The Edubuntu Team has launched a service called Edubuntu WebLive that allows people to try out the operating system straight from the browser without downloading or installing it first. This is a good solution for people who wish to see what Edubuntu has to offer, and a smart move by the Edubuntu team that will popularize the OS.
Edubuntu WebLive is essentially a virtual machine running the latest stable release of Edubuntu on a dedicated server. A user wishing to test drive the OS can do so by logging into the machine from a web browser. All that is needed is Java to be installed and the NoMachine plugin that handles the remote connection to the server.
The user creates a temporary user account and logs in using the same. Once logged in the program runs full screen.
The Edubuntu Weblive desktop
Edubuntu Weblive running Firefox
Edubuntu WebLive doesn’t provide all the features that a Live disc does. For example, you don’t have administrator access so you won’t be able to use tools that are at the heart of Edubuntu’s feature list such as Gnome Nanny or Pessulus, but enough for a quick preview.
The servers are located at at Frankfurt, Germany. Hence non-Europeans might experience a bit of latency. A maximum of 10 users can connect at the same time, and each user account is leased for a period of 2 hours.
It doesn’t hurt to mention that a similar try-from-the-browser service is also offered by Microsoft through Windows 7 Test Drive.