Open Source in Education

Open Source in Education

He's cute, friendly and very reliable. He's been with our district for many years delivering email and serving up our district and school web pages. He watches over internet content at all our high schools. His name is Tux and he's going back to school. Learn more about this flightless bird and his impact on School District No. 73!

All of our elementary school workstations run Linux for their operating system. Students and teachers now have a large selection of free open-source educational, productivity, and office software.  School DistrictNo. 73 has 33 Elementary schools, all of which have a Linux Thin Client lab running Linux on the desktop.

Currently all of our secondary schools use Linux and FreeBSD for virus, and web content filtering. In 2006 Barriere Secondary was the first high school in our district to have all its student, teacher, and administrative workstations converted to Linux. In September 2009 we finished converting our last 3 secondary schools to Linux Desktops.

In 2001 School District No. 73 started installing Linux and BSD into our server rooms.  Now almost all of our our school board office servers also run Linux and BSD. We use Open Source Software for for email, virus-filters, spam-filters, domain name systems, and web servers. Most of our major information systems are web-based: student data warehouse, work orders, assets, transportation, budgets etc.

Some of the benefits to using Open Source Software:

  • No licensing fees.
  • Free upgrades.
  • Fast free support.
  • Diskless clients allows for instant updates to all workstations within a school.
  • No viruses.
  • No spyware.
  • Great security.
  • Reliable server uptime.
  • No pirating illegal software: p2p.
  • Ability to boot multiple customized images/desktops for custom tasks:
    • Staff/Student desktop (standardized stable),
    • Multimedia desktop (video/audio production),
    • Exam kiosk desktop (locked down secure),
    • Library search kiosk desktop (easily find books).

Some of the free software technologies that we use include Debian, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Arch, Gentoo, Free BSD, RedHat, MySQL, PHP, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, Linux Terminal Server Project, Diskless Clients, Dansguardian, Squid, Zimbra, Moodle, Wordpress, Cyrus, Squirrelmail, Blender 3D Animation, Scribus, Qcad, Cycus, kdenlive, xmms, and ardour.

Desktop Count

Linux Desktop stations (diskless)
Linux Count
February 2016

Chromebooks ( Linux )
February 2016


If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

John Cuzzola - Director of Information Technology

  • Data warehouse system
  • Accounting/HR system
  • Purchasing inventory system

Freddie Cash - Service Desk/Network Support

  • Email systems - zimbra, squirrelmail, mail routing and spam filtering
  • Web proxy filtering system
  • FreeBSD firewalls
  • Palo Alto firewalls
  • Webmin development

Dean Montgomery - Network Support / Programmer

  • District web application programmer.
  • Open Source on the Desktop - design and maintenance.
  • Chromebook administration.
  • iPad and Apple administration.
  • Moodle & Mahara implementation.