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Sydney school teaches with Linux monopoly

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Linux

Linux may be struggling to gain a foothold in the primary and secondary education market but one Sydney school is setting itself higher grades - all without Microsoft.

At the Lorien Novalis School in the suburb of Glenhaven, 350 students from kindergarten through to year 12 and 38 staff have been learning with the penguin for the past four years.

Stuart Rushton, the school's ICT manager, told Computerworld that senior students first suggested the move to Linux.

"The school was Mac shop and when it was time to upgrade they said why not try Linux?" Rushton said. "So we bought cheap second-hand computers and put Linux on them and we've been running it ever since."

With about 30 desktops running Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) Linux 2006 - chosen for its ease of installation and use - on modest 1GHz Pentium desktops, students use a variety of open source applications for their coursework, including OpenOffice, Firefox, Nvu for Web editing, Evolution for e-mail, Scribus for publishing, the Gimp for image manipulation, QCad for design, and KDevelop for Pascal programming.

"They more than cover everything for education," Rushton said. "If we came to a blockage we would organize around it but have not yet."

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