Education applications wishlist


(Rob Bosch) #1

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!

Howto install Calibre Content Server
We Are NethServer - Community Overview - Sep 18
(Marc) #2

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):

(Markus Neuberger) #3

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

(Rob Bosch) #4

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: )

(Marc) #5

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:

(Marc) #6

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.

(Rob Bosch) #7

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

(Marc) #8

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

(Rob Bosch) #9

@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?

(Davide Principi) #10

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.

(Marc) #11

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

(Alessio Fattorini) #12

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

(Emiliano Vavassori) #13

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).

(Rob Bosch) #14

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.

(Rob Bosch) #15

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

(Jim Richardson) #16

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.

(Rob Bosch) #17

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.

(Markus Neuberger) #18

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:

(Jim Richardson) #19

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.

(Mark Verlinde) #20

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…