How To Sanitize a Laptop



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The process of sanitizing a laptop involves three aspects:

  1. Physically cleaning the laptop's appearance.
  2. Cleaning up the laptop from any previous information.
  3. Installing the basic software (Operative system, basic applications and edubuntu).
  4. Installing additional educational content. (Since we are all making the effort to make the IT device reach some needy school, lets make the best of it!)

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

The Fast Restoration Method provides the easiest and fastest method to install the operative system and the educational content on a laptop.

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

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

This process is more time demanding and advised if you want to learn and to see exactly what contents are installed, whereas the Fast Restoration Method performs all these steps in an automated manner.

If you are new to the Labdoo Project, you can follow the Step by Step sanitation guide. If you need to deal with large numbers of laptops or are more experienced, we recommend you to use the Fast Restoration Methods. Remember also that as a last resort and 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’ 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 base education software package installed in every Labdoo laptop is called Edubuntu. Edubuntu is a free software platform including education 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 education content such as an offline version of Wikipedia and many other powerful Open Education Resources (OER) such as Rachel, Xowa, UNESCO content, Khan Academy, etc.

The simple sanitation guide installs the base Edubuntu platform (preloaded with all the Edubuntu education applications) and it 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 the packages that are 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.

Continue reading under this section:
Sanitation Guide: Fast Restoration Method (Labtix)

Sanitation Guide: PXE Over the Network

Sanitation Guide: Step-by-step Installation Method

Post-Installation Configuration

Installing Additional Education Packages

What to do with the battteries?