Education applications wishlist

I am very grateful to all those members that have actively contributed towards the educational applications.
Current applications that are very usefull in educational environments are:

  • Moodle
  • Savapage
  • Nextcloud with Collabora or Onlyoffice
  • SOGo and Webtop

I see great opportunities for Dedalo in BYOD environments

I also have a wishlist for new modules to be developed:

  • Xerte online Toolbox (already started by @mrmarkuz)
  • iTALC Veyon (I just found out iTalc is no more and veyon has taken over. For mixed environments
  • Epoptes for linux only environments
  • a School management application. Now this will be a real challenge since a few very promising projects have stopped being developped like Schooltool. I would love to have Gibbon as a school management tool, but it only is available with it’s own userdatabase. There is no LDAP/AD support. And IMO that makes it big no-go. Maybe a workaround: Gibbon is able to import users through CSV. If a dayly cronjob of exporting from LDAP/AD can be created and imported into Gibbon, we could all be set.
  • koha Library software
  • Calibre e-book library
  • BigBlueButton Conferencing tool. It can be added in Moodle.
  • Mahara ePortfolio for students
  • Guacamole remote access
  • Xibo signage: broadcast information like (changes in) schedules, video’s etc to multiple screens (like TV’s)

I would like to ping the @education_team and @dev_team to have a look at this list and suggest enhancements and pick your parts to work on. Traditionally it starts with a feature request that can be discussed.
Discussion topics: are there alternatives that suite us better? Do we really need the functionality ?

Then a install howto in the forums can be added and as soon the howto is complete and 100% reproducable, the Howto can get a spot in our wiki.

Lastly, the work toward creating an RPM module can start and when finished, the module can get a spot in NethForge repo.

Thanks in advance for helping!


A wrap up of current state… (/cc: @mrmarkuz)
Modules already available (some are unofficial, it is maintained by the community):

Howtos (help to update/maintain them and to propose changes and additions):


Epoptes, calibre and veyon seem to be desktop apps but have these apps available in a share could be helpful in a first step. Deploy them to defined devices could be a second step.


  • Solve the Gibbon user management issues(ldap, csv)
  • Feature requests/Howtos for Koha and BigBlueButton
  • Development of Mahara and Collabora integration
  • Push unofficial modules to nethforge-testing

A deployment service (either for imaging pc’s or applications to pc’s from a central repo) would be a great asset for the edu part.

Any options that come into mind? (Puppet might be a bit heavy :wink: )

Calibre is mostly a single user desktop app but has calibre-server to share ebooks, although it might have some X dependencies. Installation example on Ubuntu.
Alternatives to calibre-server (but built to use a calibre database) are:

Other options to manage e-books:


For imaging PCs:

For apps on Windows: Puppet, Ansible… combined with chocolatey and maybe some powershell involved. An example. Bear in mind Ansible might play a major role on NethServer 8 with Cockpit, if I’m not mistaken.
In other threads some other options were discussed, also Fleet Commander was mentioned but don’t remember if it’s ready for AD environments.


If so, it would be a no-brainer to work towards that and have Ansible do the distribution of applications too.

I had ansible in mind related to cockpit but I could be wrong.

@davidep @giacomo can you give a headsup for NS8 and cockpit/ansible?
We have a discussion topic about NS8 wishlist (started over a year ago to prepare discussion for the last years community conference) NethServer 8: wishlist for the conference
Could we focus on the progress of NS8 in some way (prefferably in a new topic) and how Cockpit and Ansible will be implemented and what possibilities and challenges this will give for developing new modules?

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The cockpit UI state is described in this other thread Cockpit: new version

About adding Ansible as events/config template engine: it’s just an idea. I’m happy to see you feel it’s a good choice, it makes me think we’re on the same page.

IMO Ansible and e-smith API must live together, so we can develop new things with Ansible, retaining compatibility with the current code.

But apart from some thoughts, I didn’t write anything.


To not clutter this post I’ve created a “quick and dirty” Howto install Calibre Server in the #howto section.


I love that initiative. Making NethServer an educational platform is one of my dreams :slight_smile:
@apradoc @syntaxerrormmm how can we work together and make that reality?
Emiliano’s crew did a great job on this

I’m probably saying something really unpopular now, but what we (as LibreSchool project) are aiming for is a didactic environment, not a educational one (at least, for the moment). This is the same difference as designing the Facebook web interface and designing the IT infrastructure behind the big F. What I am saying is that we are now trying to polish the client side, which unfortunately is minimally, if at all, dependent on the server architecture.

I see a lot of thoughtful and good inputs here (and I really love the goals you are setting; loving a lot the Cockpit/Ansible thing in particular), but they are definitely out of scope with the regards of what we expect to implement/work on in the next 5 years or so.

I would love to say I would “adopt and maintain” one or more of the software you mentioned and integrating it in NS, but I would not have time to do it. If you think I can provide some support/experiences for some of them (I don’t, but still…), please feel free to ping me, I would love to help you as much as I can (I was following the thread for some time, unfortunately not having anything smart to say).

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The more I hear about using Ansible for a backend, the more I like it. Especially since @syntaxerrormmm uses Ansible too at the LibreSchool where NS is one of the main parts of that project. It would be good when all these projects come together as a thightly knitted solution.

I added Xibo to the wishlist. An install howto for Centos7 is available on the xibo community forums:

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While Koha is a high quality library management system, it can be a bit daunting/overkill for staff who might not be trained in the intricacies of MARC, so I’d like to suggest SLIMS8 as an additional option/alternative when it comes to a school level LMS in the wishlist. Extensively used in Indonesia, it’s open-source, also recommended by the Bangladesh Library Association, has a wide set of translations, and is ideally suited for deployment in developing countries.


Hi @gurujim, Do you have any experience with SLIMS8? Maybe you could create an install howto for Nethserver? You could create a new topic for that. If you run in any issues, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Thanks, I was fighting with Koha integration because of perl dependencies and zebra/yaz requirements and SLIMS comes with an easy web installer, you just need PHP 5.6/mysql and create database/user.
It seems to support LDAP/AD too. :sunglasses:

Well, I do have experience with SLiMS, having translated the manual, done modifications, and produced this : . But I am just coming to grips with NethServer, discovering it while searching for a solid opensource server for a school in Shan State ( Myanmar ) I’m helping network. [ At the moment TurnKey doesn’t have combined AD and Filesharing really sorted with Samba ] . So when I get Nethserver running confidently, I’ll have a look at that, but that could be a while.

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Welcome Jim, nice to read you have a look at Nethserver.

Assuming you are a (lets say a above) knowledgeable user; you might be interested in some of the internals of Nethserver. Most prominent is the e-simth configuration layer responsible for expansion the templated configuration files.
After your first discovery and if you are unfamiliar with it, the section of the developers manual dealing with e-smith templates is a nice read.

If you have questions feel free to ask.

Edit: sorry about the mistake referring to an other topic you did not open…

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