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AstroGarrobo Beta

February 10th, 2010 by

Space, the Final Frontier! This is the tale of one Amateur Astronomer that have found in openSUSE a terrific tool for public outreach, self-learning and teaching platform.

Ok, that was a bit exagerated.

But the truth is that I am enjoying the new SUSE Studio suite. And that’s because it is facilitating my job as an educator. I work with the Nicaraguan Amateur Astronomers Society (ANASA) in teaching basic astronomy to the public. Obviously, my workhorse is an openSUSE laptop, loaded with Stellarium, Celestia, KStars and Xephem (and many other tools for my personal job as an astronomer).

For a long time, I’ve been advocating the use of openSUSE as the reliable, user-friendly and safe Linux distribution that it is, but I face a big barrier: the big majority of people attending our astronomy lessons does not have the needed technical skill and knowledge to install a new operative system, specially one like Linux.

So, I’ve decided to build a Live CD using SUSE Studio, focused entirely in provide the same basic tools for learning the sky and their basic steps in Amateur Astronomy.

The name of the Project: AstroGarrobo


Garrobo is the Nicaraguan name for a male Iguana. The Nicaraguan Linux community have nicknamed our openSUSE mascot as Garrobo instead of the familiar Chameleon, because a Chameleon is a rare species here in my Nation.

So far, there is a Beta version available for download at SourceForge. I have received many valuable reports from Beta Testers from different parts o the world.

My goal here is to obtain a stable LiveCD, for free distribution, that may help others to obtain the tools needed to inspire, feed and motivate their love for Space.

I’ve written a more detailed explanation of this project in my Blog (in Spanish). I would appreciate any comments, insights and recommendations about AstroGarrobo.

Clear skies!

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