Ubuntu vs Windows 7 on old PCs as a Chromebook alternative for students

So, here is something I have been playing around with on my lunch breaks (I mean, what else would you do?)

Our school, and many like it, are moving completely into the use of Google Apps for Education and it got me thinking about the stuff we currently use.

All our students will be using Google Apps for Education exclusively for their email, docs, etc and will have iPads for a lot of their other resource creation like video, audio, apps and more.

So, what do we need a PC for? We have a bunch of old desktop PC’s that are getting a bit sluggish, but you can easily change all that. With our current Windows desktops we are paying for a Windows license, Office license, have to have a server for students to store their work and more. Now, Ubuntu is a free operating system that works very fast, built on Linux it is very Mac OS X like in its appearance. As our students will be using Google Apps for Education they will have access to docs for their work, and drive for their storage so no need for any servers or expensive software (let’s just hope the internet doesn’t go down)

So, if you have any old machines around, or don’t want to invest in a bunch of new ones when your students will be using Google Apps for Education as their main platform, Ubuntu with Google Chrome installed is an option.

I ran a quick test on two of our very old desktops, one running Windows 7 and one running Ubuntu. Check it out below.

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2 thoughts on “Ubuntu vs Windows 7 on old PCs as a Chromebook alternative for students

  1. Hey Daniel,
    How have you found this working out in the management side of things? Do you still need to setup an Ubuntu server to manage the clients? Is there any licencing costs?
    I know a long time ago when I was looking into it there was a cost involved but it may have changed.
    Very interested in doing this on some ageing Dell laptops

    • Just toyed around with it on a device by device basis I’m afraid, linked in fine with our windows server and there were not any costs, but haven’t really done a big rollout (just the odd, old machine here and there)

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