A Debian Pure Blend
is a Debian internal project which assembles
a set of packages that might help users to solve certain tasks of their work. The list on
the right shows the tasks of Debian Junior.
This is a list of the Tasks Debian Junior is made of:
- Arcade -
Debian Jr. arcade games
This metapackage will install arcade games suitable, in the
opinion of the contributors to the Debian Jr. project, for children
of all ages. Mastering most of these games requires dexterity
and cognitive skills usually developed only in the older children
(around ages 5 to 8). But the youngest children may enjoy watching
older players, or just poking randomly at the controls, depending
on the game.
- Art -
Debian Jr. Art
Tools for children to produce artwork. The simplest of these is
tuxpaint, which is designed for small children. It features sounds
and easy to use controls. For older children, there are gimp and
xpaint. While gimp is more complex, and is aimed at the graphic
artist, it is not necessarily much harder to use than the older,
less full-featured xpaint. Children starting out with just a small
subset of the functions of these tools eventually pick up quite a
number of new things as they explore, either with adults or other
children with whom they share their computers, or on their own.
- Education -
Debian Jr. education applications
This package includes a collection of educational programs
for children. These applications suit children from 2 to 12.
They will learn the computer mouse and keyboard as
well as various skills (numbers, letters, logic, etc.).
- Games-card -
Debian Jr. Card Games
A collection of card games, for the time being just solitaire, which
are probably more suited to older children than young, although
the "memory" type games in pysol may appeal to children just entering
- Games-gl -
Debian Jr. 3D Games (hardware acceleration required)
These games all use OpenGL libraries. They will not work without
decent 3D graphics cards providing hardware-accelerated OpenGL.
While armagetron and gltron are different interpretations of the
game depicted in the classic 3D-animated movie "Tron", Tux Racer
is an all-original made-for-Linux 3D racing game. Unlike the
standard blood-and-guts fare in the 3D games universe, all of
these games are suitable for children.
- Games-net -
Debian Jr. Network Games
While XPilot has a broad international community of players (mostly
on high-bandwidth connections) it can be enjoyed on a home network
as well. XBlast, on the other hand, achieves networking using the X
protocol, so it is best suited to a local network.
- Games-sim -
Debian Jr. Simulation Games
Simulation games tend to be rather complex, so they are recommended
for older children, and even then some help from someone older may be
- Games-text -
Debian Jr. Text Games
The principal virtue of these games is their simplicity. They will run
on any hardware, and some of them are simple enough to control so that
very young children can enjoy them (e.g. snake)
- Internet -
Debian Jr. Internet tools
For children, a wide variety of Internet tools are not necessary to get
started. Most users will find the Iceweasel web browser covers their needs.
As children's familiarity and sophistication of use of the Internet develops,
you will probably want to add more Internet clients to the child's system.
- Math -
Debian Jr. educational math
This metapackage will install educational math programs suitable for
children. Some of the packages use mathematics that is well beyond
the abilities of young children (e.g. fractals and cryptography), but
hopefully using these let them gain an appreciation of the beauty of
math from an early age. Other packages allow children to explore and
learn math concepts in an engaging, interactive way. Some packages
are more general, providing math activities as only one part of the
package, e.g. bsdgames includes "arithmetic" in addition to other
non-math games, and x11-apps provides xcalc.
- Programming -
Debian Jr. programming
The emphasis for this sampling of programming packages for children
is first on simple interpreted languages. Also important for using
languages with children are good documentation, and some ability to
produce visual programs without too much effort. It is by no means
a complete list, and you are encouraged to explore other languages
with children as well, even those
The Logo language is specifically designed for children, with a strong
emphasis on the visual and concrete. Littlewizard is an icon-based
graphical programming language also designed for children.
- Puzzle -
Debian Jr. Puzzles
Some puzzle-type games, from the more arcade-like and frozen-bubble to xjig (a
jigsaw puzzle program), to lmemory (based on the classic "memory" card game).
This sampling of packages was done in the hope that it will appeal to child
and adult alike.
- Sound -
Debian Jr. sound
This metapackage will install a sampling of sound packages for
a system that is used by children. While not all of these will
be things that children will use directly, a child's system
administrator can make use of them to ensure that the child
gets the most out of their system.
- System -
Debian Jr. System tools
This package includes a few tools for helping children learn about and
use their system.
Midnight Commander is more than just a file manager. It is shell with
which children can explore and manage their own accounts. It can be a
great help for the very young, as it saves them some typing (as
compared with using a command-line shell directly). It is also packed
with power and flexibility which can be tapped by older children and
The 'hello' sample program can be used as an instructional aid, as
an example of how to invoke programs from the shell, specify switches,
use the man page, and so on.
Finally, lavaps not only provides a very pleasing way to visualize
running processes and the resources they use, but can also make
discovering and killing errant processes an easy thing to do for
children who lack the ability yet to easily manage "ps" and "kill"
from the command line.
- Toys -
Debian Jr. desktop toys
This metapackage will install desktop toys suitable for children. The
collection contains some packages which might enjoy children and make
them love their computer.
- Typing -
Debian Jr. typing
This metapackage will install typing tutors and typing games for
various skill levels. This collection of packages was assembled
in the hope that children become comfortable with the keyboard
quickly while having fun learning it.
- Writing -
Debian Jr. writing
This metapackage will install tools for your budding young
writer. A text editor, spell-checker, dictionary client and
word processor are provided.