Education applications wishlist

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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I recently came a cross a very good system for education use.
which serves as a local shared library server for any education institution
its called RACHEL

its got instructions on building your own though its based on raspberry pi

In general I think it should be possible to use the same content here

and the entire content visisble here

this might be probably for Nethserver on pi, but it could be great to have a way to build it into the general Nethserver.

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Hi @oneitonitram,
Thank you for your suggestion. Did you already try to install this on NethServer? I just went over to the website, and am I far off when it looks a bit like Internet-in-a-box?
I know Unleaskids and OLPC Use IIAB for their projects.
I sure am curious if either of them, can be installed on NS and what the options are for these applications.

yes @robb it is more like internet in a box, the difference is that this one is geared towards educational institutions, and the content is mostly curriculum based. and also includes some virtual labs.
A for rachel, there is a way to download a usb version and setup on your own machine, the problem is thats its a small 80 gb version. For my use case, I think the 400 GB version would be great. the challenge is thats its provided as an iso image for rapberry pi.
In our country I have people with version of the content

I just read some more on both RACHEL and IIAB and it turns out that it is possible to add RACHEL modules to IIAB:
It looks like both RACHEL and IIAB act more or less as independent servers. This might make it hard to integrate those services in NS.
They both are installed using either a pi image (when installed on an rpi) or install scripts that install ‘the full package’, including for instance the httpd service (apache or nginx)
Since a webserver already is installed on NS, you might run into issues…