Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday released the KITE GNU/Linux operating system (OS) upgrade suite – the operating system based on FOSS (free and open source software) developed by Infrastructure and Technology of Kerala for Education (KITE) for deployment in new laptops in schools.
This suite of operating systems can be used as a complete computing platform not only by students and teachers in schools, but also on personal computers, in government offices and DTP centers, and by developers of software.
The new operating system suite contains all important updates till date of the popular Ubuntu operating system. It also contains many FOSS-based applications that are not part of the Ubuntu 20.04 repository. Most of the apps in the OS suite have been updated to their latest versions and customized according to the school curriculum, especially for upper secondary and professional secondary sections.
The updated operating system suite includes an extensive collection of Malayalam Unicode fonts that aid in Malayalam computing, DTP graphics image editing software, sound recording and editing 3D animation packages video, IDEs for programming, database servers, desktop version of mobile applications, etc. The operating system also contains internationally renowned FOSS applications such as GeoGebra and GCompris which help in learning different subjects with the help of computing.
Another highlight of “KITE GNU Linux 20.04” is the inclusion of computer-aided design (CAD) software LibreCAD instead of the very expensive AutoCAD widely used in engineering courses. The suite also includes Scribus which can be used for DTP purposes.
The Chief Minister released the operating system suite by handing a copy to members of the Little KITEs Computer Club, MS Kalaveni from the Government Upper Secondary School for Girls, Cotton Hill, and Akash J. from St. Joseph here. General Education Minister V. Sivankutty and KITE Managing Director K. Anvar Sadath attended the ceremony.
The operating system can be downloaded for free from the KITE website www.kite.kerala.gov.in
The state makes full use of free software in education, even adopting “GNUKhata” instead of Tally, the proprietary license-based accounting application. The state saving crores through the use of a FOSS-based operating system in more than two lakh computers deployed in schools has also drawn attention.