If your question is which one is the best Linux distros for kids? Then the answer would not be one. It is because of the availability of Linux distros in multiple flavours which is also best because you can choose one according to your kid’s taste. There is a perception that Linux is only meant for developers of hackers which is absolutely wrong. In today’s world, it is more than that. Kids, Parents, School goers, College students anyone can download and easily operate Linux using the Graphical user interface.
And now the question arises why your kid should learn Linux?
Simple it is because in-home/offices Windows dominated the world but when it comes to the server, data centres, Software development, firewall, smartphones, routers, smart cars, cloud, web servers, hostings, Smart home and etc. you will see a large section is under the fist of Linux which makes it future proof operating system. Thus, if you want to make your Kids aware with Linux let them experience it form today; this will make them walk abreast with future technology. Moreover, things we start doing or leaning in our childhood, we can easily become master in that. So here are few kids-friendly best Linux operating system for your kids/lad.
Best Linux Distro for Kids
List of top and best Linux Distros for Kids or student for educational purposes and can be used by teachers, schools and parents in the free and open source category.
Sugar- Best Linux for Kids
Sugar Linux which is also known as Sugar On A Stick-SOAS is a Fedora-based Linux for kids. It is free and open source very lightweight learning platform for students or kids. Unlike on the Linux distros it specially developed by keeping children minds which make it a kid-friendly distro. It has big colourful icons, games and easy to navigate which makes it adaptable for any classroom.
Another thing is if you have Windows running OS you don’t need to install it on your physical, though it can, however, it is Live operating system which means you can download and install Sugar Linux directly on a USB drive. That’s why we call it Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) Linux Distro. You can also install it on existing Debian, Ubuntu and other Linux distros, manually. Manual and other documentation is available too for proper understanding and starting with the Sugar Linux, to setup it and help your kids to learn Linux.
Ubermix another Linux based operating system for kids which designed and developed keeping education in mind for students or children. This Linux OS is a good option for both teachers and students to learn the curves of Linux. You can install it on PC in just a few minutes and comes with more than 60 pre-installed applications.
To install Ubermix, the system requirement is 1GB RAM and at least 20GB of the hard drive. It is based on Ubuntu which means the latest updates and security patches are not a problem at all. The best thing about Ubermix, on its website you can get it in two forms: Ubermix in ISO file format for PC (Netbooks/Laptops/Desktops) and UberMix OVA image that can be used to directly install it on VirtualBox or Vmware player without any hassle.
For creating bootable Ubermix USB drive you would need a pen drive of at least 4GB. Quick recovery features give it an upper hand over other Kids Linux OS.
Another Linux operating system for Kids based on Ubuntu. ‘Ed’ in its name implies that this Education Edition of Ubuntu-based Linux is crafted for Education purposes just like Ubermix. Educational Applications in the Edubuntu are bundled as per the grade level of students.
From the Software centre of Edubuntu, there is an Education category which defines educational packages among Primary ( kids age 6-12), Secondary ( ages 13-18) and Tertiary ( university level ) the user can download and set up as per the requirement. CD/DVD images of Edubuntu are available on its website in the form of ISO images.
Qimo Linux for Kids
Qimo is another popular desktop operating system in the Linux category developed for kids. It comes with pre-installed games and educations apps for children above 3 years. Same as Edubuntu and Ubermix, it also built upon Ubuntu Linux.
The interface of the Qimo is rather catchy especially for kids because the way large attractive icons are placed on it. Qimo comes with pre-installed games and applications with a beautiful way to learn programming languages like python.
Apart from the availability of this kid Linux OS in ISO format, Virtual Image in VDI format is also available to download.
Skolelinux/Debian-Edu Linux OS for kids
Skolelinux/Debian-Edu is a pure Debian based free and opensource Linux operating system like others, it also meant for educational use. It is another best Linux for Kids because of stability and Linux distribution tailored for schools. Beside installing it on a dedicated PC, it can be set up as a thin client-solution for schools or educational departments to save money and maintenance cost by using old hardware.
You can use Skolelinux or DebianEdu in GNOME, KDE, LXDE, MATE, Xfce Linux desktop environments. Earlier Skolelinux and DebianEdu were separate Linux OS for kids but later they merged. It provides different educational apps in various categories such as mathematics, Science, Physics, Geography, Electricity, Astronomy, Kids Chemistry and more…
Kano Linux for Educations
Kano for Education is an open-source Linux operating system developed especially on Raspberry Pi for exploration, creation and play. Free for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3.
Kano OS is based on the Raspbian OS which itself is based on Debian, a Linux based operating system. If you are a student or you want to teach children how to create DIY projects on Raspberry Pi then use Kano OS (operating system).
Doudou Linux for Kids
DouDou Linux indeed one of the best Linux Distros for Kids but the problem is it has not been updated since 2013 which makes it regress and compel to stand behind. Still, DoudouLinux is available to download and one must give it a try. I am saying it because it requires the only a minimum of 256 MB RAM and 800 MHz processor that makes it to easily run on old computer systems.
DouDou Linux is based on old Debian 5 and latest stable version if it is DoudouLinux Hyperborea 2.1. You can install on USB and use in a Live environment. It is quite a good option for kids less than 12 years those are interested to learn Linux while playing games on it.
It is available in more than 40 languages such as Romanian, Hebrew, French, Persian, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, Lithuanian, Polish and more…
OpenSUSE Linux for education
OpenSUSE-Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) based on openSUSE Leap designed to cater to students, teachers, parents and educational institutions by providing best Linux experience.
It comes with a bunch of pre-installed educational apps such as Brain Workshop for mental exercise; GCompris educational software suite for young children; gElemental periodic Table Viewer; iGNUit, Little Wizard, Stellarium astronomical Sky Simulator; TuxMath, TuxPaint, TuxType, wxMaxima algebra system, RStudio, SciLab and GNU PSPP. Beside educational apps for kids some graphics and publishing software are also on this one of the best Linux OS for kids such as Inkscape to replace CorelDraw; GIMP, Darktable, Synfig Studio, Pencil and Hugin.
Just like Doudou, the LinuxKidX is another archived Linux distro for kids which updated in 2016 and specially tailored Linux for kids. Open Source LinuxKidX meant to target kids between 2 to 15 years old. Kids-friendly interface with so many programs for child cognizant, however, community support of this kids Linux is not great at all.
Few other choices or options are here :