The Edubuntu team has been discussing the need of a tool to filter the list of applications displayed to a user depending on various criterias. We first implemented it as a set of meta-packages called application bundles and prefixed ubuntu-edu-* though we then noticed that it doesn't always apply to all countries.

Each country and possibly region/school district has its own rules on what kind of software should be available to which grades. In order to fix that, the following specification has been written and will be discussing the development of a tool used to easily create new menus that will be put on top of the main Edubuntu menu and filter it.

The interface will basically let the administrator define new menus by selecting the entries he wants and these he doesn't, then create new menus/sub-menus and finally save that as a standard XDG menu file. Then, another interface will be used to assign menus to system groups.

A way to easily import and export these menus will also be provided along with a package providing sample menus provided by some of our partners (Guadalinex, Qimo, Revolution Linux, ...).

Release Note

The Edubuntu project has introduced a new tool called the "Edubuntu menu editor" (?) that allows administrators to easily define new menus and use them to filter the list of application a user can see.

The matching is done using groups and menus can easily be imported and exported. This new functionality is available from the menu and profile editors under System Administration menu.

Use Cases


As mentioned in the use cases above, customised menus based on groups can be very useful in certain circumstances. Organisations with many users have requested this functionality many times in the past.

A standard, unified method for implementing custom menus would be beneficial to the project and its users.

User stories

* Guadalinex-edu, which has many installations in Southern Spain, has said that they would be able to install a pretty much default Edubuntu installation for their systems if it supported custom menus. Currently they have over 50 packages that create diverts in order to change their menu entries, which is not desirable.



copy the entry, not move it.

checkbox (entry will still be displayed though).

generate a new xml menu, the entries marked as removed will be added as exclude entry.


This specification is about a new software development, packaging and integration as part of the default Edubuntu desktop. Development is detailed below.

Other things to consider during the development is:

UI Changes

Two new menu entries are available to these in the "admin" group and will be provided in the Administration menu.

Code Changes

As it's a new development, we don't think there is the need for any code change to any existing software.


As it's a new development, we don't think there is any migration path to establish. Current application bundles will continue to exist for the time being though the tool will work better if all packages are installed on the system.

Test/Demo Plan

Unresolved issues

None identified yet.

BoF agenda and discussion

Time line


Edubuntu/Specifications/EdubuntuLucidMenuEditor (last edited 2009-12-09 18:32:23 by jonathan)