FreeBSD in schools

Paul Richards paul at
Sat Mar 11 17:58:45 GMT 2000

Michael Saunby wrote:
> Has anyone on the list had any contact with Open Source for Education?  See
> There's a load of stuff on Linux but nothing on the BSDs yet.  OSE might be
> significant as their site is linked with BECTa
> An important aspect for schools is where they can get support from and how
> much it costs.  A national network of volunteers would go a long way to
> establishing any system as the UK education standard - just a thought.

I was pondering the issue of universities the other day and I had this
idea :-)

Why don't we book stalls at freshers fayres or similar events and give
away free CDs. We'd need to find commercial backers to pay for the CD
mastering but I think we could probably manage that. It doesn't cost
much to master a CD and a small number of companies putting in around
£1000 each would result in a lot of CDs to give out.

We could approach companies looking for sponsors. For example.

Approach Sun and get a copy of StarOffice installed on each CD and ask
them for sponsorship money to press the CD's.

Get Demon/Pavilion to sponsor it and configure PPP so use them by

I'm sure there are other similar sponsorship deals we could strike up.
I'm sure WC/BSDI would be willing to put something towards it. They
could include subscription slips for upgrading to the full WC
distribution (the freebie would have to be a single CD version to
maximise the number we have).

If we work on the CD image so that it performs a really straightforward
install out of the box we might be able to persuade large numbers of
students to adopt it as their OS since the cost would be absolutely
right for a student.

A fully featured Office suite and internet connectivity, as well as
Quake etc, all for nothing? I'm sure plenty of student would give it a

While we were doing the rounds of the universities we could possibly
call in and see some lecturers and try to get them to use FreeBSD for
courses and/or get some guest presentations arranged. I remember when I
was at college that every week there'd be a seminar from somebody
external that was just for "fun". We should try and get in to speak
about the benefits of FreeBSD.

Any comments?

Paul Richards
Origiantive Solutions Ltd

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