The best Linux games for kids
The best collection of Linux educational software for all ages that I know of is the openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) Live DVD. You can get it at http://en.opensuse.org/Education/Live#Download. There are some screen shots here.
This is a Live DVD - you simply place the DVD in the computer's DVD drive and reboot the machine from it. When the machine comes up, you will be running Linux. Normally, the software won't write to your computer's hard drive unless you specifically ask it to. So a couple of reminders:
- You'll want to plug in a USB disk drive / memory stick for documents you want to save or share with other users or machines.
- When you shut the computer down and remove the DVD, it will come back up just as it was before.
For the younger children, six years old and up, there are four packages designed to teach programming: EToys from the One Laptop Per Child project, Scratch from MIT, Little Wizard and XLogo. Moving on to games, one of the best collections of games for younger children, two years old and up, is GCompris. There is also the Sugar desktop from the One Laptop Per Child project.
The live DVD includes the "Tux4Kids" family of games: Tux Math, Tux Paint and Tux Typing. It also includes Tux Math Scrabble, Tux Wordsmith and Multiplication Station from Asymptopia Software. Another typing training game, Klavaro, is also available. There are some more general learning packages on the DVD as well. You'll find Brain Workshop, a dual-and-back memory training game, the Marble globe program and the jMemorize and iGNUit flashcard programs.
There are also games for adults - board games card games, puzzles and even some arcade games. Many of these will be suitable for the older children. Adult users will also find a complete selection of office and Internet software:
- Graphics and desktop publishing. A partial list is here.
- The OpenOffice.org productivity suite, the Gobby collaborative editor, the Okular PDF viewer, PdfMod PDF editor and the Evolution e-mail / calendaring package.
- The Ekiga Softphone voice over IP and video conferencing package.
- The Firefox browser, XChat IRC client, Pidgin and Kopete Instant Messaging clients, Chokoq and Gwibber Twitter clients and many more Internet tools.
- Both the Gnome and KDE desktops.