Debian Edu gets kids back to schools in Ukraine

kids-with-pc-chernihiv-GridArt_20240220_171325234 Kids in a rebuilt school in Chernihiv with Debian Edu laptops and a destroyed school number 17. Photo: Knut Yrvin.

As a part of a humanitarian effort in Norway, more than 700 reused laptops have been delivered to schools, libraries and kindergartens in Ukraine. 

More than 130 volunteers in Norway have collected used laptops, tablets and PCs from businesses and schools. The machine has Debian Edu installed with a KDE desktop in kiosk mode, 100 educational applications and a standard office package and browser. 

The machines are transported 3,000 km from Norway to school kids in the war-battered cities Chernihiv and Kharkiv. Including schools, libraries and kindergartens in Peretsjyn which got a huge increase of kids, due to the refugee situation. Debian Edu are now used on laptops in 22 schools, 15 libraries and 13 kindergartens in Ukraine. 

Aiding schools in Ukraine with laptops and PCs is not done with no afterthought. The teachers also get a beginners course in using the desktop and some central apps. Also we provide replacement for broken machines. There is also an agreement for online feedback from the schools, and we’re working on a simple solution for security updates controlled remotely. Here some community development will be appreciated. 

The goal in 2024 is to get 5.000 laptops and desktop PCs installed at schools in Ukraine. And the need is ten thousands of machines according to top managers at schools in all the regions, cities and municipalities we’ve provided. 


Will not scrap working machines

Many of those donating machines say they’re motivated by the cause of helping kids back to school in Ukraine. 40 percent of the kids got their education disrupted or stopped due to the war. 

CTOs also tell us round the board that the machines they’re donating, often no more than 5-6 years old. Such machines are not getting the latest security fixes from Microsoft or Google. Such machines are perfect for running Debian Edu. 

According to Canalys one in three PCs will be replaced in 2024 and 2025. We’re talking about 240 million fully functional PCs which can’t be used due to the end of Windows 10 support. Please read the report summary from Canalys: 


Please help! 

More reused laptops and PCs are needed! According to school authorities in the war battered cities in Kharkiv and Chernihiv, they need ten thousands of laptops and PCs both at schools and for homeschooling teaching by video. 

PCs 5-10 years old are fully capable of running Debian Edu for many more years. The lack of Windows updates or Chrome OS on 5-6 years old machines, is a huge opportunity to help school children in Ukraine. 

With Debian Edu the kids get 100 school-relevant programs in addition to full support with the latest browser and the latest version of the LibreOffice office suite for years to come. These are programs that have also been translated into Ukrainian.

Kiosk mode with KDE is used because many kids are using the desktop for learning each day. KDE is user-friendly because many people recognize the user experience from other systems. Plus it needs less system resources and support older hardware with 2-core processes and 2-4 GB of RAM. Hurrah! 

We got experience and experience data using Debian Edu in schools back to 2001 and 2002, when the project started. 

Your cooperation will make Debian Edu even better for reused laptops and PCs, both regarding updating machines and identity management and teaching material as spoken tutorials. Your help on contributing to this, is really appreciated. Please join us on the Debian Edu email-list or contact us directly on computer association NUUG at Facebook or the Miss Norway participant:  (please use Google Translate). (please use Google Translate). 

 Screenshot of the Debian Edu desktop in ukrainian.

Screenshot of the Debian Edu desktop in ukrainian.

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tirsdag 25. juni 2024