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The computer they prefer!

DoudouLinux DoudouLinux

The computer they prefer!

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Get DoudouLinux

June 2010 — last update June 2013

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DoudouLinux is available for download in a version for CDROM that can also be used to make an USB key. DoudouLinux comes in a variety of languages depending on which language you wish to use. Thus you can also initiate your children to French or Spanish by just downloading the corresponding version [1]. We intend to setup later an online shop to let you order ready to use DoudouLinux CDROM and USB keys or even flash cards. This would avoid the required technical operations to people who would not feel skilled enough or who would simply like to financially support the project.

Download the CD now


DoudouLinux 2.1 Hyperborea English (1 GB)

SHA1 checksum db71106917b82b7dae9f39803d369db4a8393296

Creating a CDROM

An ISO file must be downloaded and is to be written onto a CDROM using the function “burn an ISO image” of any CD burning application. Warning: do not just copy an ISO image like another file to be copied onto a data CD. You must use the special burning function previously mentioned otherwise the CDROM structure won’t be correct for booting. Indeed the ISO image contains several files that will appear on CD as soon as it is written. If you use a data CD creation function, you will have one file only on your CD: the file you just downloaded…

Creating an USB key

Since DoudouLinux 2.0, USB keys can be created directly using the CDROM ISO file, you do not need to download another file. Turning the ISO file into an USB Live system requires to copy the file onto the USB device and to install on the device a small program that will make it bootable at computer startup. DoudouLinux CD’s are shipping a tool called LiveUSB write that achieves these operations for you, see Creating a DoudouLinux USB key. Note that this tool is currently not available for Windows® nor Macintosh®. If you have no Linux system already installed, then you have to create USB keys from a running DoudouLinux or to find alternative software that we are not supporting.

The advantages of having DoudouLinux on an USB key are the following:

  • System is running faster without any rotation noises.
  • Data persistence on the USB key is automatically activated by our tool.
  • It is possible to change several system parameters in a text file on the USB device like the default language, the keyboard layout or the timezone. You can then adapt your system to your location (for example use British English and the London timezone with the English CD that is configured for the USA by default).

However starting a system from an USB key is less supported than from a CD on older machines (about 2005 and earlier) and is often less easy to activate whenever this is not set as default. On Macintosh®, machine boot is different from PC’s boot and booting on an USB key is not trivial - or even not possible. Use DoudouLinux on an USB key only if you feel comfortable enough with your computer!

Creating a flash card, a hard disk

The procedure is exactly the same as for USB keys because all these devices are detected as storage devices whatever the technology involved. Please note however that if you would like to start DoudouLinux from within a flash card inserted in a card reader itself being integrated in your computer, success is not certain. Trials performed with two netbooks from different brands were not conclusive [2]. On the contrary trials on a more standard laptop computer did succeed.

Checking downloaded ISO files

Before writing a CD, we recommend to check the downloaded file integrity. You may then detect download errors, storage errors (wrong data on your disk) or even compromising of our servers [3]. The way to check file integrity consists in computing a checksum using the SHA1 algorithm, not MD5:

$ sha1sum doudoulinux-2010-05-ar.img
ed4588f33e86cfaae5e75eb4200bd3d58c047248  doudoulinux-2010-05-ar.img

This value is to be compared with the one on the download page. All possible errors but some deliberate ones [4] will then be highlighted. Note: you need to have the sha1sum tool installed in your system to do this, which is not the default case under Windows®…

Checking checksums

We also provide a file containing all checksums and which is signed with the DoudouLinux repository key using a digital signature process. The file is checksum-sha1-all and its signature is checksum-sha1-all.gpg. You can check this file using the following command:

$ sudo gpg --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --default-key D92ACBA0 --verify checksum-sha1-all.gpg checksum-sha1-all

You will need to have installed the package with the DoudouLinux repository key before hand, its name is doudoulinux-keyring. This supposes that you are running Debian Linux or any Debian derivative.

Reference: How to manually check for package’s integrity


[1] Of course you can use foreign language versions for yourself too!

[2] One of them didn’t start the flash card, the other one started it but boot failed right in the middle…

[3] Files that would have been corrupted due to a technical problem or voluntarily after a computer pirate intrusion.

[4] that would have modified both the ISO image and the checksum in order to make them match

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