5 Reasons why kids should use Linux

Perhaps the most difficult part of providing quality technical support is when you need to assist young minds in mastering the complexities of technology. Today children of all ages use computers and it becomes an essential part of their learning curve that they understand the basics of keeping their system going. This is made easier when they work on open source platforms such as Linux.


How would young children benefit from using Linux? Read on..

First reason-No malware no headaches

Most times, children would want to download almost anything they find interesting or would like to know more about. This means the sources from which they will access all of these are indeed beyond the purview of the parent. It could be attachments, applications and any other format, the sources remain mysterious most times. Probably the first advantage of using Linux would be that you will not have issues of malware and Viruses.

Second Reason-Secure, Safe

You will not have to worry about password allowing unnecessary privileges. As long you do not give the root password, you are safe.  Remember that for all other OS you will have to edit all the files to ensure privileged access to your young ones.

Third Reason-bare costs

How much does it take for you, both in terms of hardware as well as costs, to get a licensed OS or Windows Vista or 7 running on all the systems at home? Yes, pretty high costs. Now with an open source system things are fast track and you can create simple to complicated powerful distribution on almost bare hardware.

Fourth Reason-specific skills

Here is the most important part of the whole story. Linux has specific distributions as well as software that address the specific needs of young adults as well as children. These are Sugar for K-6, Edubuntu for 3-18years old, Linux KidX, for 2-15 years of age, Foresight Kids, for 3-12 years old. The list is long and these are some of the most interesting.

Fifth Reason-monitoring your kids’ content

Linux comes equipped with sophisticated tools to help you filter the content you child uses. These are the DansGuardina and the SquidGuard will help you to edit files – /etc/hosts so that you set the filtering parameters.  Moreover, it is very easy to lock down on what your kid is using without retorting to additional software. The multiple choices of all of the above will ensure that your young users system is secure for use without disturbing content filtering in.

Linux is the easiest platform for young ones to learn early. The flexibility and the scalable features make linux an easy favorite for most early users. Beginning early on the open source is definitely an advantage for your young one. The ease of using Linux and the immense possibilities and capacities of the Open Source will be large playing ground for the young mind to explore and create and exciting new world of possibilities by himself.

  • Innocent Bystander

    Reason #6: it’s robust. A Linux OS will likely resist for a longtime before the kid could wreak havoc on the system. I heard all the time Windows users complaining: I don’t know my OS CD, I don’t know my Windows Product key, my system becomes now so slow, is my Anti-Bunch of things still up to date, etc.

  • rino

    My 9yr old has been using Linux since he was 3. My 3 year old also uses it.
    PCLInuxOS became our default desktop since 2007 version came out and we havent looked back.
    Our desktop from that year still has the dual boot Windows but none of our other computers run anything but Linux. Right now its PCLInuxOS, Puppy, Mandriva as well as one the laptops a constant sample of distros, right now its Arch, Gentoo, Fedora and Kubuntu which Im writing from.

    THe Win partition is barely visited anymore; the only thing we need on it are the nice chess game my son plays and the PES soccer game I still love on PC.

    Yet my son has no problems navigating Windows computers at his friends or Macs at school (because a school that c uts costs left and right on basic necessity always finds a way to buy new shiny toys). The fact that we use multiple distros at home on top of using KDE, XCFE and even E17 (Gnome is in the rotation every oncein awhile but when I installed it last about 2 years ago my wife said it was the ugliest thing she ever saw, she was talking about Ubuntu 8.04.) means that our sons have had to get used to think rather than learn by rote.
    My eldest knows what a file manager does, whther its called Dolphin or Windows Explorer doesnt matter.
    I asked him and he said almost insulted that hes not stupid that he cant figure out that KMenu button does the same thing as Start.

    He`s been using KDEnlive the past 18months and has no problems taking what he has learned about editing video to the magical Mac apps that do the same.

    And his friends all use our computers with no problem when they come over.

    Switching children to Linux is like teaching them new language at young age: they are sponges.

    But the old Linux is hard to use myths arent debated on kids, its debated on older people set in their ways. Having switched my parents, inlaws and aunts (I spend less than 1% of the time I used to upkeeping their machines), I can say neither learning Linux for first time or switching to it is that difficult.

    My dad loves to have to click updates because he likes to take part I guess and each time there is twice yearly KDE upgrade, he keeps saying ‘and all this is free? Why didnt we switch a long time ago?’ (the desktop wasnt ready dad).

    All the points are excellent but you couldshould do a whole series of articles
    on number 5. It is ALWAYS asked about by parents.

  • Jim

    Also good, http://www.kidzui.com has a great firefox extension. It’s a great, cleaned up content portal for your young ones.

  • http://flavors.me/Twiguard Twiguard

    Another reason could be that they would not learn to warez everything but to use the free/open alternatives if they wanted to use some kind of software and pay for the premium software.

  • bamdad

    why the hell would you want to monitor your kids’ content? a big brother-style solution never works out in the long run.

    either you have a good, solid relationship with them so that you trust each other, or you can try controlling them all you want, they will still be alienated from you (and real face of the world which *does* include porn and violence). sheesh..

  • Anonymous


  • Horibal

    Unless you (unwisely) allow your child to be ROOT, they can’t screw up the system, only their profile. Worst case: Create a new account for them and delete the old one.

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