Guadalinex v6 is out!

I am pleased to announce that the final version of Guadalinex v6 is out :-)
The official news are at the Guadalinex website. But it’s in Spanish, so I’ve decided to explain a bit (in my poor English) what is all about.
Before to start I like to thank to all those people who help to develop, test, fix, translate and document all those great projects which Guadalinex is based on. I really do. They make this possible and deserve most of the credits.
This is the 6th edition of Guadalinex which is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. The distribution is paid by the local government of a big region at the south of Spain, which is Andalusia.
There are a lot of people who think this is  waste of public money, but I think quite the opposite. And I think so because we don’t just make Ubuntu booting in Spanish and change the wallpaper, we try to listen to real end users from this region of the world and bring them the closer system to what they need and demand.
The distribution is oriented to the regular citizen, but it is being used at schools for few years. Thousands of children have been using Guadalinex (ergo Ubuntu/Debian/Gnome and much more free software stuff) everyday at the schools for about four years now.
But also people from very low populated areas of Andalusia have been using Guadalinex at centers with computers where they can learn computers skills and use internet for free. Now there are around 700 centers working from Monday to Friday for them.
Even the public libraries are using now Guadalinex.
Because of that, Guadalinex is more than a few technical or artistic changes. It’s a social project.

I think the changes we have made in this version are useful no just for Andalusian, but for all the people who feels more comfortable reading and writing in Spanish. And there also some interesting stuff for a normal Ubuntu user.

We like to push those improvements to Ubuntu, Debian, GNOME and all the wonderful projects we touch. And also new small tools we develop because our users need them. We think those are also useful for everybody.
I have to say that Guadalinex don’t try to compete with any distro. Guadalinex have its owns users with their needs and we just want to give them what they need. And in the process (if we can) to help the community and other people.

Our goals are really different from Ubuntu’s ones. Ubuntu need to be for everyone. Need to be universal and be useful and “compatible” with every person and culture.
We are the opposite. We need to target to specific people, with specific language, culture, needs and resources. That’s why Ubuntu is so useful for us, but Guadalinex is more useful for our users.
We have to deal with users who barely know how to write and know nothing about computers. Ok, we have also real good IT people or people who really know all this stuff, but our threshold is the user who less know.
We like fancy things on our desktops but sometimes we have to wait a bit to get them into Guadalinex because our users aren’t ready for them. And we know because we have professional helpdesk services, forums, feedback from teachers, from our technicians at the tele centers. So it’s not something we figure out by ourself and then take “conservatives” decisions, it’s something we do, because we know well to our users and we are here for them.
What I was trying to say is that Ubuntu (or any other generalist distribution) has a very important mission and there are a lot of smaller and more focused derivatives distributions that need to be there. This is an ecosystem and everyone grown and learn on this interaction.

Sorry for been so tedious, I’ll promise to tell shorter and funnier stories next time :-P

Well, actually my next post probably will be the list of things that are different between Ubuntu Jaunty and Guadalinex v6. The list is in Spanish now, so I want to explain it in English.
And If anyone like to try Guadalinex, we have a DVD version (the full edition) and a minor version on CD.
Thanks for reading ;-)
Happy hacking!

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23 Responses to “Guadalinex v6 is out!”

  1. Miles says:

    THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR POST!

    I’ve been aware of a Linux project in Estremadura since 2007, but it was hard to find much information about it those years. I still presented it in class, but wondered where it went – I though the project was dead.

    Looks like it’s alive. And rocking. :)

    • juanje says:

      Hi Miles :-)

      Thanks, but the distro you are talking about is another one, GnuLinEx, which is from Extremadura. Another big region of the south of Spain.

      Both projects have born almost together, but they’ve taken different approachs. For example, Guadalinex is based on Ubuntu while gnuLinEx is based on Debian.

      But they are also still alive and doing a really good job.

      The thing is that here in Spain we have a few educational or social projects that involve Linux distributions and are supported by regional goverments (Guadalinex, gnuLinEx, Lliurex, Molinux, Max and more). We are kind of lucky ;-)

  2. vic says:

    Is there an English version of Guadalinex? If not, why?

    • juanje says:

      Well, the reason of having a Guadalinex distribution is to have a full translated distribution into Spanish, apart of some others local, cultural and usability topics. Guadalinex is for Andalusian and they usually just speak Spanish.

      If you want a distro in English you have already Ubuntu and the most of the changes we have made can be installed via Synaptic or apt (adding the Guadalinex’s sources.list lines).

    • Tom says:

      Ubuntu is primarily an English only distro with ‘some’ translations of ‘parts of it’ into ‘a few’ other languages. Really the question should be “Is there a fully Spanish version of ubuntu?” Luckily, thanks to these people the answer is “Yes, Guadalinex”. In regular Ubuntu where a particular string hasn’t been translated into a language it reverts to american-english. Also there’s a strong cultural bias in Ubuntu towards american-english culture although it does try to keep a multi-cultural outlook and often succeeds to some extent. As i am english this is kinda ok, for me :)

      I hope this helps!
      Good luck and regards from
      Tom :)

      • Tom says:

        There’s an english ‘saying’ meaning “a jack-of-all-trades is master of none” i’m not sure quite how well that translates but it’s good to see Ubuntu fully ‘regionalised’ especially into spanish which is a hugely dominant language spanning huge areas of the globe and often even in america it might be peoples first language where american-english might be only their 2nd language! :)))

    • Tom says:

      Sorry Vic. It occured to me last night that i may have been tooo defensive and misinterpreted your question. Please ignore my previous posts here. It occured to me that it would be nice to try Guadalinex to see the differences and to gain a greater understanding of Andalucía. As with many people who’s first language is english i can’t speak any other language(!) so i could probably only appreciate Guadalinex fully if it does have english translations in it. Presumably these could come from mainstream ubuntu or upstream?

      Thanks for your patience and regards from
      Tom :)

  3. Konrad says:

    Hi Juanje,

    first of all big congrats for releasing v6. I am following (and using) Guadalines since v4, and I always liked its charm, its citizen-approach, its usability and stability.

    I’ve followed some spanish distros from afar — gnulinex, molinux, EducaMadrid, Bardinux, etc. –, and found Guadalinex the most useful, esp. for people with little IT-knowledge and no desire to spent their whole (spare) time in front of a monitor.

    It should be more emphazised that all these regional distros follow the same interesting pattern: a government of an autonmous region (be it Andalucia, Extremadura, Madrid, Castilla y Leon or Islas Canarias) coordinates the IT-education of its citizens by providing easy to use Linux-distros, adapted to the needs of the targets groups while *paying* the people who are maintaining the distros a salary. The benefits are obvious: A distro is adapted to the needs of the citizens; it is free of charge; it has a huge quality that makes it appropriate for usage at home, in libraries, (job-) training centers, government administrations, small and middle scale companies, and even in homes for the old people. And in contrast to a group of determined but unpaid people, a permanent paid staff is able to provide longterm-maintenance, stability and quality of the distro, changes in and improvements of the software as required, and last but not least a proper documentation. (BTW: Documentation is one of the main hassles in all “community”-based distros like Ubuntu.)

    Obviously if you are a Linux-nerd, you will be able to design your own distros. In that case there will be no point in prefering a distro like Guadalinex over say Ubuntu, Debian, Slack or whatever. But with the aim of bridging the digital divide by reaching out to as many IT-“uneducated” people as possible, (regional) government sponsored projects like Guadalinex (and its parent initiative Andalucia Compromiso Digital) are doing an all important job that could not be done otherwise (and can not be praised enough).

    The approach of the governments of the autonomous regions to educate the citiziens while paying the staffs that maintain the distros is admirable. It is not only a sign of responsibility and accountabilty, but also of citizen-oriented and citizen-based democracy: a government in service of the people. How I would like to see something like that here in Germany.

    Best wishes
    — Konrad

    • juanje says:

      Wow, nice review!

      Thanks so much for that and the wishes :-)

      I’m really glad you like it and we are very open to any kind of comment or recomendation from people like you that follow the project and know the aims we have.
      Any feedback from you (or anyone) will be more than welcome.

      Thanks and cheers :-)

  4. […] internetowej. Więcej informacji na temat tego systemu można przeczytać po angielsku na blogu Juanje Ojeda. Dodaj posta […]

  5. Congratulations!

    • juanje says:

      Thanks mate! :-)
      We owe you so much. You’ve given us help, advice and your support to work on it. Apart all the work you do for Ubuntu which comes to us as the rest of Ubuntu work.
      So congratulations to you too! ;-)

  6. foo says:

    Please please please please merge your work into Debian! We desperately need people to give back. I hope you are able to attend DebConf9 in Extremadura.

    • juanje says:

      We’ll try. Both things, to attend DebConf9 and to merge work into Debian.

      We have already send some patches to the Debian Live project (part of Debian) and we will try to get some of our new packages into Debian (there are already some ITP at the WNPP like Lemurae, Hermes, mount-systray and we’re planning to send more), but this process is slower than getting them into Ubuntu, so probably it will be first in Ubuntu and later (if we are lucky) in Debian.

      Anyway, we like to push changes and new features to the upstreams projects if any of you have any ideas to make this better, just tell us.
      We have very limited resources, but we’ll try to do our best.

      I hope to see you at DebConf9, Mr Foo ;-)
      Cheers

    • Tom says:

      Now i understand why mainstream ubuntu has such a huge % of completed translations into Spanish :) It’s great to see this project feeding back into mainstream Ubuntu so successfully. :))

      As far as i know mainstream Ubuntu makes a huge effort to push their translations upstream and also collects translations from upstream to try to complete their own internal translations faster. It’s not easy! Just sharing with Ubuntu means those translations will gradually filter into Debian and even completely different linux families.

      I’m not sure if it would help to focus on getting all the translations straight upstream rather than to Ubuntu 1st. It would help Debian a little, but not much – while at the same time it would make it slower getting the translations into use inside Ubuntu which is the number 1 distro for people new to linux these days.

      So really i think the way Guadalinex is currently doing things is possibly the best way for linux as a whole.

      thanks and regards from
      Tom :)

  7. Eddie says:

    Thanks! I am only beginning to learn Spanish, but one of these days (or months) I would like to set up an all-Spanish partition. I’ve bookmarked the Guadalinex site for future installation.

    From your article, I learned something about Spain, too. I never really thought of any part of Spain being rural and of low population, but it seems like Andalusia is that way.

    Oh. Your English isn’t weak at all. I understood every word.

  8. […] Guadalinex v6 is out! I am pleased to announce that the final version of Guadalinex v6 is out The official news are at the Guadalinex website. But it’s in Spanish, so I’ve decided to explain a bit (in my poor English) what is all about. Before to start I like to thank to all those people who help to develop, test, fix, translate and document all those great projects which Guadalinex is based on. I really do. They make this possible and deserve most of the credits. […]

  9. Kim says:

    As a longtime linux advocate, I wish thank you for your English translation. I believe Spain is definitely investing in an area were the need is very important. There are too many people worldwide that find themselves unable buy mainstream computers with expensive software. Bravo!!

    Excellent write up … Thank You, Merci, Migwetch from Canada.

  10. […] Leggete l’annuncio di rilascio (in spagnolo) per ulteriori dettagli e leggete anche questo post del blog di Juanje Ojeda (in inglese) che illustra le finalità del progetto. Download (MD5): […]

  11. Miket says:

    Just to let you know that deep in the countryside of rural Dorset I have one computer – at work – which has Guadalinex as the main operating system. I love it! It does everything I want – ant it helps me to practice my Spanish! Unfortunately the machine has a CD drive but no DVD drive so I can’t upgrade…..

  12. […] of the distribution. Read the release announcement (in Spanish) for further details and see also this blog post by Juanje Ojeda (in English) which explains the goals of the distribution. Download (MD5): […]

  13. Jaun Millalonco says:

    Just wanted to say great job with the blog, today is my first visit here and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts so far :)
    Juan

  14. Parejas says:

    Hola de parte de parejaspareja.es, encontre tu blog navegando por la red buscando extremadura en google. Me parece super interesante la información que tienes en tu blog y sin lugar a dudas regresare a leerlo. Tengo una pregunta, si podria traducir tu blog “Guadalinex v6 is out! « Nothing in particular” y añadirlos a un de mis blogs en italiano? Y por supuesto con el link direccionando a tu blog. Estare esperando tu respuesta. parejaspareja.es