St. Mary's Catholic School

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A Special thanks to Melbourne Linux Users Group


Thanks to the hard work and dedication of computer programmers and Linux experts from Brevard Co. and indeed all over the world, St. Mary's was able to deploy 20 additional computers and 16 dual boot Windows / Linux in our Technology Center for a total of 36 workstations.  An additional 16 workstations are slated to be deployed in the classrooms over the next month. The cost per workstation was 50.00 using donated Pentium class computers.

For those of you not familiar with the Linux operating system, Linux and the associated open source software is free. They are mostly built and developed by computer programmers all over the world representing almost every race, color and creed and nationality they donate their time and talent and collaborate on their various projects via the Internet. Most have never met in person. 

Over the last 10 years Linux has matured to the point that more than 64% of all websites we view on the Internet are located on Apache Web Servers running either Linux or FreeBSD. Linux can be found on everything from home pc's to IBM Main Frame computers as well as set-top TV devices, mp3 players and more

At St. Mary's we are using a few different "flavors" of Linux. The Linux Kernel is the core of the operating system. Different groups of people or corporations add software programs and customize Linux as they see fit and create their own "flavor" or distribution of Linux. Everyone can customize, improve or rewrite the software as they see fit. It belongs to everyone.

At the heart of our new computer lab is a Dell Server that came pre-installed with RedHat Linux. With help from the local Melbourne Linux Users Group we reinstalled a version RedHat Linux that was customized by a group of  school Technology Specialists in Oregon. The server is known as a K-12 Linux Terminal server.

Most of the workstations in our Technology Center  do not have an operating system or software loaded on them, in fact most of the workstations don't even have a hard drive.  The workstations connect to the terminal server via the network and the server does all the work. Using this system we are able to use legacy (outdated) computers and they will perform as well or better than computers that are nearly brand new. Software is only updated on the server and viruses are almost non-existent in Linux. 

Other "flavors" of Linux we use:

A Debian Linux Server runs DansGuardian our content filter and proxy server and another runs our chat server
Coyote Linux runs one of our Firewall / Internet gateways
Mandrake Linux is installed on some of our standalone workstations located in the classrooms

Later this year we will move our local web site and e-mail over to a Linux server running the Apache web server, IMAP and Sendmail. This will also allow us to provide two new services:
web based e-mail for our staff similar to Hotmail and Yahoo mail.
a local web site by and for our students,  outstanding web content can be displayed on our Internet web server.


Using Linux and the associated open source software is saving St. Mary's School many thousands of dollars.


According to some estimates:

"A typical installation of a Windows(tm) OS based computer lab of 20 workstations may cost more than $20,000 while the same lab running K12LTSP would cost less than than $6,000.  Reusing legacy hardware can reduce that cost to less than $2,000." (Source K12LTSP.ORG )

In addition to Linux, St. Mary's uses an Apple server and workstations for the Library Card Catalog and Circulation System, Windows NT and Windows 95 / 98.

All three operating systems share files and network print services. 

For Linux Consultancy in Florida Contact:

For more information on Linux use in schools please visit:

K12LTSP Logo
Information and Links to download and install Linux Terminal software for classroom workstations...

K12Linux Logo
Tutorials and guides for using Linux as a server... Network administration tutorials and information for new Linux users...
K12 OpenSource Logo
Discussion forums for help, news and information related to Linux in schools...  

Free Security for a Free World 

The K-12Linux project is just one of many Open Source based groups working with schools. For a complete listing see
for Linux in Schools server tutorials and administration for Linux Terminal Server diskless client software Open Source Schools
for the on-line Journal of Open Source Software in schools
for educational software development resources and discussion
for Open Source Classroom Distributions and Tutorials
for technical support and training from Red Hat Linux
KDE Edutainment
for educational software for the KDE desktop environment
the repository for software, lesson plans and projects with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: November 07, 2011