Information for Labdooers (Volunteers)


In this guide you will find useful information for Labdooers (Labdoo users/volunteers), including information about how to sanitize laptops, how to package them ready for traveling, or general tricks and tips among others. While this document attempts to be comprehensive, if you have any questions that do not get answered in this guide, please post them directly in any of the Labdoo Teams and one member of the Labdoo community will provide an answer.

Labdoo Guide to Rescue a Laptop

There are several strategies to collect unused laptops from your local community. Many of the people you know have unused laptops sitting idly and the objective is to give them an option to repurpose them and convert them into powerful educational devices. Here are some ideas to help you find and rescue idle laptops.

1. Think of 5 people who will most likely donate their used laptops.

They can be your parents, your co-workers, your relatives, your class-mates or your friends. If you are a student or a teacher in a school, you can write a letter to the students parents asking for unused laptops. Many parents work for companies that have unused laptops.

2. Pitch potential donors with the 3 favorite things you like about Labdoo.

When talking with potential laptop donors, tell them about the Labdoo story. Tell them for instance about the notions of using collaboration to spread education around the world and without incurring any economic or environmental cost. You can get some ideas from the Labdoo Value, Philosophy and Principles.

3. Be proactive!

Contact the potential donors, in person or by e-mail. Describe the benefits that each player with the Labdoo platform receives. Here are some examples of benefits:

  • A benefit to the donor: They are basically helping themselves clear out old things and making more space.
  • A benefit to the community: The carbon footprint produced by a laptop is equivalent to 2 trees! (or 1500 liters of water, or 270 soda cans). Recycling laptops properly helps keep our environment green.
  • A benefit to the children who receive the laptops: The repurposed laptops are powerful tools to help underprivileged children receive an education. Once the donated laptop arrives at its destination, the donor will be able to follow the link assigned to the laptop he/she donated and see pictures of those children using the laptops.

Additional Tips.
1. Understand that what you are doing is creating a positive impact. A change in perspective can change your whole approach!
2. If you are too shy to ask face-to-face, hand written letters or emails are good alternatives.
3. Use your social networking skills and tools to bring awareness. Write a post on your favorite social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.) letting people know about your laptop collecting activities.
4. Don’t let the idea of rejection stop you. It happens to everyone, and it’s part of the learning process. The cause you are promoting is your best ally.
5. Leave friendly reminders to the people who promised you a laptop. Many donors need frequent reminders that they should take proper action on their idle laptops when they still hold value.
6. You can be creative and come up with your own laptop collection strategy.

Tagging a Laptop with a Labdoo ID Number

Each dootronic contributed to the Labdoo platform needs to be tagged and labeled with its unique Labdoo Indentifier (ID) to ensure that donors can track their donation all the way to the final destination school and/or the recycling factory.

The following steps describe the process of tagging a Labdoo laptop.

  1. At the top of the Labdoo's home page( ) , move your mouse cursor to "Collaborate" . Under "Labdoo Platform", click to select "Tag a device". Login to if you haven't done so. If you don't have a Labdoo account yet, please create one in order to tag the computer.)
  2. Fill in the information about your dootronic (Make sure you fill all the fields marked with a "*")
  3. If the donor desires so, it's very important to add the donor's email address to ensure that he/she can receive email updates about the status of the dootronic. Here's how:
    - Under Create Dootronic, select the second tab "Additional Information".
    - Scroll down to the field 'Additional notification emails'.
    - Fill in the donor's email address in this field.
  4. Under "Additional notes", add the laptop condition.
  5. Click "Save" once you are done. A unique Labdoo ID number will be assigned to the laptop.
  6. On the new page after clicking 'save', click on "Print tags" to print the "Labdoo ID" labels. (Alternatively, you can manually write the Labdoo ID number on the preprint blank label sheets that you will find in this link.)
  7. Tape the labels to (1) the laptop, (2) its power adapter, and all (3) the parts which come with the laptop. Ensure the taping is resistant so that the label does not get detached from the laptop.

Below is an example of a laptop tagging page.

Figure. Example of tagging procedure.

How To Sanitize a Laptop

The process of sanitizing a laptop involves three aspects:

  1. Physically cleaning the laptop's appearance.
  2. Deleting the laptop's previous information.
  3. Installing the educational software (operating system and educational applications).

Labdoo provides two laptop sanitation manuals: a Fast Restoration Method and a Step by Step Installation Method.

The Fast Restoration Method is the fastest method to install the operating system and the educational content on a laptop.

The Step by Step Installation Method is very useful if you are new to the project and want to see exactly what a Labdoo prepared laptop contains. This method guides you on how to:

  1. Delete the previous content of the laptop.
  2. Install the basic linux operating system.
  3. Install the basic software (ofimatic applications, linux software).
  4. Install additional educational content (RACHEL content, wikipedia for schools)
  5. Install more additional educational content (XOWA offline Wikipedias)

This process requires more time but is recommended if you want to learn and to see exactly what contents are installed, while the Fast Restoration Method performs all these steps automatically.

If you are new to the Labdoo Project, you can follow the Step by Step Installation Method. If you have more experience with the process or need to deal with a large number of laptops, we recommend you to use the Fast Restoration Method. Alternatively if you don't have the time to sanitize your own computer, you can always bring it to your closest hub and have labdooers there sanitize it for you (click on the menu option ‘Hubs’ located at the top of the Labdoo website and then on ‘View’ to go to the list of Labdoo hubs).

If you have problems or want assistance on how to perform the laptop preparation, ask for help on the Labdoo Global Support wall and somebody from the core team will be happy to assist you.

The basic educational software package installed in every Labdoo laptop is called Edubuntu. Edubuntu is a free software platform that includes educational applications covering many areas of science, from pre-school level to high-school level and available in more than 130 languages. You can learn more about Edubuntu directly from In addition to the Edubuntu platform, laptops can optionally be preloaded with additional educational content such as an offline version of Wikipedia and many other powerful Open Educational Resources (OER) such as Rachel, Xowa, UNESCO content, Khan Academy, etc.

The simple sanitation guide helps you to install the basic Edubuntu platform (preloaded with all the Edubuntu education applications) and allows you to optionally install extra educational packages via some scripts. The advanced sanitation guide uses pre-configured images and it allows you to install all the packages (both the Edubuntu platform plus all the extra education packages) in one shot using the image. The next table summarizes all packages installed by each method:

Content Step-by-Step
Step-by-Step Method
Plus Scripts
Fast Restore
Lubuntu LTS (Operating System) Yes Yes Yes
Edubuntu Educational Software (base education packages) Yes Yes Yes
Office Suite (Libreoffice) Yes Yes Yes
Wikipedia for schools "wikidoo" (English offline lexicon suitable for children) No Yes Yes
License-free manuals for Ubuntu, Libreoffice, etc. No Yes Yes
License-free e-Books No Yes Yes
XOWA, access to 800+ Offline Wikis in regional languages No Yes Yes
RACHEL, access to Khan Academy, Edison for Robotics, CK-12 Textbooks, UNESCO's IICBA Electronic Library, Great Books of the World, OLPC Educational Packages, or MIT Scratch, among many others No Yes Yes
Barrier-free access for blind or hearing impaired user No Yes Yes
Browser-based English course, Multimedia based following UK Curriculum No Yes Yes
Offline video tutorials for user No Yes Yes
Optimized user flow to avoid accidental system changes No Yes Yes
Preparation for virtual machines (VM VirtualBox) No Yes Yes
Virus scanner and tool ClamAV No Yes Yes
Suggested minimum size of disk drive 20 GB 40GB min 40GB min (more Size allows you to load more content)

Please continue reading this guide to learn the step by step process of sanitizing a laptop by choosing one of the available methods.

Sanitation Guide: Fast Restoration Method (Labtix)

Labdoo recommends installing by cloning images and using the installation tool Labtix (contributed by Labdoo volunteers). Labtix is freely available and anyone can use it. It runs as a 32-bit ISO image on every laptop and it can clone both 32 and 64 bit images. Since Labtix is under continuous development and improvement, please check our FTP server regularly to see if there is a new version available.

Note for advanced users: Labtix has a persistence mode, i.e. you can make your own changes to Labtix and save them. You act as root user in fact. The password (only needed if you "get stuck" in the terminal when booting ) is "labdoo". But beware - as root you can destroy Labtix or bloat it by too many changes. Labtix fits on a CD when delivered. The tool ISO-snapshot also allows you to create a new ISO-file that takes over possible changes to the system.

Labtix comes with different installation tools and you can find most of them on your desktop. Which tool suits you best is up to you. They all have their strengths and advantages:

  • Labdoo installer: with a graphical user interface.
  • Auto deploy and content installer: complete and terminal-based installation tool that also automates the deployment of additional content to multiple languages.
  • "2-click" installer: clone images from the File manager SpaceFM with 2 clicks.

On the Labtix desktop, you will find a red folder ''Docs'', where you can find manuals as PDF files. However, we recommend you to watch the individual steps and tools in a YouTube video tutorial.

Sometimes you have to select certain settings in the boot menu because of the hardware, e.g. Toshiba, Nvidia and others. Otherwise, it can happen that Labtix doesn't boot, gets stuck at terminal level (the desktop doesn't appear) or the monitor remains dark. In these cases try the options in Failsafe Mode or Safe Video Mode. This is also explained in the YouTube tutorials below.

All video-tutorials are on our YouTube channel and on our FTP server

Preparation for the Fast Installation Methods

If you already have a bootable CD or USB Stick with our Labtix installation environment and Laboo Images for cloning, you can skip this chapter.

Thanks to the Labtix tool (LiveCD), all pre-installed learning content in labdoo systems can be "cloned" quickly and easily to new computers using the so-called images.
These images are available in 4 languages (English, Spanish, German, French). So you can select the language in the target country of the IT donation depending on the language and manually upload further learning contents in further languages.

You need two things for that:
Labtix bootable media: this can be a CD or USB stick, that you use to boot the Laptop you want to have restored, into the Labtix einvironment.
External USB hard drive: to store the cloning images and other learning content from our FTP server (Labdoo also provides an already prepared USB Drive to the volunteers, please contact your local Hub).

Labtix: The Labdoo installation environment

To be able to install older and newer computers with a license-free tool, has a small solution (live-image) based on the Linux-Version Antix which we have called Labtix (a combination of Labdoo and Antix).

In Labtix you will find everything you need to delete old data on a donated computer or laptop, for fast and automated installation proceses in order to obtain a ready-to-ship computer. Additionally, Labtix provides many tools to diagnose hardware, to analyze and solve problems (CPU/processor, temprerature problems, damaged hard drives, etc.)

You can download the iso file for Labtix from our FTP server
here (MD5SUM).

Once you have downloaded the file, you can create a boot media (CD or USB) from the iso file, which you will use to start and prepare (Sanitation process) donated computers

Creating a bootable USB or CD/DVD from the Labtix ISO

The next thing to do is to convert the ISO file into a bootable CD or USB bootstick (simple copying is not enough!). This often works with file managers of your favorite operating system or with additional tools. For further questions consult the web (search for "cd / USB stick create ISO" and your operating system).

A blank 750 MB CD is sufficient for one CD (DVD is not necessary), USB sticks go from 1 GB (but usually 4 GB is the smallest size you can get). Note for technicians: Labtix has a persistence mode, with which you can save your desired configuration. However, this takes up more space, therefore 4 GB or more is better.

- Download and run a program for creating bootable media. For example, Rufus: (link is external) or another alternative
(link is external)
- Run Rufus, select the USB device, click on the "Select" button and select the labtix.iso file, then click on ''Start''.

you will find many useful tools for Linux in the following link:
(link is external)

But the easiest and fastest way is using dd. Once you know the device path to your USB key (in the example /dev/sdb) run:
dd if=Labtix.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M; sync
(see details explained under:

You can use the following procedure: [ ]
(Here we refer to Internet and search engines).

Labdoo-Cloning images method and additional content

For the Fast Restoration method, you need to clone the Labdoo Images. For cloning, you have to download the images first. Images are copies of a complete, pre-installed system (of already sanitized laptops). Linux has a great feature that other operating systems don't have. You can transfer a system from computer A to computer B - and it runs!

You will find these images online in our Labdoo FTP server
You can also download these images from the web browser by selecting the image you want to download, right-click on it, and then select "save link as".

This does not work for folders or for many files! These have to be downloaded individually and of course, this is a lot of work.
Simple methods for downloading multiple files for all common operating systems can be found at

Images are large and the download takes a long time, so If you are familiar with FTP clients, we recommend downloading them directly via FTP (sftp, userlabdoo and password labdoo).

Labdoo Images for Cloning

When deciding what image is best for you, you should consider the following aspects:

  • The CPU/processor architecture of the computer you are currently working on (32 bit or 64 bit). You can easily figure this out with the Labtix environment. It will be displayed in the upper right corner of your desktop (see also the video above).
  • The target language you want to install.
  • The size of the hard disk in the computer to be refurbished. This size is displayed e.g. in the BIOS or after booting Labtix.

The name of an image on the FTP server shows:

imagesThe French and Spanish images occupy 80 GB because they already have the learning content in these languages (Wikis, OER Open Educational ressources,...). The German image is additionally played with German courses, dictionaries in many refugee languages etc..

The English images of 80 Gbs as well, but the larger images (160,250 Gbd) include even more learning contents

Additional learning content

Additional learning content can be added after the installation process if you are not using the method that allows you to add additional content during installation. We will come back to this later...

External USB hard disk preparation (1+ TB)

The downloaded images are already unpacked and ready to use. Copy them to an external hard drive or a local server. The USB disk must be formatted to store large files. For example, FAT32 is not possible because FAT32 can only handle files smaller than 4GB. NTFS is the recommended filesystem for an external hard disk.

The automated installation scripts require to be saved to an external hard disk without a parent directory, as they are stored on the FTP server. For further details please refer to the manual

Connecting to the Labdoo FTP server

The Labdoo FTP server allows users to download files and images for Labdoo devices for free. Here are some simple ways to connect to the FTP server. Pick the one that suits you best. For security reasons, Labdoo does not allow unsecured FTP protocol, only the secured SFTP protocol (no ftp, only sftp).

Keep in mind again, that if this all takes too long or is too much work for you, especially for a one-time installation, then give your IT donation into the hands of Labdoo Hubs and helpers!

Note: Labdoo is not responsible for third-party software.


1. Accessing the server through your browser

Open the URL in a browser and navigate via the links (Make sure the URL begins with “http://” and not “ftp://). Here you can download all files for free.
To download a file, click on a link with the right button of your mouse, then click "Save target as" (name can be different depending on your browser and opperating system).
This method's advantage is that you can access without a password, but on the other hand files can only be downloaded individually.


2. Access data to connect to the FTP server

It is more convenient to connect your PC or server directly to the FTP server. Depending on your operating system there are several tools below. We created a user on the FTP server: labdoo with the password labdoo and read permissions (no write permissions), which is available to you for this purpose. If you need write permissions, please contact (EN) or (DE).

Protocol = sftp (sftp is safer than ftp, so only sftp is available)
Server =
Username = labdoo
Password = labdoo
Path = /var/www/download


3. Integrate into the file manager (Windows, Swish)

Windows does not offer its own way to connect the file manager to an FTP server via the sftp protocol. ftp would be possible, but we do not offer this for security reasons. However, you can use additional programs sftp, e.g. the Swish Add-on for the Windows file manager is external) .

After installing Swish, you have to set up the access to the FTP-Server:

Login to the FTP server: Name - choose a name of your choice; server:; user: labdoo; path: /var/www/download
Security key: Save and connect - key remains permanently on the PC until changed; Simply connect - key is only saved for this session and will be queried again next time
Enter the password labdoo, now you can use the FTP server like a drive on your PC.


4. Filezilla

It is easy to connect your computer to the FTP server with special tools if you need to download massive files. The free FTP client Filezilla can be downloaded here

The start path can be set in the settings under Advanced --> Default directory on the server. Then you don't always have to click through the whole file system.

Enter the access data: Server - s ; Username labdoo ; Password - labdoo ; Port - 22


5. Linux
If you are using GNU/Linux, you can easily integrate the FTP server using the sftp protocol (secure FTP). Simply enter the path for the FTP folder → in your favorite file manager.


6. rsync

More information about using rsync for Linux users can be found here

If you want to mirror the whole FTP server, you can do so with the following command rsync -avHe ssh (Attention: Several 100 GB!)

If you want to mirror the subfolder /install-disk (installation disk), you can do this with the following command rsync -avHe ssh (Attention: almost 1 TB!)


7.Connecting Apple iOS using iTransfer to an FTP server

For Apple and iOS you can install and use the free tool iTransfer


8. recommended folders or links

If you want you can mirror the whole FTP drive :) Maybe you should choose the content you really need? Here are some useful paths that might be of interest to you:

All data necessary for an installation:
English documents:
Graphics + logos:

If you have any questions send an e-mail to Labdoo Global Support team wall and a Labdooer will get back to you.

Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

2 - Click Installation Method

This section describes how to use the file manager SpaceFM to clone images with just 2 clicks.

  • Double-click to start the file manager SpaceFM.
  • Mount the drive on which the images for cloning are located.
    • For external USB drives: plug it in, the drive appears with a - in front of it, then click on the entry and the "-" becomes a "+".
    • On a server: Plugins→MountShare→Scan and manually enter the IP address of the server, if necessary select Share from the list, User and Passwort→Mount.
    • The drive / server is now mounted, i.e. the computer has access to it.
  • Open the folder with the images.
  • Right click on the folder containing the image to be installed.
  • Click on "Labdoo Image Installer" in the displayed functions list.
  • In the next window:
    • Put a checkmark at "Shred sda" (hard disk will be overwritten 3 times) or remove it (hard disk will not be deleted),
    • Optional: enter host ID, if already known (otherwise this can be changed after restart)
  • The image is now copied to the internal hard disk sda.
  • At the end GParted opens for control to display the finished partition on sda. The whole hard disk should be available. Close GParted. In rare cases the automatic adjustment of the partition does not work. Then it can be adjusted manually.
  • The window with the installation's confirmation will appear, confirm with "ok" and close.
  • The installation will be confirmed in the terminal, then close with ''Enter''.
  • The installation is complete. Labtix can be shut down with "Poweroff" or "Save Poweroff" and the computer can be restarted.

Autodeploy ( method

Autodeploy and content installer: the complete terminal based script installation tool

NOTE: The new version (included in Labtix from Septeber 2018) automates the deployment of learning content to multiple languages (not visible in video)

Manual (pdf):

Installed tools for Labtix

Labtix comes with some useful, pre-installed tools:

SpaceFM. A file manager for the usual file actions and for mounting external devices. It also has plugins to mount shares and burn CDs or DVDs and others. SpaceFM is highly configurable and can be modified with additional plugins. The trashcan is disabled to prevent the accumulation of too much data in persistent mode, but it is addable as a plugin if needed. It should not be removed, because it is part of the desktop's environment!

Conky. A tool for displaying system information on the desktop. The output window is located in the upper right corner. The configuration file is /etc/conky/conky.conf.

Arandr. A tool to configure the screen layout. Very useful if the internal monitor was removed from your device and an external monitor is connected.

ISO-Snapshot. A tool to create an ISO snapshot of the system. The Snapshot saves all changes to the system. While running ISO Snapshot, select the directories that are NOT addable to the snapshot, except the "Desktop" directory that contains the .desktop files. You should move existing snapshots to a directory that you do not want to add to the Snapshot. The Snapshot is saved in /home/snapshot. If you create Snapshot in a non-persistent system (for example, booting from CD-ROM), you should stored it on another device. If there is not enough space to store the snapshot, the storage path can be set to another USB stick. It is possible to install Snapshot on a USB device with UNetbootin or to burn to a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM using SpaceFM's IG-Burn tool plugin.

UNetbootin. A tool to create bootable USB sticks. Start Unetbootin, activate "Diskimage", select the ISO snapshot (should be in /home/snapshot) and select the USB target drive. You should format the USB stick with fat32 and mount it (use SpaceFM for this). After the installation on a thumbdrive, you should use Gparted to check if the boot flag is set correctly!

Networking. Use the command line tool ceni or WICD to set up WLAN. LAN should work by default. Due to the low transfer rate, images should not be installed via WLAN.

Psensor. A tool to control the temperature of CPU, GPU and others.

Gsmartcontrol. A tool for reading the hard disk's S.M.A.R.T. data to check if the hard disk is ok. If you see "red" in the registers, you should use a different hard disk.
Tip: If a Seagate hard disk displays thousands of events for reallocating reallocations in the Attributes tab, the drive is not damaged. These hard disks have different firmware, specifically for Lenovo computers that uses the memory bit for reallocation events for other purposes.

Gparted. A great tool for partitioning disks, repairing file systems and copying partitions.

Using the Keyboard Layout Handler on the right side of the panel you can change the keyboard layout with a left mouse click. To make a permanent change, right click and use the "Keyboard Layout Handler Settings". The topmost keyboard layout in the list will be preset at startup. With a left mouse click you can browse the pre-installed keyboard layouts (German, US English, French, Spanish).

Hardinfo. A tool that gives you extensive information about the hardware and software of the computer.

The battery-plugin in the panel gives you information about the status of the battery when the mouse moves over it. With a right mouse click and "Battery Monitor Settings" you can activate the plug-in, if you haven't already done so.

Firefox-esr is a slimmed down version of Firefox and helps you researching the web. It can also display pdf files. By default, it does not collect cookies and does not store data, to avoid bloating with unnecessary data in persistence modeLabtix.

For more information please use the man pages of the help function in the terminal (eg "man gparted" or type in "psensor --help" and press (Enter)) or use the internet.

Desktop Settings:
The Labtix desktop environment is based on openbox with the additional lxpanel. If you right-click on the desktop, you can select "Desktop Settings" so you can make changes to the desktop. To install new starters on the desktop, copy them from /usr/share/applications on the desktop. To move icons on the desktop, use Shift + Drag. Please note that in some cases SpaceFM will move the items from the folder. In this case please copy them back. The "Add to Desktop" function of the Lxpanel menu does not work with Openbox.
To make changes to Lxpanel, simply click the panel with the right mouse button.
Use the Openbox Configuration Manager to change the design of the windows and other general optimizations.
For Autostart: Copy the .desktop files to /etc/xdg/autostart or edit /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart for necessary commands.

Persistence allows you to save changes to a live system like Labtix. An additional file to save all changes of the running system is addable to the USB stick. Enabling persistence on boot will slow down the boot process. Mainly, you sould use Persistence so you can make changes to a live system like Labtix and create a new snapshot to get a new, stable and fast boot live system. You can only installe Persistence on a USB stick. We recommend UNetbootin to install Labtix on a USB stick. USB sticks created with dd cannot be made persistent.

Make a USB stick persistent:
Booting from a Labtix USB stick. In the first boot screen, select the options "F5 -> persist_root" and "F8 -> save" and press "Enter" to boot. Follow the instructions to add persistence to the USB stick. Select "manual" as storage method. Adding the persistence file to the USB stick can take several minutes per GB. So please be patient.
As long as the option under "F5" is set to "persist_root", the USB stick will boot into persistence mode. Sometimes it is useful to boot without persistence. This can be done by setting the option under "F5" to "none".
In Labtix there is a green "Save Poweroff" button on the right side of the panel to save and shut down system changes and a red "Poweroff" button to shut down the computer without saving changes.

UEFI Boot only or BIOS locked and UEFI set

[This page explains a solution in case a donated computer can only boot with UEFI or the BIOS is locked (password unknown) and UEFI is set as the boot option. If your computer can boot in legacy mode, you can skip this page].

Back in 2013/2014, there was a technical and legal discussion about SecureBoot and UEFI. The manufacturers argued that only UEFI boot on their computer provides security and therefore must only be used. However, the EU and NGOs went to court and the judges decided that the computer manufacturers had to re-open the BIOS settings so that users could choose whether to use the UEFI boot, the legacy boot (the "old" boot) or both as boot options. Computers that were produced before the "UEFI only" decision and after the old flexibility decision have no problem installing with Labtix and prepared Labdoo images.

However, if the computer was manufactured in the "UEFI only" period in 2013/2014, this may cause problems when installing a Lubuntu-based installation. Our Labdoo images are set up for legacy boot, not for UEFI boot (although Lubuntu could). We have described a solution for these specific UEFI-only machines here.

Another use case is a locked BIOS. A computer has been donated, but a BIOS password has not been removed and is unknown. If the boot option in the BIOS is set to "UEFI / Secure Boot Only" and cannot be switched to "Legacy Boot" because of the password lock, you can run the installation process described below and then use the computer for Labdoo.

If our solution is too difficult for you, please contact Labdoo helpers or hubs in your country / region and ask them for support.

You can use the installation tool Labtix (recommended, supports UEFI-Boot) or Parted Magic. PXE is not possible because you have to select certain options during the installation process and PXE does not allow access to these settings.

The installation sequence is rough:

  • First install a small Xubuntu based image via cloning in a partition (Xubuntu is able to UEFI boot); a prepared image is available on FTP server,
  • Next ,install in a second partition of one of our Labdoo images with slightly different settings than usual.
  • Change the grub boot file.
  • After that, the system will boot and a user will not even notice that this is a special "UEFI only" laptop.
  • This solution only works for 80 GB disc-drives or bigger.

So here are the steps in details:

  1. Download the special UEFI-Boot image, available on our FTP-Server and copy it to a local USB-drive or any local server.
  2. Start Labtix, run the Clonezilla tool (icon on the Labtix desktop) and make the drive with the special UEFI image available - Important: Use "expert mode" and "restoredisk", mark the option -icds . For experts: Or install Xubuntu (I think all other UEFI based * buntu do it too) in UEFI mode on the device.
  3. If you use the prepared UEFI image, the size of the partition sda2 is set to 80 GB by default. A Labdoo image for 80 GB fits. If you want to install an image for a 160 GB or 250 GB hard drive, you have to enlarge the partition sda2 with GParted.
  4. Shut down the computer and restart it with Labtix.
  5. Start Clonezilla to replace sda2(!) of the installed UEFI-Boot image / Xubuntu by replacing "restoreparts" with sda1 of the Labdoo-image you want to install. Make sure you choose the target-partition sda2 when asked and the "-icds"-option in "Clonezilla advanced extra parameters". Make sure the option "-k Do NOT create a partition table..." is checked.
  6. After installing sda2, use GParted to maximize sda2. Check if the "boot"- and "esp"-flags are set to sda1. To retrieve the UUID of sda2 right-click on it and select "Information". Mark the UUID and copy it with "Ctrl" + "C" to the clipboard.
  7. Edit /EFI/ubuntu/grub.cfg in the EFI-bootpartition ( usually sda1, the small partition with 512MB ) with the editor Geany and replace the given UUID with the UUID of sda2 you copied by GParted. E.g. open SpaceFM -> sda1 -> navigate to /EFI/ubuntu/grub.cfg -> right mouse click -> open > Geany editor -> in line 1 you will see a UUID -> mark and paste the new UUID from the clipboard. Don't forget to save the file before closing Geany editor.
  8. Shut down and restart the computer. Now it should start in UEFI mode and users will see the Labdoo login after a short time.

This description is very technical, but it works. If you know a simpler solution, please feel free to contact us.
A special thank you goes to helpers from hub Rhein-Ruhr (Germany) for noticing and solving this specific problem.

Sanitation Guide: PXE Over the Network



This wiki will lead you through the process of sanitizing Labdoo laptops using ready-to-use images from the network. It allows you to sanitize laptops using a fast and efficient cloning process and is also very helpful if you are dealing with a large number of laptops. However, this process is quite more complex at the same time and that is why we consider it an advanced method. If you are new to Labdoo and do not have much experience with computers, we recommend you to use the Simple Sanitation Method, but if you are up for learning a great way to install a powerful software in a computer, this is your guide.

Images are a complete software copy of an installed Labdoo computer containing everything, from the operating system, software, educational content to al optimized settings. The cloning process takes care of everything for you in one shot, except for adopting the final configuration to the country of the destination edoovillage (language and keyboard) and setting the hostname.

In the next section you will find a step by step description of the Sanitation process based on images.

How to use a Labdoo PXE server to sanitize laptops

[Note: This section assumes you have a Labdoo PXE server with you (because you either created one by following the instruction in the section below "Steps to create a new Labdoo PXE server" or because another hub gave you the Labdoo PXE server so that you can use it to sanitize your laptop)]

If you already have a Labdoo PXE server, please read the "PXE Process in detail" document that you can download from this link. This guide explains step by step how to use the PXE server to sanitize laptops. You can also download from this link the "Labdoo Process Slip", a handy slip which will allow you to track each laptop technical description as explained in the "PXE Process in detail" document.

Steps to create a new Labdoo PXE server

# Installbox

The Installbox set-up allows you to automatically install Linux clients on a large scale.

### Pre-Requirements

- A laptop with wireless LAN and gigabit ethernet port
- A gigabit switch
- Network cables to connect the clients
- Wireless internet access where you are NOT using the IPv4 network address

# Installbox Setup

- Download the customized ISO image: GET-LATEST-VERSION-FROM-WEB.iso
- Either burn the image to a CD or write it to a USB key using dd if=debian-jessie-installbox.iso of=/dev/sdb
(replace sdb with the device node of your USB stick, if necessary).
- Boot the laptop using the CD or the USB stick.
- Please do not connect the ethernet cable yet.
- Select the option "Install" during boot.
- You will be asked to select the keyboard layout, select the one that fits best for you.
- During network set-up please select the wireless interface. There should be two interfaces on the list:
eth0 (which is ethernet, don't select this one!) and wlan0.
Note: If you do not see those two interfaces here, please abort the installation process. It means that your device is not supported.
- When you have selected wlan0, the installer will search for wireless networks available. Select your network.
Most modern wireless networks use WPA/PSK for authentication, so if you are not sure, you can select this option.
- Type in your Wireless password in the next step. Please note that it is displayed in a clear text.
- Relax, the rest of the installation should work fully automated.
- After a while the device reboots, so you can now connect an ethernet cable from the laptop's installation box to the gigabit switch.
- You should now be able to connect any client to the switch and select ethernet boot.
On Lenovo, you can press F12 and choose the network interface as a boot device.
- On the install box, an NFS export has been created on /exports.
This will be available to all clients on the LAN and should contain the Clonezilla images.

# PXE Boot Options

When you boot a client, the boot menu will show the following options:

- Clonezilla Autorestore x86
This should be started on a client where you want to apply the default image. No interaction needed, all existing data will be deleted.
It will restore an image called Linux-x86 which must be available in /exports on the install box.

- Clonezilla Autorestore x86_64
Same as Autorestore x86 but for the 64bit variant. It will automatically restore an image called Linux-x86_64

- Preseed x86
Prepare a 32bit master installation

- Preseed x86_64
Prepare a 64bit master installation

- Clonezilla Autosave x86
Create an image of a master installation. It will automatically be written to the NFS share /exports under the name Linux-x86.
Note: This will overwrite an existing image of the same name in the install box.

- Clonezilla Autosave x86_64
Same as Autosave x68 but for the 64bit variant. It will automatically write a disk image to the install box at /exports/Linux-x86_64.
Note: This will overwrite an existing image of the same name on the install box.

- Clonezilla Live
Just the default live image with all options and the NFS share already mounted.

- SystemRescueCD
A universal system recovery toolbox. It also contains GParted for manual partitioning.
To start GParted, simply type startx and then click on the GParted icon in the taskbar.

- Boot and Nuke
starts dban and will automatically wipe all data on disk.

Note: you can press the tab key on all options in order to change settings manually.
To permanently adjust the file, edit /var/lib/tftpboot/prd/pxelinux.cfg/default on the installbox.

# Workflow

After you have set up the install box a typical workflow would be the following:

1. Create a master image

- Choose another laptop on which you want to create the master image.
- Connect the laptop to a port on the gigabit switch.
- Follow the steps described in the 'Prepare Master Image' section.

Alternatively, you can download a prepared master image. See the 'Image Creation Cutoff' section below for further details.

2. Provision laptops with the newly created master image

- after the master image has been stored on the install box, choose the relevant Clonezilla Autorestore option from the PXE menu

Once you have created a master image, there is no need to re-create it other than changes that need to be done to it.
Next time, you can just start provisioning clients using the Autorestore option.

Hint: if you are not sure, just create a master image for the x86 architecture. This should work on nearly every machine.

# Image Creation Cutoff

If you do not want to prepare an image on your own, you can download the prebuild image for the x86 architecture.

To do so, execute the following commands in the install box:

sudo wget -c GET-LATEST-VERSION-AS.tar.gz -O /exports/linux-x86.tar.gz
sudo tar xvzf /exports/linux-x86.tar.gz -C /exports/

Note: the image to download might take a long time, it depends on your internet connection.
If the download is interrupted for some reason, you can resume it by executing exactly the wget command from above again.

This image is set up for the Swiss-German keyboard layout. If you want to customize it:
- Deploy a machine using the 'Clonezilla Autorestore x86' function.
- Boot it and make your customization.
- Boot the SystemRescueCD and start GParted.
- Shrink the root partition to ~ 30000MB.
- Remove any existing version of the image by running sudo rm -rf /exports/Linux-x86 on the install box.
- Reboot the client that contains your modifications and select the Clonezilla Autosave option for x86.
This will save your modified version to the install box.

# Prepare Master Image

In order to develop a master image from scratch, please make sure that the install box in your laptop has a working wireless LAN internet connection.

### Preseed

On a client that connects to the gigabit switch, start the pxe boot and select either Preseed for x86 or x86_64.
This will set up an install base of ubuntu with a user "Labdoo" and a password "Labdoo".

After preseeding, boot into the newly installed system and apply the customization from:

If you want to modify the preseed file, e.g. to set up a different user account, just edit /var/lib/tftpboot/trusty/preseed.cfg

Hint: To change the keyboard layout (which defaults to us), simply run dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration after installation.

### Creating the Image

When the client has been set up according to your needs, reboot and select the relevant Clonezilla Autosave option that fits best the architecture of your master set-up.

This will automatically save an image to the install box that will be applied later to other clients using the Clonezilla Autorestore function for that architecture.

Note: This automated process has been optimized for image installations on systems with at least 40GB HDD/SSD of space.
If you need to install it on machines with smaller disks, please shrink the root partition before creating the image.

# Image Requirements

If you do not want to use the images that eventually work with the install box setup, please make sure that your images
fulfill the following requirements:

- images should be deployed automatically using this setup and must have the following partition layout:
/dev/sda1 - swap (suggested size 2GB)
/dev/sda2 - root / ext4
- after the master preparation, please shrink the root partition to its minimal size possible.
This ensures that the image will be deployable on small drives as well.

# Resetting the Installbox

You can reset the changes made to the install box default settings at any time by running /usr/local/sbin/applypuppet as root.

# Making of the Installbox ISO

This step is not necessary, it is just for informational purposes. It describes how the ISO for the install box was created.

apt-get install -y bsdtar genisoimage syslinux-utils
cd ~
rm -rf cd
mkdir cd
bsdtar -C cd -xf firmware-8.2.0-i386-netinst.iso
vi cd/isolinux/txt.cfg
- append vga=788 initrd=/install.386/initrd.gz --- quiet
+ append vga=788 initrd=/install.386/initrd.gz url=GET-LATEST-VERSION-FROM-WEB.cfg locale=en_US.UTF-8 ipv6.disable=1 debconf_debug=5 netcfg/get_domain=domain.example netcfg/dhcp_timeout=60 netcfg/get_hostname=installbox --- quiet
quit vi with ESC :wq!
vi cd/isolinux/gtk.cfg
- append vga=788 initrd=/install.386/gtk/initrd.gz --- quiet
+ append vga=788 initrd=/install.386/gtk/initrd.gz url=GET-LATEST-VERSION-FROM-WEB.cfg locale=en_US.UTF-8 ipv6.disable=1 debconf_debug=5 netcfg/get_domain=domain.example netcfg/dhcp_timeout=60 netcfg/get_hostname=installbox --- quiet
quit vi with ESC :wq!
cd cd; md5sum `find ! -name "md5sum.txt" ! -path "./isolinux/*" -follow -type f` > md5sum.txt; cd ..
genisoimage -o debian-jessie-installbox.iso -r -J -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/ ./cd
isohybrid debian-jessie-installbox.iso

# Additional Notes

- There is a script available on the installbox called /usr/local/sbin/pxesync.
It can sync the files needed for PXE boot for the Ubuntu and Debian distributions.

# Changelog

20150930 v0.2
- added prebuild image

20150928 v0.1
- initial setup

Sanitation Guide: Step-by-step Installation Method


This brief document describes the process of sanitizing a laptop according to the Simple Method.

[TIPS. If you'd like to get tips on how to collect unused laptops from your local community, please click here. After the laptop gets sanitized, you can click here to learn different ways to package the laptops to get them ready for schools that needs them. If you get stuck in any of these steps during the sanitizing process, you can post your questions in the wall of the Labdoo QA Team so that others can help you.]

Sanitation Steps

The current standard process of sanitizing a laptop is as follows:

  1. If the laptop is not already tagged with a Labdoo ID number, please follow the instructions under "tagging a laptop" page. Make sure you print 3 labels and attach two of them to the laptop and one to the AC adapter following the instructions that you will find on the website.
  2. Download the Ubuntu Mate 20.04 release from this link (this is a large .iso image):
  3. Burn the downloaded file into a CD. Make sure you burn the downloaded file as an ISO image. If you don't know how to do this, you can follow the instructions from any of these links depending on the type of computer you use to burn the CD:
    (Note: you can either use a CD or a DVD, the burning process is the same. We recommend to use a CD because some older computers do not accept DVD.)
    - Burning a CD using a Windows computer.
    - Burning a CD using an Ubuntu computer.
    - Burning a CD using a Apple/Mac computer.
  4. Insert the Lubuntu CD into the laptop you intend to sanitize and boot the laptop from the CD. Upon booting the laptop with the CD, you should see the Linux installation menu. If you don't see it, you need to enter into the bios of the laptop and change your computer's booting order to make sure that it first boots from the CD. For more information on how to configure the bios, see this page.
  5. Upon seeing the Lubuntu installation menu, start by selecting the installation language; for instance, choose “English”.
  6. Select “Install Lubuntu”.
  7. Select the language to be installed on the laptop. If you don't know the destination country, select “English”. If you know the destination country, select that country's language.
  8. In the "Wireless" screen, if you have an internet connection, you may select the network you use from the list and enter its password. Otherwise, leave it as default.
  9. The next window is just to confirm that the laptop fit into the minimum Hard Drive requirement. Hit "continue" once.
  10. Now we are going to do a small trick to ensure we completely remove any previous private data from the computer. Please press at the same time the keys 'Alt + CTRL + F3'. This will take you to a terminal window. In this terminal window, please enter the following command first: sudo apt-get install coreutils
    [press enter]. Once this command is executed, run this other command: sudo shred /dev/sda -f -v --iterations=2 [press enter]. (If this second command does not work, you can try with 'hda' instead of 'sda', like this: sudo shred /dev/hda -f -v --iterations=2.) This second command launches a process that will run for about 1 hour or so and overwrites the disk with random values. After you finish with this process, press at the same time the keys 'Alt + CTRL + F7' to continue the installation process and go to the next step. (Please see the video in this page for a complementary illdustration of this step.)
    Note: If the above does not work, an alternative method is to reboot the computer and select the option "Try Ubuntu" to boot Ubuntu in trial mode. Then once Ubuntu is booted, open a terminal by pressing the keys [Ctrl+Alt+T] at the same time. In this terminal, type the same 'shred' commands described in the previous paragraph. Once the shred process is completed, reboot again and redo all the installation steps again but omitting this step.
  11. Select the destination country. If you don't know it, pick the country where you are.
  12. When it prompes “detect keyboard”, select “No”.
  13. On the next screen, pick the origin country of your keyboard.
  14. Press “cancel” when the network is being configured (there is no need to do network installation since you have the CD and the updates are installed later).
  15. When you are asked for “Your name”, please enter the word “Labdoo”.
  16. When you are asked for the “Your computer name”, please enter the word labdoo with its Labdoo ID number (eg. labdoo_000003454).
  17. When you are asked for the “username”, please enter the word “labdoo”.
  18. When you are asked for the “password”, please enter the word “labdooadmin”.
  19. When you are asked for the “Confirm your password”, please enter the word “labdooadmin”.
  20. Select any time zone you want if the system requests.
  21. When you are asked for the “Partitioning method”, please select “Guided – use entire disk”.
  22. When you are asked for HTTP proxy information, please leave it empty and just press “Continue”.
  23. When it says “Install the GRUB boot loader”, please say “Yes”.
  24. When it says “Is the system clock set to UTC”, please say “Yes”.
  25. This completes the installation of the basic operating system. Next, reboot the machine and log into the Lubuntu system using the username "Labdoo" and the password “Labdoo”. Once you are into the Lubuntu system, make sure also that the laptop is connected to the Internet, via Ethernet cable or via WIFI. Finally, type ALT+CTRL+t to open a terminal window, and in it, type the following commands:

    sudo apt-get update [and press ENTER]
    sudo apt-get install edubuntu-desktop libreoffice [and press ENTER]
    sudo apt-get upgrade [and press ENTER]
    The last two commands could take from a few minutes up to an hour to complete.

  26. Install the Labdoo logo as a background image in your desktop to give it a friendly look. You can download the Labdoo desktop image from this page and then by right-clicking on your computer desktop you can select the option "Desktop preferences" and install the image.
  27. Now, you can install the additional educational software (such as an offline version of the Wikipedia, and more educational applications) by following the instructions in this page. This step is not mandatory as the laptop already has a good number of educational applications at this point, but it's a good thing to do.

What to expect next

Congratulations! You have now successfully completed your laptop drive campaign and sanitized your laptops, so they are now ready to be packed and travel. Please go to the Packaging the laptop for travelling section to learn how to get the laptops ready for door trips.

  • If you are traveling yourself to a school project, you can bring the laptops in your luggage. Try to distribute as many laptops to as many people traveling with you as possible because some countries have a limit on the number of laptops that can be carried per person.
  • If you are not traveling, then get in touch with one of the Labdoo hubs (for instance, one which is closest to you) from the hubs list. A Labdoo hub will help you decide which school your laptop should be sent to and he will also help you to get in touch with the travelers going to that school so the laptops can be picked up from you.

Dual boot MacOS and Ubuntu

Step-by-step instructions on how to install macOS and Ubuntu on a Mac computer.
There are four parts:

  1. Prepare Your Stuff
  2. The Mac Side
  3. Install Ubuntu Mate
  4. Post Installation

01: Prepare Your Stuff


  1. A 4GB or larger USB flash drive to create a bootable image
  2. (Optional but recommended) Another 4+GB USB drive or external HD to store the files that you will download later
  3. At least 40GB free on the Mac HD

Downloading Files
Download the following files from

  • refind-bin-0.12.0
  • ubuntu-mate-20.04-desktop-amd64.iso
  • unetbootin-mac-681.dmg

It is strongly recommended that you install and use a download manager software (e.g. FileZilla) to download the files since the iso file is huge, and the download manager can resume the download just in case you lost the connection. Save the files to a USB drive or external HD. Below is a screenshot using FileZilla:

Create Bootable USB
Do the following on a working Mac. Otherwise, complete “The Mac Side” section and come back here.

  1. Insert a blank USB
  2. Double click on the file unetbootin-mac-681.dmg that you downloaded earlier
  3. unetbootin

  4. Right-click and select Open
  5. Click the Open button
  6. Enter the password if prompted. The UnetBootin application will open. Select “Disk Image” option and the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded earlier
  7. Click OK. UnetBootin will extract and copy a bunch of files to the USB drive.
  8. When it’s done, eject the USB drive by clicking on the Eject icon:

The USB drive now can be used to boot any Mac.

02: The Mac Side

If MacOS is missing
You will need to have Wifi and internet access to reinstall macOS.

  1. Booting the laptop.
  2. If it prompts you to install a new OS, simply connect to your WiFi and follow the screen
  3. Otherwise, reboot the laptop, holding both the Command and R keys until you see the Apple logo. Then select “Reinstall macOS” from the menu

If MacOS is present
If you know the password of the admin user, congratulations!. Otherwise, follow these steps to reset the password:

  1. Reboot the laptop, hold the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears.
  2. Select Utilities -> Terminal to launch a terminal.
  3. Type resetpassword (yes, one word) at the terminal. Follow the screen to reset the password for each existing account.
  4. Restart and log in using the new password

“Labdooing” the Mac
Create Labdoo Accounts
You will use the existing admin account to create two new accounts: “student” and “labdoo” and then remove all non-labdoo accounts.

  1. Log in as the current admin account
  2. Select “System Preferences” -> “Users & Groups”
  3. Click the lock icon to unlock. Type password when prompted
  4. Click ‘+’ to add a new account. A new account form will pop up
  5. Create “labdoo” account - fill in the form with the following values:
    1. New Account: Administrator
    2. Full Name: labdoo
    3. Account Name: labdoo
    4. Password: labdooadmin
    5. Verify: repeat the password
    6. Password hint: can leave blank
  6. Create “student” account - fill in the form with the following values:
    1. New Account: Standard
    2. Full Name: student
    3. Account Name: student
    4. Password: labdoo
    5. Verify: repeat the password
    6. Password hint: can leave blank

Delete Non-labdoo Accounts

  1. Log in as “labdoo”
  2. Select “System Preferences” -> “Users & Groups”
  3. Click the lock icon to unlock. Type password when prompted
  4. Select a non-labdoo account, click the ‘-’ to remove the account
  5. Select “delete user directory” option. Confirm deletion when prompted
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 for all remaining non-labdoo accounts

Change the Computer Name:
We will change the computer name to the labdoo Tag ID:

  1. Generate a tag ID for this computer if it doesn’t have one yet
  2. Click “System Preference” -> “Sharing”
  3. Change the computer name to labdoo-000xxxxxx, where xxxxxx is the tag ID.

Create a Partition for Ubuntu

  1. Run Disk Utility: Select Go -> Utilities -> Disk Utility
  2. Disk Utility screen
    disk utilities
  3. Click “Partition”. A dialog box will pop up. Click Partition again
  4. Click the ‘+’ sign. A new partition will be added. We now have 2 partitions, each occupies 50% of the disk space. Name the new partition “UBUNTU” and set its format to MS-DOS(FAT).
    new partition
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click Partition
  7. Click Continue. The process may take a while.

We are now ready to install Ubuntu on the new partition. But there is one task left: to install a boot manager.

Install rEFInd Boot Manager
Disable SIP (System Integrity Protection)
SIP protects critical areas on the disk from being altered, and rEFInd needs to write to one of those areas. Thus, we need to disable SIP before installing rEFInd

  1. Check to see if SIP is enabled or disabled. Open a Terminal and type “csrutil status”
  2. If it says “enabled” like in the capture above, follow the steps below to disable it

  3. Reboot and hold the Command + R key until you see the Apple logo. It will boot into Recovery mode.
  4. Select “Utilities” -> “Terminal”
  5. At the terminal, type csrutil disable
  6. Reboot and log back in as labdoo

Installing rEFInd

  1. Open a Terminal
  2. Open the folder where you downloaded the files earlier
  3. Arrange the Terminal window and the folder window so you can see both at the same time:
    refind install
  4. Drag and drop the “refind-install” file into the Terminal folder
  5. In the Terminal window, hit Enter or Return key to execute the command. Enter the password when prompted
    refind install command

We are now ready to install Ubuntu.

03: Install Ubuntu Mate

  1. Insert the bootable USB drive that you created earlier
  2. Reboot. The rEFInd boot menu will show
  3. Select EFI\BOOT\grubx64.rfi from {your USB drive name} and hit Enter
  4. Select “Try Ubuntu MATE without installing”
  5. After a few minutes or so, you should see the Ubuntu desktop
  6. Click on Install Ubuntu MATE 20.04LTS
  7. Follow the screens to complete the installation. IMPORTANT:
    1. Under the “Updates and other software” screen, make sure you select “Install third-party software for graphics and WiFi hardware and additional media formats”. Click Continue. Then connect to your WiFi network when prompted.
      ubuntu install
    2. Under the “Installation Type” select “Something else” option
      ubuntu install
    3. Select the partition with format fat32 which we created earlier using Disk Utility
      ubuntu install
    4. Double-click the highlighted entry. A dialog box will pop up. Select:
      Ext4 journaling file system
      Check “Format the partition”
      Mount point: /
      ubuntu install
  8. Click OK
    ubuntu install
  9. Click “Install Now” and follow the screens to complete the installation. At the “Who are you” screen, create the labdoo account and use the tagID for the hostname:
    ubuntu install
  10. When the installation completes, click restart to reboot the system. Hold the Option key while the system reboots until you see the original boot menu

    The installation of Ubuntu overwrites the EFI boot area that we created earlier in the “Installing rEFInd” section. But without the EFI boot area, the Ubuntu installation would fail for some reason that I haven’t figured out. Thus, we’ll have to install rEFInd again.

  11. Select booting from macOS partition and hit Enter key
  12. Repeat the steps in the Installing rEFInd section again

04: Post Installation

Enable SIP

  1. Reboot into recovery mode: hold Command + R key while rebooting until the Apple logo appears
  2. Select Utilities->Terminal to open a terminal
  3. Type “csrutil enable” and hit Enter key
  4. Reboot

What to do with the battteries?

If a laptop battery is not in good shape, our policy is to remove the battery and recycle it before sending the laptop to a school.

There are several reasons for that:

  • The battery that comes with the used laptop is reaching usually the end of its life cycle. Sometimes, old batteries can cause problems to power up the laptop.
  • The battery is one of the most poisoning waste products and we try not to pollute the environment of our schools, which may not have the capacity to properly dispose of waste.
  • A Laptop battery adds extra weight to the laptop and this could be a limitation if the traveler who is carrying the laptop needs to travel light.
  • Since Labdoo laptops are often used to serve in a classroom setting and many of those have power outlets, the laptops can work without the battery.

You can find more extensive information on why it is necessary and how to dispose safely old batteries in this article from
Please include only the battery in the laptop if it is still in good shape!

How to (Physically) Clean a Laptop to Make it Look New Again

The donated used laptops often come dirty in appearance. After making sure the laptop is not broken, the next step to take is to clean the laptop case. Here's how to properly clean a laptop.

What you need: some soft clothes, a small bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol, a box of cotton swabs.

LCD Screen
LCD screens are pretty delicate, and you don't want to press hard on them, because that can burn out the pixels. Instead, grab a dry soft cloth and gently wipe the screen. If you need to, add a little bit of alcohol. In most cases, that should be all you need. Do not use anything paper-based, like paper towel, Kleenex, or toilet paper, since it can scratch up your screen.

Clean dirty keys with a swab of rubbing alcohol to remove oil, grime, and germs. Don't forget to turn the laptop's power off before you start cleaning.

A warning note
Isopropyl alcohol vapor is more dense than air and is highly flammable with a very wide combustible range. It should be kept away from heat and open flame.

Choosing the Correct AC Adapter

Hopefully all your laptops were donated with their AC adapters. If that's the case, you can skip this section. Otherwise, this section will help you find a matching AC adapter for your laptop(s).

All laptops use Direct Current (DC) power to operate. DC is electrical energy that flows consistently in one direction. Our wall outlets use Alternating Current (AC), which varies constantly, but results in a positive flow of current. Laptops can't work on this kind of power, so an AC adapter is required to convert the wall outlet's current to DC power. Many laptops use different styles of connectors so sometimes it can be hard to find the best adapter to fit.

There are several ways to find the correct power adapter for the laptop

1. Get the laptop's model number and check online.
2. Get the power requirements for the laptop. Look for the amperage and the voltage required. You also need to compare the connector head type of power adapter with the outlet hole on the laptop. They need to match to ensure that the adapter can plug into the laptop.

Voltage (V)
Voltage is the amount of potential energy between two points on a circuit which creates power to charge the laptop. If the voltage of the laptop is different from that provided by the adapter, it won't be able to create the correct charge needed to pull the electrical energy into the laptop. Finding the right voltage is also very important to keep the power from shorting out the laptop. A voltage that's too high will overload the laptop's circuits.

Amperage (A)
An ampere is a unit of measure of the rate of electron flow or current in an electrical conductor. The amperage on laptop power adapters needs to match or exceed the amperage required by the laptop.

Packaging the Laptops Ready for Traveling

Packaging the laptops ready for traveling

Once a laptop has been sanitized, we need to package it so it can travel to a destination school. The main goals of the packaging are two-fold: (1) the packaging should protect the laptop from any possible rough traveling conditions; (2) the packaging should make visible the Labdoo identifier of the laptop, for both its AC adapter and the laptop itself. A recommended approach is to use transparent, bubble plastic wrap and to tape the Labdoo identifier in big letters outside, for both the laptop and its AC adapter, as shown in the following pictures:

Figure. A good way to pack your dootronics: use a wrapping material to properly protect them and write the Labdoo IDs clearly outside both the devices and the AC adapters.

You are welcome to use other packaging approaches based on what's available to you, as long as the laptop is well protected and its Labdoo identifier is made visible externally.

List of Countries Voltages and Power Plugs

Different countries have different power plugs and voltages. One good news is that practically all (if not all) portable computers (laptops, tablets, etc.) accept all voltage inputs. So the only adapter that we need to consider when contributing a dootronic is the power plug needed in the destination school. Unlike voltage adapters, power plugs are just mechanical, and so they are very inexpensive (between $1 and $3 typically). Because it is difficult to tell where each dootronic will be destined, the general rule is that the responsibility to acquire the power plugs falls under the recipient school and the NGO or organization which is supporting it.

In the following list you will encounter the specifications of the power plugs and voltages for each country.

in English
in German,_Ne...
in Spanish,_voltajes_y_frecuencias_por...

Tips and Tricks, Suggested Solutions

The following section describes relevant learning experiences gained by Labdooers around the world who (like you) are helping to sanitize laptops and make them ready for needy schools. It will teach you tips and tricks that will be very handy when sanitizing your laptops. If you are not able to find a solution to your problem in this section, please ask your questions to the Labdoo QA team and another Labdooer there will provide an answer for you.

Delete All Data on Hard Disk


We want to ensure all data stored in every donated computer is properly erased before installing the new operating system. Therefore learning how to properly erase the hard drive is the first step in the laptop sanitation process.

You have 2 options to completely wipe out all previously stored information in the computer (user information as well as all the previously installed softwares and operating system)

Method1: Using Lubuntu disk

  1. Boot your laptop with your Lubuntu disk (see the simple sanitation guide to learn how to create a Lubuntu disk)
  2. On the Lubuntu menu, select the option 'Try Lubuntu'. This will start Lubuntu on the laptop.
  3. Once booted, press at the same time the keys ALT+CTRL+F3. This will take you to a terminal console.
  4. In the terminal console, type the following command to ensure that the shred application is available:

    apt-get install coreutils

    (you need to have your laptop connected to the Internet for the above command to succeed)

  5. Now type the next command:

    sudo shred /dev/sda -f -v --iterations=2

    If this command does not work, you can try with 'hda' instead of 'sda', like this: sudo shred /dev/hda -f -v --iterations=2.

  6. Now wait for about an hour or so for the previous command to complete. At the end of this process, the laptop hard drive will have all of its previous data fully removed. You can now press ALT+CTRL+F7 to return back to the Lubuntu initial screen and turn off the laptop.

Method 2: Using Parted Magic or Labtix disk

  1. Boot your laptop with Parted Magic disk (see Advanced Method(Without Network) to learn how to create a Parted Magic disk)

    Or you can boot your laptop with the Labtix disk (see Preparation for the Fast Installation Methods to learn how to create a Labtix disk)

  2. Once booted, click on the bottom ROXT Terminal (xterm icon on the lower right) This will take you to a terminal console.

  3. In the terminal console, type the following command to ensure that the shred application is available:
    sudo shred /dev/sda -f -v --iterations=2

    If this command does not work, you can try with 'hda' instead of 'sda', like this: sudo shred /dev/hda -f -v --iterations=2.

  4. Now wait for about an hour or so for the previous command to complete. At the end of this process, the laptop hard drive will have all of its previous data fully removed. You can now shutdown the laptop from Parted Magic window.

Adapt Bluetooth's Name (Optional)

If you sanitized your laptop via the advanced method, then due to the cloning process, the name of the laptop's bluethooth device will be identical to all clones. To assign a unique name to your device, run the following command on a terminal:

sudo hciconfig hci0 name ’labdoo-XYZ-0'

Where XYZ is the Labdoo ID of the laptop.

Add a 2nd Disk Drive

If the installed hard disk becomes too small and the computer allows the installation of a 2nd disk, you can configure such 2nd disk to mount automatically during booting time. To do so you have to:

  • Press ALT+CTRL+T at the same time to start a terminal, and type the following command to initiate the file manager in superuser mode: sudo pcmanfm & (enter).
  • Navigate to the folder /mnt and create inside it a new folder with the name of the 2nd disk.
  • Get the UUID (ID of the disk-drive) of the 2nd disk by typing the command sudo blkid, search for your 2nd drive in the list and write down its UUID.
  • Type the following command to edit the fstab file: sudo nano /etc/fstab [Enter]
  • Add at the end of the fstab file a new line as follows (in one single line):
    UUID=[add here the UUID of the 2nd disk you wrote down above]
    /mnt/[add here the name of the 2nd disk folder you created above] auto defaults 0 0

    (Make sure to leave a space character between each entry)
    Leave the file editor by pressing CTRL+X then Y (to save) and [Enter].
  • Optionally, to allow access for all users to your 2nd disk do as follows: Open your file manager in superuser mode again sudo pcmanfm &, go to your 2nd disk folder and right click on it with your mouse. Under properties, select "Access rights for others", check the "Allow create or delete new files / folders", and then "Apply to all folders".

Re-boot your computer. The new disk should be automatically mounted.

Add a Local Printer as Network Printer

If you have a printer directly connected to your Labdoo computer (via USB or a Centronics cable), you can share access to the printer from other computers via a local network. To do so you need to use CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) as follows.

Configuring the Labdoo computer attached to the printer:

  • Open the web browser and type the URL address http://localhost:631
  • On the admin page http://localhost:631/admin/ select “Share printers connected to this system”.
  • Select under ”Printers” the connected printer.
  • Click on the menu “Administration” and on “Printer”.
  • Leave “Actual connection” unchanged → Proceed → select “Allow access to this printer / share”.
  • Optional: add a name for the place of installation → Proceed → Change settings.

Showing the printer on other Labdoo computers connected via the network:

  • Open the web browser and type the URL address http://localhost:631/admin
  • Select the option “Show printers shared by other systems” → Change settings.

After this you should see the printer in the menu “Printer". Maybe you have to wait a little bit before the printer is shown or re-load the page http://localhost:631/admin/.

Configuring the Bios

How to change the booting order of a laptop from the bios

BIOS (Basic Input Output Subsystem) is a programmable chip that controls how information is passed to various devices in the computer system. A typical method to access the BIOS settings screen is to press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 right after you start your computer.

BIOS settings allow you to run a boot sequence from a hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, the network, or an external device. You may configure the order that your computer searches these physical devices for the boot sequence.

The first device in the order list has the first boot priority. To install the Labdoo software you will need to ensure the CD-ROM, the USB or the network (depending on which method you use to install the software) are given the highest booting priority.

Note: in the case of a USB installation, before you set boot priority for the USB device, plug the device into a USB port to ensure the BIOS will be able to detect it.

To specify the boot sequence:

  1. Start the computer and press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 (depending on the BIOS manufacturer, try them all if needed) multiple times during the initial startup screen. A menu may appear.
  2. Choose to enter BIOS setup. The BIOS setup utility page appears.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select the BOOT tab. System devices appear in order of priority.
  4. To give the CD/DVD, the USB or the Network the highest boot sequence priority, move such device to the first position in the list.
  5. Save and exit the BIOS setup utility.
  6. The computer will restart and will initiate its booting process by looking first at the device you gave the highest priority, allowing you to install the Labdoo software.

Figure. Illustration of the BIOS boot menu where you can change the booting order.

Troubleshooting potential issues with the bios.

In some rare cases the BIOS could be reset during the process of deleting the hard drive information from the system, or some times older laptops do not support internal and/or external USB keyboards during the booting process. It might happen that you are not able to use the arrow keys (up, down, right, left) to configure the BIOS. In such cases the USB control (and sometimes the internal keyboard) was deactivated. A possible solution is to connect an external PS/2 or USB keyboard, and continue to install or adjust the BIOS.

DKMS (Automatically Driver Updates)

Dynamic Kernel Module Support (DKMS) is a program/framework that enables generating Linux kernel modules whose sources generally reside outside the kernel source tree. The concept is to have DKMS modules automatically rebuilt when a new kernel is installed.

An essential feature of DKMS is that it automatically recompiles all DKMS modules if a new kernel version is installed. This allows drivers and devices outside of the mainline kernel to continue working after a Linux kernel upgrade.

To install DKMS, do as follows:

- Open a terminal by pressing at the same time the keys ALT + CTRL T
- Type in the following command:
sudo apt-get install build-essential dkms [Enter] + [Password] + [Enter]

Note: DKMS is already installed if you cloned a laptop using the advanced method or if you used the

Firefox shows black bar in URL


In combination with an Intel graphic card Firefox shows sometimes in the URL line a black bar. There is nor solution for that, just a workaround:

  • Type in the adress line (URL) of Firefox about:config
  • Acknowledge that you will be careful
  • Type in the search gfx.xrender.enabled
  • When shown click with the right mouse button on true and click on toggle, so that the value is switched to false.

If there is nor entry gfx.xrender.enabled (double check that you did not mistype!):

  • click in the white space of the search entry
  • Select New in the dialogue window
  • In the next windows select boolean
  • In 3rd window select false and confirm with ok

Restart Firefox

Check for Disk Errors with GSMART

To check whether a disk has potentially any errors, you can use the Lubuntu tool GSMART. Since it is not installed by default, it must be installed via the Ubuntu Software Center. Select GSMART and install it. After installation, start it and initiate a check. This software includes a quick check (about 10-20 minutes) or a detailed check (about 30 - 60 minutes).

In case you want to check multiple disks, you can use a hard disk adapter. The adapter should support IDE and/or SATA via a USB connection to your laptop.

Installation of Restricted Codecs

Please notice that the usage of restricted codecs might depend on local laws. It might be illegal in some countries to install and use certain codecs (commercial/proprietary third-party packages) and multimedia extensions. Check your local regulations first prior to proceeding with the installation of the following software.

As in all software for Ubuntu, there are two ways to do the installation: via the Ubuntu Sofware Center or via the command line.

The installation via the Ubuntu Software Center is as follows. Open the Ubuntu Software Center (or the Synaptic Package Manager) and search for "restricted codecs". Select the package found and click on install. During the installation you will need to accept an EULA license agreement. To have full support to watch DVDs you must also install libdvdcss2 and non-free-codecs from the Medibuntu Repository. Please notice that in Europe these repositories are not allowed to be used. Further information can be read here:

The same installation can be done via the command line through the following steps. Open a terminal by pressing at the same time the keys ALT+CTRL+T. Then type the following commands:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras -y (Enter)
sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs -y (Enter)
sudo apt-get install curl -y (Enter)
curl | (Enter)
sudo apt-key add -echo "deb ./" | (Enter)
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/libdvdcss.list (Enter)
sudo apt-get update (Enter)

Enhanced Intel Graphical Interface

If you have a computer with an Intel graphical interface, there is a cool free tool by Intel Graphics for Linux that you can install, check it out:

To install it do as follows:

  • Open Firefox and go to
  • Depending on the Ubuntu release (version 32 or 64 bits) download the matching software and install it.
  • Once installed, find the newly installed application and run it. It will guide you through the process of configuring your system for Intel Graphics. Once done, you will need to restart your computer to load the new configuration.

Kernel Panic Caused by Defective in Memory/RAM

If the computer crashes often during the boot process, there is a possibility that it is because of a defective memory (RAM) module. (There could be other reasons too naturally).

To check if the RAM module is working properly (memory modules) do as follows:

  • Boot the system and press SHIFT at the same time.
  • The GRUB menu will show up. Click on Memtest86 (memory test).
  • The system will perform a memory test. At the end of this test, the defective parts (if any) will be listed and marked in red.

Hint: To know exactly which memory module is defective, you can remove all memory modules and check each of them individually by running the above test.

Wired LAN Interface is Not Working

In some systems, the wired (cable) LAN interface may not be recognized. The symptom is that the interface shows up when you click on the network manager icon but it shows as deactivated. To get it to work, try the following:

  • Open a terminal by pressing ALT+CTRL+T and type the following command: sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf
  • Check and change this line: managed=falsemanaged=true
  • Save the file and restart the network manager: sudo service network-manager restart

LXDE - Create a link to folders or files

To create a symbolic link:

Using the file manager. Open file manager PCMan, click on the folder or file, press CTRL+SHIFT and click on the folder/file at the same time, then drag and move it to the desktop or the location where you want to create the symbolic link.

Using a terminal. Open a terminal by pressing ALT+CTRL+T and type:

ln -s -t [path to location where you want to create the link] [folder or file that you want to link] (Enter)

For example: ln -s -t /home/labdoo/Desktop /home/labdoo/Public/videos

More information at:

MD5 Checksums

MD5 is a common way to calculate checksums to test if a file was downloaded correctly. You can read more about MD5 here

In the folders of your unzipped Labdoo images for cloning you will find a file MD5SUM. Use these files to check if the downloaded images are healthy and not corrupted by the download process as follows.

Check that the downloaded images are correct:

  • Open a Lubuntu terminal
  • Navigate to the folder where the files are located cd ...(path) [enter]
  • Execute the commandmd5sum -c MD5SUM [enter]

Create MD5 checksums:

Open a terminal in the folder with the files and execute in a terminal
md5sum * > MD5SUM (Enter)

16.04 LTS does not boot, graphic resolution on screen low

Grub 2 (GNU GRand Unified Bootloader 2. Generation) is the tool that rules the Boot order in the Linux Machines

We try to give here some tips on the different problems you may have with it. You can find an overview under and its configuration possibilities under

We will describe here some of the possible problems you might experience when you boot (L)Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for the first time. Some laptops do not boot up properly, but instead "hang", or they can have a wrong, too low, graphic resolution, or they may go straight off at startup, or hang with a black screen. These problems can often be resolved by setting in the Grub configuration file.

If a laptop gives you too much trouble, contact a Labdoo Hub and its helpers.

Start computer using the "Recovery Mode" as follows:

  • Keep the Shift-button pressed when turning laptop on, press again after the BIOS messages shown, until the Grub menu is shown (GRUB controls the start process). You will also see the GRUB menu if power (I/O) is turned off during a start process.
  • Select "advanced options" and a Linux-Kernel and "Recovery-Start", just accept the next entries (press Enter) and log-in as labdoo user.
  • Alternatively, press the "e" key when the Grub Select menu appears. This change only applies to this boot process and does not replace the Grub2 configuration file for next boot processes (so that the configuration file needs to be modifed).

Changes in the grub2 configuration file

  • After booting and logging in, open an editor like nano , eafpad or vi. In this document, the further steps are based on the use of the nano-editor.
  • Open a terminal and type sudo nano /etc/default/grub (Enter). This will open the GRUB configuration file. If you are not familiar with the nano editor can use leafpad instead sudo leafpad /etc/default/grub (Enter)
  • After you have done the desired changes in the configuration file, save it and end editor (using nano editor by typing STRG/CTL and the letter o, then press Enter, next type STRG/CTL and x)
  • Then open a terminal and type sudo update-grub (Enter). This will finally store the changes made within the GRUB configuration.
  • Reboot computer. Hopefully the new configuration allows you to get the login screen correctly displayed


Computer does not boot or graphical resolution is wrong

If the graphical resolution is wrong (usually too low), try:

  • Edit the grub config file as described above
  • Search the line # GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480 and remove "#" at the beginning of the line (this "#" symbol disables the configuration described in that line, by removing the '#' you are now configuring a determined resolution). Change the pre-set resolution of "640x480" in the setting you need for the graphic resolution. Important: you may only use a resolution supported by your video card! You can get the possible resolution(s) as follows using the (L)Ubuntu desktop or Parted Magic:

    • (L)Ubuntu Desktop: Menu, select Preferences → Outputs → default → Resolution : will show available settings for resolution
    • Parted Magic:
      • Menu → Desktop Settings → Screen Layout Editor → Outputs : will show available settings for resolution
      • OR
      • System Profiler → Display → Resolution
  • Store the modification and end editor.
  • Then open a terminal and type sudo update-grub (Enter). This will finally store the changes made within the GRUB configuration.

Having made these changes you have a good chance to start your laptops using (L)Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, showing a good resolution on screen.

Computer goes to sleep when booting

The option acpi=off can help if the computer switches to sleep mode during the boot process.
More information can be found under (link is external)

Computer hangs at startup

Try he option pci=nomsi, more information under

Computer takes a long time to boot up and even after the login to the display of the desktop

Try to configure video=insert SVIDEO-1:d; If this works, in the grub confguration file, the line should look likeGRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video=SVIDEO-1:d", more information under

Install Jitsi Meet


Jitsi Icon

Jitsi Meet is a open source tool for video conferencing, e.g. Since Jitsi is currently being requested more often for home schooling, we are describing here how it can be installed on Labdoo computers by yourself. Jitsi is free software, but not listed in the Ubuntu repositories ("app stores"), at least not by the beginning of 2021. Jitsi has been included in the DE_120 image for cloning since the beginning of 2021.

Jitsi can be used in a web browser in combination with a Jitsi plugin or by downloading Jitsi software.

We recommend to install Jitsi as "AppImage". Everything that Jitsi needs is contained in one file. Download, click, if necessary create a launcher on the desktop, done. The latest Jitsi AppImage can be downloaded here (only for 64 bit CPU).

Being logged-in as user labdoo, create a new folder jitsi in the folder /home/labdoo/Public. Here you store the Jitsi AppImage.

Use the prepared Jitsi starter / launcher: If you want, you can now create a Jitsi starter on the desktop, either manually or by going to and download from here the files Jitsi.desktop and jitsi_icon (to store a files, right-click a file in the browser → save as) and save it in /home/labdoo/Public/jitsi. Then you copy the file Jitsi.desktop to the desktop of the users labdoo and student. At the first start (launch), the operating system will ask you whether this starter is trustworthy. Confirm and all is done.

Manually create Jitsi Starter / Launcher: Right-click on the desktop → Create Launcher → Type: Application, Name: Jitsi, Command: click on Browse ..., navigate to the folder /home/labdoo/Public/jitsi, click on the file .....AppImage, open → Comment: Jitsi → OK. Repeat this for users labdoo and student, done.

In rare cases the executable bit of a downloaded AppImage is missing. If Jitsi does not start, navigate to the jitsi folder, right-click the Jitsi AppImage → Properties → Permissions → check and mark "Executable", if not already activated.

And every now and then you check whether there is a new Jitsi AppImage available on the web :)

Manually create a guest account in Ubuntu20.04

Ubuntu20.04 has some problem with Guest Session. You can create a guest account with the following procedures
1. Select "Administration->Users and Groups ->Add" , to create a new "guest" user:
Name: guest
Username: guest
2. Select the "guest" user and go to the "Advance Setting"
1. Under "Advanced" tab, deselect "Disable account" box
2. Click on "Change" Password, and select "Don't ask for password on login" box
3. Edit "/etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf " file to disable the guest session created by Ubuntu20.04 and add logout procedure for new guest account


4. Create a /home/labdoo/Public/ file as followed

if [ $USER = "guest" ]
rm -r /home/guest/*
cd /home/guest
mkdir Desktop Documents Downloads Music Pictures Public Templates Videos
chown guest *
chgrp guest *
rm -rf /home/guest/.mozilla/firefox

Change keyboard layout when logging in (Boot)

The Image for Cloning "remembers" the keyboard layout of the computer, on which the image was generated. Usually Images are produced on computers having a German keyboard - sorry for that :( When you start a computer with a different keyboard layout you might have a problem to log-in properly. You are able to change the keyboard layout for each user after logging in. But that will not solve the problem. First you have to log-in and next you have to change a system setting.

Here is the layout of a German keyboard so you should be able to find the letters labdoo (our standard password to log-in). After logging in you should change the keyboard layout first and next change the keyboard system setting.

For LXDE/MATE and Log-in (Light-DM)

Having booted you are able to log-in. The computer will get the keyboard layout of the file /etc/default/keyboard. You change it as follows:

  • Open a terminal,
  • type sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard and press (Enter)
  • in the terminal window search for the line XKBLAYOUT="de"
  • change de to the keyboard layout you need e.g. en, fr etc.
  • optional: Changing the next line XKBVARIANT="" you can add a country specific keyboard layout (e.g. "ch" für eine deutsch-schweizer Tastatur de-ch or a special Spanish variant etc.)
  • Save modified file (Ctl/Strg + O (enter), close terminal by pressing Ctl/Strg + X)

Important: The keyboard layout for the users labdoo or student will not be changed by this setting. After logging in you can change the user keyboard as described here

Monitor is only showing a small part of the full screen

The installation process was successful and you are able to boot, but when logging in you are only able to see a part of the screen (usually the upper right screen corner) with a poor resolution.

This could be because in the BIOS setting not enough RAM was allocated for the screen memory, e.g. 1 MB instead of 8 MB or more. Please check the bios and increase the memory allocated for the screen memory if necessary.

Samba / Windows Server

Starting from April 2018 and with the 18.04 LTS (L)Ubuntu release, a Samba server comes pre-installed on image cloned laptops. This means that a Labdoo laptop can be used as a server to other computer clients allowing these clients to access all the educational content in the server. This is a powerful configuration as it allows many types of devices (laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.) to access the educational content in the server without the need to have access to the Internet or the need to replicate the educational software in many devices.

Due to the speed of the server or the network, there are limitations in the number of computer clients that can be supported by one computer server. If too many clients are connected, the performance of the data transfer will become slow. So if you have many computer clients, it may be necessary to have more than one computer server.

This page describes how you can convert a Labdoo laptop into your own computer server to provide access to other computer clients. With a few simple steps a server can be set-up, check out the next instructions on how to do that!

Install Samba server

  1. Install the package "samba" by running in a terminal sudo apt-get install samba or via the Linux package manager, e.g. synaptic.
  2. Type smbd [Enter] in a terminal to start the Samba server manually. To avoid starting this program each time manually, you can add "smbd" as a command in menu → Preferences / Settings → Personal / Personal → StartUp Applicatons / Start Programs → with "Add" → Name: Samba / command: smbd / Comment: add start up of Samba Server.. This will start the Samba server every time you reboot the system.
  3. If necessary, install additional extensions to the system's file managers to bring a better use experience. For instance you can install "caja-share" by typing in a terminal sudo apt-get install caja-share or by using the synaptic package manager (this extension is also part of the Labdoo Image since April 2018).

Set up the Shared Folders

  1. Open Caja as administrator/root by running sudo caja [Enter] in a terminal and right click on the folder you want to share. Click in the context menu "Share". Please notice that if Caja is not started as root, the menu item "Sharing" will not appear.
  2. Activate "Share this folder" and "Guest access", then enter your own "Share name".
  3. Close Caja.
  4. Alternatively for LXDE Desktop, install instead the File Manager PCManFM: Go → network → usually then the server is already recognized and displayed, otherwise Windows network → Workgroup → Server name select, usually labdoo-00000xxxx where xxxx is the Labdoo ID of the computer.
  5. Finally, don't forget that the computer must be connected to the network via LAN cable or WiFi.

Access to the server via tablet, mobile phone, laptop or PC clients

Depending on your client and operating system installed and in use (Android, iOS, Windows, Linux etc.) access to the server may be different. Below you will find some examples and tips. There are also useful programs such as file managers, browsers, pdf viewers or ebook readers on your device. Check if your file manager is able to connect to a server (not all apps are able to) or if additional extensions need to be installed.

Access to the Server Using a Client

  • In a (L)Ubuntu officially cloned Labdoo laptop comes with the file manager Caja. Either use the Menu → Places or use Caja and in the left column go to "Browse the Network" to scan and show all the servers in the network.
    • Android - open your file manager and click on "network". The network will be scanned for SMB-shares which will be shown in a file manager. If your installed file manager is not able to handle SMB, you have to install one with this ability. We recommend the file managers Ghost-Commander (to be installed using the apps store Google Play: both Ghost Commander and Ghost Commander - Samba Plugin need to be installed) or the X-plore add on.
    • iOS (Work in Progress)
    • Windows (Work in Progress)
  • To open the "Public" shared folder just double-click it. Then confirm "Connect as anonymous" to get connected.
  • For a faster experience, nearly all operating systems and file managers offer a way to bookmark favorite folders. Use it to bookmark the access to the server.

Connecting to the Server Using Ghost Commander in Android

The example Ghost Commander is similar to other file managers.

  1. Start Ghost Commander.
  2. Open "home" directory (arrow with dot right upper corner).
  3. Click on "Windows shares".
  4. In the window "Connect to Windows PC" click on "Search". No further input should be needed to connect to the server.
  5. Click on "Workgroup".
  6. Click on the name of the server you want to connect to.
  7. The shares of the server should be listed in your file manager.

To create a Bookmark Using Ghost Commander

  1. Click and hold on for about 2 seconds on the share you want to bookmark until a context menu opens.
  2. Click on the context menu "NAME_OF_THE_FOLDER as favorite".
  3. Now you will see the share at /Home (Arrow and dot upper right corner) /Favorites and have direct access, provided the SMB server is online and connected to the local network.

Note: Some file managers first store documents and pages locally before opening and displaying them. This can end up filling up the memory in your device. Cleaning up the memory can help.

Display Educational Content and Documents

  • Off-line web content: can be shown in your client's browser. Local off-line content must be stored using relative links (not absolute links).
  • pdf: to be displayed and read using a PDF viewer.
  • Office documents: It does not matter if you want to open and read Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, OpenOffice documents etc. in all these cases a viewer software app must be installed which can handle the file content.
  • Video / audio files: In this case the client must also have matching software / apps installed to watch videos or to listen to audio files.

Make Xowa Accessible from other Devices

Xowa comes with an http-server to help share Xowa wikis within a local network. Navigate to the folder /home/labdoo/Public/xowa and open a terminal (e.g. using the file manager Caja: File →open a terminal here). Run the Xowa-jar file in this folder as follows:

For 64 Bit installations: java -jar xowa_linux_64.jar --app_mode http_server [Enter]
For 32 Bit installations: java -jar xowa_linux.jar --app_mode http_server [Enter]

Don't close this terminal window, as otherwise the Xowa process will be stopped. So leave it open as long as Xowa is used by other client devices.

Some devices, operating systems and browsers can resolve the hostname into its IP address. The IP address is like the address number of a home, which controls the access to each device inside your LAN (Local Area Network).

If the IP address cannot be resolved automatically you can get it manually. From the server computer, first right mouse click on the network/WiFi symbol on the desktop → Connection Information → read IP address (often similar to Notice: The IP address will change every time, when you reboot the server (if you run DHCP for dynamic IPs in your network). It might be helpful to assign a static IP address to your server.

Read Xowa Content on any Client

The following is based on the IP address just to illustrate an example. Instead of this IP address, use your server's IP address. Open the browser of your choice on your device (tablet, mobile phone, PC) and type the address of the server:
In our example:

Related Links and References

Using a Laptop as WiFi Hotspot to provide educational data to mobile devices

If a Labdoo laptop is member of a LAN or WiFi network, it can provide data (educational content) to other devices of that network, e.g. to mobile phones or tablets. This can be done either by some network share – e.g. via samba (smb) or e.g. via a web server (e.g. Apache web server). In both cases, educational content on that laptop could be accessed by other mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets) via their web browser. This might be a reasonable use case if these mobile devices do not contain Labdoo educational content (e.g. due to having not enough disc space for this content)or no having internet connection.
In the case of a WiFi connection, we commonly assume that our laptop is connected to a WiFi router, to which all other mobile devices are connected.
laptop and wifi router

But what do we do if no WiFi router is available? If a WiFi USB-adapter or a built-in Wifi is available on it, is possible to use a laptop as hotspot and host a WiFi network. There a 2 options - use a Samba (smb) file server, which offers a Windows-compatible server (easy to start and handle). Or you can use Apache server, which is bringing a full web server to a laptop (more complex), being able to spread content and web-sites locally and world-wide (if connected to internet).
Such a setup is outline in this document.

using Samba (smb) server
laptop and wifi router

using Apache web server
laptop and wifi router

Target Group
The target groups are Labdoo schools, which do not have a running WiFi network, but need a network to provide file, content and/or Internet access to other mobile devices.
Example: The Labdoo school have tablets or smartphones, but no Labdoo content on them.

Then the school is able to use a Labdoo laptop as server and spread the educational content to mobile devices. The number of mobile devices to be provided by one laptop depends on its capacity, mainly speed of CPU, disc and WiFi connector. In our tests we found 3 - 10 devices a reasonable number of clients to be connected to one laptop.

Each Labdoo laptop comes with a preinstalled Samba server (smb). How to start the smb-server and how to connect mobile devices to it is explained here.

You will find most content on each laptop in the folder /home/labdoo/Public/wikis. Navigate in a browser of your mobile device to the sub-folder (language) needed. Search for the start file, in most cases index.html, start-here.html or similar. Then you can read and use links etc. on your mobile device as reading on a laptop. Please note that Xowa content does not work using a web browser.

Technical Aspects
Most modern smartphones can be used to host a WiFi network. However, not all WiFi chips of laptops or USB-sticks (and their drivers) support this feature. According to the Ubuntu Users Wiki [1], these WiFi chips do the job:
• chips driven by the hostap driver or
• chips working with a current mac80211/nl80211 sub-system
A detailed description on how to set up the laptop as a WiFi hotspot is given in the Ubuntu Users Wiki [1]. The procedure works with (L)Ubuntu 14.04 - 18.04 LTS.
• provide files access (e.g. via Samba, offering Windows-compatible file services) and / or
• run a webserver to provide browser based access on educational content (e.g. via Apache)
• share its Internet connection (e.g. if the Laptop has WWAN)
to mobile devices connected to the WiFi.


Thank you, Daniel Neumann, Labdoo Hubs Hamburg / Rostock, for contributing this text (

Windows look-alike user interface

For the explained reasons and advantages, Labdoo uses the Linux operating system. However, some users prefer a graphical user interface (GUI) which looks like Windows so that the learning curve for some users is even lower. In this page you will find a guide on how to install and configure the Lubuntu GUI to look similar to Windows.

Those using Labdoo Images for Cloning can stop reading here, as the images are coming with pre-installed Windows 10 themes and icons that can be activated.


Windows 10-look alike user interface might be for instance downloaded from here or from (download light and dark theme, icon set)

Unpack the archive and move the files using superuser rights to these two folders (you can open a terminal with ALT+CTRL+T and then type sudo pcmanfm [enter] to open a file browser from where you can move the files):

  • Move themes to /usr/share/themes
  • Move icons to /usr/share/icons

Check the rights to access and update them, if needed (right click on the file, and select Properties → Permissions → View = anyone; change = only owner; Access = anyone).


In order to activate the new themes, click on the Lubuntu-start button on the left bottom corner of the screen and select Preferences → Customize Look and Feel → select in the tab widget the Windows theme → click on the icon theme and select Winx-x.x.x → close the window.

To undo / switch back to the default Linux theme just select another theme (Lubuntu-default) and icon theme (Lubuntu) or other layouts that you may like.

NTP - set clock automatically via internet

The tool to be installed is named NTP – Network Time Protocol (open a terminal: sudo apt-get install ntp → Enter or alternativ via the software center) for Network Time Protocol.

You don't have to adjust anything else. The time is taken from web server. You are able to define time zone and server. Online access is needed.

NTP is already part of the Labdoo images and install scripts.

NVIDIA grafical drivers, problems and solutions

  1. If a computer is not able to boot and if you are not able to log-in sometimes you are still able to have access via terminal:
  2. Either using CTL+ALT+t (if logged in), CTL+Alt+F3 or follow the GRUB information using the recovery mode:
    sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current (Enter)
    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic (Enter)

  3. Preferences --> Additional Drivers --> wait a while and if proprietary drivers are offered for downlaod.
  4. NVIDIA driversfrom PPA (source) of developer community
  5. Herefor you have to add an additional source for software (PPA). Please be aware of potential risks of adding sources (PPA) to your computer:

    CTL + ALT + F3 (in recovery mode) or CTL + Alt + t if logged-in opens terminal

    log-in as user labdoo and password labdoo,
    sudo su (enter) + Passwort labdoo eingeben (enter)

    To add PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 / 13.10 / 13.04 / 12.10
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa (enter)

    To add PPA for Ubuntu 12.04 / 11.10 / 11.04 / 10.04
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates (enter)

    sudo apt-get update (enter)
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings (enter)
    sudo reboot (enter), um Laptop neu zu starten.

  6. If your computer is older (built before 2004) it does not make sense as this card is not supported anymore. It is worth a try to use either Lubuntu 12.04 LTS or to use the Labdoo Image for cloning for Lubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Open a terminal

Often you will read "open a terminal". Here is explained how to do so:

Either press at the same time the 3 keys CTL + Alt + t.

Or alternatively → System tools → click on UXterm or XTerm

The terminal window will be shown.

At the beginning of each line you can read name of the user @ name of the laptop, e.g. labdoo@labdoo-000004xxx. You are now able to type in your comands.

When executing a command line wait until you see again this beginning of a line.

To close a terminal either type “exit” → Enter eingeben, when the command is proceeded.

During the installation process of Lubuntu or during the boot process you are able to press CTL + Alt + F3 and you get access to the terminal level. Using CTL + Alt + F7 you get back.

Remove former Linux kernel releases

If you update to newer linux kernels the old kernels stay on the disc. Each kernel need about 60 - 140 MB. To remove them you have to open a terminal:

To rmeove former Linux kernels execute in a terminal:

sudo dpkg -l | grep linux-image (Enter)

The result should look like

ii linux-image-3.2.0-31-generic 3.2.0-31.50 Linux kernel image for version 3.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-3.2.0-32-generic 3.2.0-32.51 Linux kernel image for version 3.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-3.2.0-33-generic 3.2.0-33.52 Linux kernel image for version 3.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-generic

In this example you might delete the kernels 3.2.0-31 and 3.2.0-32 (the numbers might differ from your list, please exchange). The last 2 kernels with the higher release numbers shoud remain:

sudo apt-get remove --purge linux-image-3.2.0-31-generic (Enter)

Search files in all folders and delete them (optional)

Open a terminal (CTL + Alt + t) and execute

only to search and list: find ./ -type f name „Dateiname“ (Enter)

search and delete: find ./ -type f name „Dateiname“ -delete (Enter) (Be careful!!!)

Installation of VirtualBox

When you are installing VirtualBox the first time manually please follow these steps (if you are cloning you can ignore this wiki page):

After having installed VirtualBox you have to add the matching Extension Pack. Important: Please make sure that the release number of VirtualBox and Extension Pack are identical! For this purpose, start VirtualBox (either using the icon on the bottom left Lubuntu --> Run --> virtualbox (Enter) or by Accessories --> VirtualBox) and open Help --> About VirtualBox to see the release-no. of VirtualBox. Next step is to open File --> Preferences --> Extensions to see the release-no. of the Oracle VM VitualBox Extension Pack. Both must match, if not please follow the steps explained below.

Update, Update to a higher VitualBox release number

If the VirtualBox is only patched without upgrading to a higher version no further actions have to be taken. In longer intervals the (L)Ubuntu distribution upgrades VirtualBox to a higher version number. In such a case, the Extension Pack will not automatically be updated. For this purpose, proceed as follows:

    To Update the Extension Pack
  • First check the release number of the installed Virtualbox version →Help → About VirtualBox → you can read the version no. in the window in the format x.x.xx (e.g.. 5.1.34). For LTS releases of (L)Ubuntu often older versions are used due to reliability.
  • Next open in VirtualBox menu File→Preferences→Extensions and remove the former Extension Pack (mark it and click on the blue square with the red X)
  • Then download the matching Extension Pack from the homepage If you are not able to find the installed your version no. on this page, scroll down to VirtualBox Older builts. Click here and search in the next pages the matching release no. Extension Pack All Platforms → "Open with VirtualBox", and follow the steps to install it, ready.

WiFi cards will not be detected

1. Initial Considerations.

Before you check for the cause of a non-functioning wireless card (WiFi) please check that:

  • The wireless LAN (WiFi) function is properly activated via the hardware switch/slider (often on one side of the laptop) or via a function key on the computer keyboard,
  • There is a wireless card (WiFi) installed (often we get laptop donations without a wireless card), see below Check which WiFi chip is installed and check the manufacturer name. In case there is no WiFi card installed you can add one or use a connection via LAN (cable).

Sometimes older or very new WiFi Cards are not recognized automatically. The following check list provides a set of steps that you can try to fix this situation.

2. Check list.

  • Check if specific drivers are needed
  • Preferences → Software & Updates → Additional Drivers → wait a while
    → either "no additional drivers available" is hown → no further action should be needed, or
    → a list of availble drivers is shown → click the driver you want to use → Apply Changes

  • Check which WiFi chip is installed and check the manufacturer name
  • Open a terminal and execute:
    lspci | grep -i net (enter)
    to show chip set and manufacturer:
    lspci -nnk | grep -i net -A2 (enter)
    or in case of using an USB Wifi stick:
    lsusb (enter)
    Note: Some build-in WiFi cards are recognized as an external USB, so if in doubt try also these commands.

    To check if your WiFi card is supported:

  • Check if the Broadcom WiFi chip is not detected
  • If your WiFi card is based on the Broadcom chip set you are able to install:
    sudo apt-get update (enter)
    sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer (enter)

    After rebooting the system it should work. If not activate the driver by hand:
    sudo modprobe -r b43 bcma (enter)

  • Try installing Linux Backport Modules
  • Linux Backport Modules can be installed to get support for many older Wifi cards. The Backport Modules are already part of Labdoo Image for Cloning and

    A detailed list of the supported WiFi cards can be found here:

    To install execute in a terminal:
    for Lubuntu 12.04: sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-cw-3.6-$(uname -r) (Enter)
    for Lubuntu 10.04: sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-wireless-$(uname -r) (Enter)
    and for all Lubuntu versions: sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree (Enter)

    If it does not work you can try:

  • Try installing NdisWrapper
  • Details at:

    Please check, if

    • the 32 Bit or 64 Bit driver of the WiFi card matches with your Lubuntu version (32 or 64 Bit)
    • the .inf file of the driver is enclosed, e.g. Intel encloses .inf only in the .zip version, not enclosed in the .exe!

    Follow the instruction in the upper Wiki (please add here an English Wiki link).

    If this does not work try:

  • Try installing the native WiFi driver of the manufacturer.
  • Please search in web for more information.

acer - special keys are not detected

Some acer laptops (and Medion in Germany) have special keys e.g. to activate WiFi, but these keys are not detected.

From Linux kernel 3.2 or Lubuntu 12.04 there is a core module wistron_btns, offering the same functionality as before acerhk (not needed anymore).

wistron_btns has the advantage that it is part of the kernel. So installing and compiling is not needed. And 64 Bit systems are supported as well.

To use and activate open a terminal and execute:
sudo modprobe -v wistron_btns (enter)

Taken from:

apt-offline - update computer offline

There is the tool apt-offline. You can download an update at a place, where you have access to internet, e.g. at home. apt-offline allows you to easily upgrade or install new packages on your offline PC, by using another online PC.

To Install apt-offline (execute in a terminal, press ENTER):
sudo apt-get install apt-offline (Enter)

On the offline PC: sudo apt-offline set /tmp/apt-offline.sig
On the online PC: sudo apt-offline get C:\apt-offline.sig --bug-reports --threads 5
On the offline PC: sudo apt-offline install /media/USB/

On the offline PC: sudo apt-offline set abuse-offline.sig --install-packages abuse --src-build-dep --install-src-packages abuse
On the online PC: sudo apt-offline get abuse-offline.sig --no-checksum --bundle
On the offline PC: sudo apt-offline install /media/USB/

More info

User concept, add user student


When installing Lubuntu-Installation the first user created is labdoo (who is also administrator and should be reserved for the teachers, as this user may destroy the system by mistake). If you install via cloning or if you use the installation scripts the additional user student will be created automatically.

The user student kas less rights, e.g. is not able to install or delete software and is not able to destroy the system.

Here is the manuel way, how to create a user student:

Start here → System Tools → User + Groups → unlock → +add user → system password (labdoo) → student as name, e.g. withpassword labdoo → Account Type = Standard (as suggested) → Create → click on password (account disabled) → input of password labdoo and acknowledge → Change → optional: cahnge language of user student.

Open a terminal and type (by executing this zhe user student will become member of the group labdoo):
sudo usermod -aG labdoo student (Enter)

Please note:
Each new user takes disc space. So please do not create more users.

As a standard user you are not able to destroy a system by mistake (or at least it is very hard). The user labdoo (administrator) should only be used by teachers.

Each user has his own folder and files in the directory /home/....(name of the user). But the folder home/labdoo/Public is a public folder. All users should have access here. To go there open the file explorer → filesystem → home → labdoo → folder /Public (you can add a bookmark to navigate here more easily).

If you add content of your own in /Public there is a script to ensure all rights are set correctly.

In addition there is the user guest. guest needs no password to log-in. But guest is not able to change or store anything. When logging out all his input will be deleted automatically.

broken packages, interrupted installation, Update to new Lubuntu release

The following hints were taken from

The installation was interupted unpredictable:
sudo dpkg --configure -a (Enter, Password Enter)

“Broken” packages are reported, repare:
sudo apt-get install -f (Enter, Password Enter)

Update without upgrading to a new ubuntu release
sudo apt-get install dist-upgrade (Enter, Password Enter)

Repare “broken” packages or to delete the cache of the program list:
sudo apt-get clean (Enter, Password Enter)

To reload the program list again
sudo aptitude -f install (Enter, Password Enter)

Package administration is not usable anymore
Should the package administration become unusable during an upgrade or dist-upgrade you can use:
sudo aptitude -f install (Enter, Password Enter)

After an update of the existing installation:
sudo aptitude safe-upgrade -f (Enter, Password Enter)

After running a version upgrade to a new ubuntu version:
sudo aptitude full-upgrade -f (Enter, Password Enter)

After these statements you should always run
sudo dpkg --configure -a (Enter, Password Enter)

graphic card - check which graphical interface is installed

Open References → Monitor stettings for a first information. Open a terminal:

Show name / chip set:
lspci -nnk | grep -i VGA -A2 (Enter)

driver version
Show driver name and release version:
glxinfo | grep 'OpenGL version string' (Enter)

graphic mode (resolution)
Show the resolution set and all possible screen resolutions and the interfaces:
xrandr (Enter)

install Skype

To install Skype the source "Canonical Partners" must be activated. Otherwise you will get the message "Skype cannot be found".

Hint: If you installed the computer using Cloning of Images it is NOT necessary to activate the Canonical partners programs, as that was already done within the image. Please proceed to the next chapter.

Activate source Canonical Partners

Click on the Lubuntu-Icon (Start) in the lower left corner → System Tools → Lubuntu Software Center → click on the tool symbol in the right upper corner of this window (sometime click on the triangle first to show the tool symbol) → in the window opening click on "Open Software Properties" → click on Tab "Other Software" → make a hook to select "Canonical Partners", you will be asked for the administrator password → click on Close → there is a suggestion to re-laod the software list, please do so.

If you have added Canonical Partners you can start to install Skype:

Installing Skype

Open a terminal and type

sudo apt-get install skype (Enter, tayp password, Enter, answer next question using y)

Only to make sure, if you get the message "Skype not found": Did you add the Canonical Partner Programs as recommended above? Another reason might be you missed to update the software list. so open a terminal and execute sudo apt-get update (Enter).

To get a Skype start icon on the desktop:

Click on the Lubuntu-Start Logo in the left lower corner → click on "Internet" → the list of internet programs will be shown → right mouse click on Skype → Left mouse click on "Add to desktop" → a double click on the Skype icon on the desktop will start Skype.

More details →

monitor settings (advanced)

If the standard monitor settings of Lubuntu do not fulfil your needs try the tool ARandR, e.g. when you connect a 2nd monitor or a beamer.
ARandR offers you a nice user interfaces and advanced options e.g. to make both screens work as one large monitor or as two separted.

Since September 2015 ARandR is part of Labdoo Images for Cloning and of

You can install ARandA as follows:

  • open a terminal,
  • sudo apt-get install ARandR (Enter, password, enter)
  • or

  • via the Lubuntu Software Centre

virus scanner ClamAV

You should not need a virus scanner using Lubuntu. Linux usually needs no virus scanner due to the Linux security concept. There are very few viruses for Linux desktop in the web. Nevertheless some companies offer virus scanner for Linux, e.g. for file server being used also by Windows clients.

Also some edoovillages asked to have a tool to scan USB disc drives of pupils to remove viruses from USB drives of the students. So please install ClamAV for your projects (ClamAV will be installed if you use the installationskript or images for cloning).

So we recommend the license free, open source virus scanner ClamAV

Open a terminal and execute:
sudo apt-get install clamav clamav-freshclam clamav-docs clamav-daemon clamtk (Enter)

And you should install the Firefox Plugin Fireclam, so downloads will be automaticaly checked on viruses using ClamAV.

Knoppix Adriane (technique)

The following modifications

  • will improve the access from Knoppix Adriane to Labdoo laptops,
  • will improve usage for blind or visually impaired users,
  • just to be used if you eant create a bootable USB stick via Knoppix Adriane and
  • are only recommended to experienced users.

However, these steps are not necessary if

  • you have performed the installation via Image Cloning [Sanitation Guide: Advanced Method] or
  • within Germany and Switzerland you can obtain 16 GB USB sticks (with pre-installed learning wikipedia) by sending a mail to The Labdoo clubs in Swiss and German will be happyto provide them to you

Suggested changes for Knoppix Adriane (USB Sticks) and Lubuntu

  • Compiz Settings (only Knoppix Adriane (LXDE), not required for Lubuntu)
  • Menu → Preferences → CompizConfig Settings Manager →

    • General → General Options → Desktop size → Horizontal virtual size = 1
    • Desktop, remove all hooks (Desktop Cube, Expo,Viewport Switcher, Rotate Cube)
    • Effects, remove all hooks, except the one for Windows decoration
  • Remove Aumix from the starter panel (only for Knoppix Adriane)
  • Right mouse click on the starter panel → "Application Launch Bar" Settings → click on aumix → - Remove - Close

  • Pre-Set Adriane as Boot setting within grub (only for Knoppix Adriane)
  • Open 3 files in an editor e.g. sudo nano /home/knoppix/Desktop/KNOPPIX/boot/syslinux/ and change in the line "DEFAULT" auto into adriane, then store the file:

    • syslinux.cfg
    • syslnx32.cfg
    • syslnx64.cfg

    Optional: You can change the standard screen resolution of Adriane (640x480). But you must choose a resolution supported by the computer used. And visually impaired users might need a low resolution to get large letters. And when you start Adriane if you change the graphical desktop to LXDE it will inherit the resolution of Adriane. You are able to change the screen resolution within LXDE.

  • Desktop, File manager PCMANFM settings (only Knoppix Adriane)
  • Open file manager PCmanfm → edit → Preferences → General →

    • Check to activate "Move deleted files to trash can"
    • de-activate (uncheck) "open files with single click"
    • Volume Management → add check at "Mount mountable volumes" and "Mount removable volumes"
    • Layout → Show in Places → add hook at "Trash can" and "Devices"
  • Orca settings (for Knoppix Adriane and Lubuntu)
    • open a terminal (press Alt + Ctl/Strg+ t at the same time) → type orca -s (Enter)
    • Keyboard → Laptop (or leave if run on a PC, will (de-)active number keypad)
    • mouse → activate "Preset tooltips"
    • mouse → activate "Speak objects under mouse"
  • Script to toggle screen reader Orca on/off (
  • The script solves to toggle the screen reader Orca on / off by using the key combination Alt + Windows/Super + o. The script can be downloaded from here

  • Script (for Knoppix Adriane)
    • Store script in the folder as /home/knoppix/ (the leading "." in the file name will make the file hidden, invisible; to show hidden files activate in PCmanfm "show hidden files",
    • make file executable (→ Properties → Permissions → make file executable)
    • Open Compiz settings manager → General → Commands → if line empty add e.g. in Command Line 2:
      /bin/sh /home/knoppix/
    • click on tab "Key Bindings" → click in an empty line on button "disabled" → to switch it to "enabled" → Left mouse click on "grab key ..."
    • type the needed key combination ( here Alt + Windows/Super + o ) → confirm and close "OK".

    If everything was done correctly you are now able to switch screen reader Orca on / off by pressing the keys Alt + Windows/Super + o at the same time.

  • Script to start the window manager Openbox (only Lubuntu)
    • Same proccedure described before, but store script in folder /usr/share/labdoo (start in a terminal sudo PCMANFM (Enter), as you need super-user rights to create this new folder and store the script)
    • make the script executable → Properties → Permissions. End and close file manager PCMANFM as super-user and start it again as labdoo user (click on icon PCmanfm).
    • open on FTP-Server the file and copy / paste the content (Ctrl + C)
    • activate in file manager PCMANFM → menu View → Show hidden (Ctrl + H) and open in folder /home/labdoo/.config/openbox the file lubuntu-rc.xml in an editor (right mouse click, open in an editor e.g. Leafpad)
    • Search in the editor for the text <keyboard>, next insert the copied text from clipboard between the lines <keyboard> and </keyboard>. The code from file keybinding_toggle_orca.txt will be inserted. Store and close file.
    • execute in terminal openbox --reconfigure
    • repeat these steps also for the user student, but as student is not allowed to run code in a terminal you have to go to Start → Run → type here openbox --reconfigure and press Enter.

    If everything was done correctly you are now able to switch screen reader Orca now on / off by keep the keys Alt + Windows/Super + o at the same time.

  • Set-up tool pico2wave (for Knoppix Adriane and Lubuntu)
  • pico2wave by SVOX is a complete speach synthesizer to convert German, French or English text into spoken words (sound, Wave file). For some languages special control files are available. For other languages e.g. Italian or Spanish these control files have to created first (volunteers needed).

    Install pico2wave

    To install it run in a terminal, when computer is connected to web:

    1. in terminal: sudo apt-get update (Enter)
    2. in terminal: up to 16.04 LTS: sudo apt-get install libttspico-utils sox xsel libav-tools (Enter)
    3. in terminal: from 18.04 LTS: sudo apt-get install libttspico-utils sox xsel libavcodec-extra (Enter)

    Beside the installation of pico2wave 3 more files have to be installed and adapted (for Lubuntu: in /usr/share/labdoo, in Knoppix in /home/knoppix/.). Please follow those steps described above for Orca:

    Download and store these files in the corresponding folders and make files executable for everyone.

  • Volume settings (Knoppix Adriane and Lubuntu)
  • Open in a terminal → alsamixer → (m) = Mute off, move from setting to setting by ← or →, adjust volume setting using the keys ↑ or ↓.

  • Mount the disc drive of a Labdoo laptop (/sda1) when booting (only Knoppix Adriane)
  • Helpful, if you run Knoppix Adriane on a USB Stick in combination with a Labdoo laptop, to get easier access to the educational content. Open an editor as super-user; run in a terminal sudo leafpad (Enter), navigate to the folder:

    • open file /etc/fstab and change lines:
      # Automount sda1 as sda1
      /dev/sda1 /media/sda1 ext4 defaults 0 2
      Store file.
    • Add to the end of /etc/adriane/adriane.conf:
      # Mount sda1
      sudo mkdir /media/sda1
      sudo mount -a
      Store file.

    Hint: In Adriane you can open a terminal → menu entry → Shell.

  • Adapt LXDE panel to look alike as on a Labdoo computer (only Knoppix Adriane)
  • Add needed applets for Keyboard activation/deactivation etc. to the panel.

  • Add bookmarks to elinks Browser (for Knoppix Adriane and Lubuntu)
  • Start eLinks → navigate to the start file, in most cases index.html), mark it with the cursor and press (Enter) to open it → right mouse click opens a menu, click here → Bookmark document (a) → ready.

    To open a bookmark → press two times ESC → above a menu will show up → move the cursor and mark tools , press Enter → mark bookmarks (s) → will show all known bookmarks.

    Generate a Knoppix Adriane USB disc drive

    There are several ways to get an USB-disc drive (stick) with Knoppix Adriane software and educational content for blind users:

    1. you can ask Labdoo to send out a ready installed USB-disc drive (stick) by sending a m to (only for Austria, Germany and Switzerland). Tell us how many USB-Discs you need and your postal address. Please understand that we have to cover the costs by donations.
    2. Or you produce an USB-disc drive yourself (only recommended for advanced users!) It will NOT WORK to copy an USB-disc to another USB-disc using a file manager. Some important data like boot information (MBR) will not be copied and will not be able to boot this stick. Labdoo recommends minimum 16 GB USB 2.0 disc drives to store Knoppix Adriane, local Wikipedia for Schools and ca. 6GB free space for user data.
    3. You can get another USB disc drive

    • by copying a pre-installed USB-disc drive to another drive using Linux and the dd command (for details see below) or
    • download an image and restore it using dd command..

      Method 1: Copy one pre-installed USB-disc drive to another (only for experienced users)

      You already have got a pre-installed USB-disc drive Knoppix Adriane by Labdoo? Then buy an USB-disc drive (min. 16 GB). As only very few of the computers abroad have USB 3.0 slots we recommend to buy fast USB 2.0 disc drives. On older hardware USB 3.0 discs might not be recognized.

      You can do de copy using a Labdoo- or Linux laptop:
      Start the Labdoo-/Linux computer and log-in as user labdoo. Important: First plug-in the pre-installed origin USB-disc (which you want to copy, will usually get the name /sdb), next plug-in the USB drive you want to copy to (will get drive /sdc etc.) You are also able to copy several sticks at the same time (will become drive /sdd, /sde etc).

      Open a terminal and run lsblk -f (Enter). This will give you a list of all available drives. The drive /sda (mit den Partionen /sda1, /sda2 usw.) is the internal drive of the laptop. Never touch that! Leave it as it is!

      Next step is to run in a terminal:
      sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc status=progress Enter; this will copy all data from the origin USB drive (/sdb) to the target USB drive (/sdc etc.). This will take a while...

      Attention: the command dd is helpful, but also dangerous! Check always, if origin and target drive are correct. Otherweise you might delete your own computer's data by mistake. We recommend not to use your own computer, but a Labdoo computer since dd is available on each Linux computer.

        Method 2: Restore the image Knoppix_Adriane_dd_xx.gz using dd to an USB disc drive (only recommended for experienced users)

        Download from the Labdoo FTP-Server the images (we created them using dd): (the images are named Knoppix_Adriane_dd_xx.gz, xx being space-holder for the language, EN = Englisch, FR = Französisch, DE = Deutsch, ES = Spanisch)

        Store the downloaded, zipped file in your home directory (/home/labdoo). You don't need to unzip it first. Next step is to connect the target USB disc drive to the computer, open a terminal and execute :

      1. lsblk -f (Enter), to check if all drives are connected (in most cases the internal disc of the computer is /sda (do not delete that one!) and the connected USB disc drive becomes /sdb, /sdc etc.
      2. sudo gunzip -c Knoppix_Adriane_dd_xx.gz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdb status=progress (Enter, xx = space-holder for the language, replace accordingly). This will unzip and copy all data of the image to the USB drive. Change drive name accordingly if needed, e.g. /sdb in /sdc etc. if copying several USB drives in parallel

      After copying all data to a new USB drive you can unmount (remove secure) and shut down the computer. To use this new USB drive with a computer we recommend to change the boot sequence in BIOS settings. The USB-(stick) should be placed (get a higher boot priority) before the internal disc drive. Otherwise you can select manually the boot media each time you boot (often press F12). But for blind users this might be difficult.

      • Internal: Create an image using Shell and dd (only recommended for experienced users!)
      • To get an image from an ready installed USB disc drive with Knoppix Adriane use dd as well. In most cases the USB disc, to copy from, has the address / drive name /sdb (might change, so please check).

          Create image by terminal (shell)
        • Open a terminal and execute sudo dd if=/dev/sdb status=progress | gzip --best >Knoppix_Adriane_dd_xx.gz (Enter, replace xx by the language code you need). This will copy a zipped image file Knoppix_Adriane_dd_xx.gz an (ca. 12 GB) to your home directory /home/labdoo.