Caixa Mágica experiences Linux in the new Magalhães

Supported by the enthusiasm that children have shown for Supertux, the Penguin game installed on Magalhães’ Linux partition, Caixa Mágica is developing the integration of its Linux distribution for the new Magalhães, MG2, although without any commitment yet. integration in versions for sale or eventual distribution in schools, Paulo Trezentos, technical director of the company, told TeK.

The first version of Magalhães, which was distributed to approximately 450 thousand students in the first cycle of basic education, bet on dual boot, offering in parallel access to the Windows operating system and Linux from Caixa Mágica. The new MG2 does not have this possibility, however, and started to be sold in stores on October 22nd only with Windows 7.

Still without guarantees that the new version of the laptop will be distributed in schools – with the selection of the equipment in an international public tender being foreseen for the 100 thousand students who entered this year for the first year and others who have not yet requested the computer – a Caixa Mágica has already started adapting its Linux distribution, and is making developments in partnership with Mandriva and TurboLinux.

«We are not working on a disruption, but on the evolution and improvement of applications and interfaces», explains Paulo Trezentos. Taking advantage of the feedback from Magalhães users and teachers, as well as the support of partners, Caixa Mágica is betting on improving educational and playful applications that can be used in classes, but also on parental control systems, which before they were limited to Firefox and that now extend to all Web browsing, with definition of times and permissions.

The care with the Portuguese language accompanies the introduction of new applications, such as the integration with the webcam and Supertux fans also have reasons to rejoice with the news of the most famous penguin among Portuguese children.

Paulo Trezentos admits that many times this game is the main reason for children to switch to the Linux partition, but he believes that this way it is possible to start “evangelizing” the younger ones to also use productivity and web browsing tools from the Magic Box.

The new Magalhães with Linux is one of the projects that Caixa Mágica is showing at Codebits, which runs until tomorrow at Cordoaria Nacional, in Lisbon.

Fatima Hunter