Puavo is a combination of web software (Puavo Web) and a specially configured system (Puavo OS) using Debian GNU/Linux operating system as its base. Puavo Web is built for managing user accounts and devices. Puavo OS is designed for large-scale deployment in primary and secondary schools. The source code for both is free software under GPLv2+ license.
Puavo Web manages user accounts and devices. One Puavo Web instance can manage multiple organisations (each with their own database), that each can contain multiple schools. Every school can have its own administrator users who manage user accounts and devices for the school. Puavo Web is written on top of Ruby on Rails and uses open source components such as OpenLDAP and MIT Kerberos.
Manage user accounts (including user information and passwords) one-by-one or using mass import features. Puavo Web database can be used by external applications that have support for LDAP. Single sign-on through Kerberos is possible, as well as integrations with other user databases.
Puavo Web can be used to manage Puavo OS clients, including workstations, laptops and servers, and even other types of devices. Settings are stored in Puavo and can be specific to any organisation, school or device.
Puavo OS is an operating system that is built from Debian GNU/Linux and is specifically designed for learning. It has historical roots in Linux Terminal Server Project, but has a different approach despite being similar in spirit. System is distributed as a read-only disk image that is updated atomically without any disruption for users.
The Puavo OS desktop is a tweaked version of Gnome 3. The system has Firefox and Chromium web browsers, Libreoffice, various audio/image/video editing tools, programming environments and other educational tools. It should work well on most PC hardware, also including somewhat older computers maybe up to ten years old.
Puavo OS hosts can function in various roles. They can function as bootservers, providing networking, file and printing services. Hosts can be booted as diskless clients that access user home directories through NFS from server. Laptops can boot from a local drive and remain functional in case of network connectivity problems. Other operating modes such as digital signage systems are also possible.
Other Puavo OS features include guest logins (with throwaway home directories), dual-booting with Windows, mechanisms for optional installation of proprietary applications, an application menu with configurable profiles, support for educational content updates, automatic poweroff during non-school hours when idle, display configuration management and many more!
Both Puavo Web and Puavo OS are developed by Opinsys, a Finnish company that has been providing information technology related services to schools in Finland since 2005 ("Opin" may be translated as "I learn" or "of learning"). Puavo systems are in active use in numerous Finnish schools, as well as in a few schools in Switzerland (by amXa) and Germany. Opinsys also provides consulting for those who are interested in making use of Puavo technology on their own.