP image that serves that purpose, I have tested that image as well:

!precise-i386 in #ltsp IRC channel
precise-i386: Ubuntu 12.04 compressed btrfs chroot to boot really old clients (non-pae, >=64MB RAM): You can find the image, a screenshot and a README there.


Thanks for taking the time to do that. PNP stopped working in 14.04 a few months back for me following “updates” and refused to work at all when I first installed 16.04. So, either the 16.04 image has been updated to work with it or the Ubuntu PNP instructions have been updated since I last tried it. Whatever, if it’s working now, brilliant!

I don’t understand your comment about using the 32 bit image though. PNP only produces a 32 bit client image if the host is also 32 bit. But, 32 bit is about to be dropped by Ubuntu. The only way an existing or old 32 bit client image could be used with an existing 64 bit host is via the traditional LTSP which, as I said, I have found impossible to get working on Ubuntu post 12.04. Except with Edubuntu where it was preinstalled. But Edubuntu has died at 14.04.

Ubuntu 18.04 EOL is what, 2023? Let’s not panic.

From what I have read, 32 bit support will not be in 18.04. It will be phased out in the various 16.x releases. So, by the time we get to 18.04, it will have gone.

Please create a new topic about i386 support from Canonical. This topic is not about that.

I do understand that. However, in this case, I would argue it has some relevance to this topic. This topic concerns an educational spin of Ubuntu Mate. Which is, ostensibly, great news given the demise of Edubuntu post 14.04. However, one of Edubuntu’s defining features that marked it out from the other Linux based educational distros out there is the inclusion of LTSP in the installation ISO. The version of LTSP that is included allows for hosts to be 64 bit whilst simultaneously having client images of either 32 bit or 64 bit. The alternative to this traditional version of LTSP is PNP LTSP, which only allows for the client image to be identical to the host image since the client image is actually built as a direct copy of the host. This distinction is important for the following reason.

The advantage of LTSP is twofold. Firstly, it allows for simplicity of management of clients. Secondly and, I would argue, crucially it allows for the extension of life of older client hardware since much of the work during a session is done by the server. In this regard, much of the stock of older hardware is likely to be 32 bit as much as it is going to be 64 bit. This is especially true in places like Africa, for example, where much of their new stock is actually offloaded 32 bit stock from the West. So, their stock is likely to remain dominated by 32 bit for some time to come. Africa is also, as it happens, the very kind of environment where free and open source educationally-based operating systems that can employ LTSP are most likely to be used and appreciated and where the capacity of an LTSP server to be able to serve up 32 clients is most likely to be needed.

Okay, agreed. But dropping i386 support has been suggested and will be discussed. So, it isn’t even sure that i386 support will be dropped with 18.04. As far as I can see in the mailing-list a decision has not been made yet.

@wimpy: as a new member, can you shed some light on this?

!precise-i386 in #ltsp IRC channel
precise-i386: Ubuntu 12.04 compressed btrfs chroot to boot really old clients (non-pae, >=64MB RAM): You can find the image, a screenshot and a README there.

README elaborates how to use that image, it can be used on any Linux distribution that has ltsp packages available to serve i386 clients to work as thin client. Once the user logs in resources of the server are used which would be 64bit latest and the greatest OS. That image can be used with Li-f-e to serve i386 clients and ltsp-pnp can easily be setup by running those 7 steps posted earlier for serving 64bit fat client image for modern clients.

1 Like

I support you. Because Edubuntu is almost dead, in my state Kerala, India All government schools and government aided schools use edubuntu from 1st standard to 12th standard, i have been searching for a good substitute for edubuntu.

Li-f-e: Linux for Education based on Ubuntu MATE 18.04.2 x86_64/amd64 is available for download. Check out Ubuntu 18.04.2 release announcement for details of core changes.

Comes with MATE 1.20.1, Linux 4.18.0-15-generic, Firefox 65, Libreoffice, and many applications suitable for education and home environment.


1 Like

Latest edition of Li-f-e: Linux for Education is now available. This version is based on Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS. A lot of useful applications are included on top of the already brillant Ubuntu MATE release to make this a complete operating system for education and home use.

More information about this release: