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The Emmabuntüs community is an informal group of people who gathered together to develop a project based on a GNU/Linux distribution, and named Emmabuntüs.

This distribution was developed to simplify the task of refurbishing old used computers, which were given to Charity Organization, and in particular to the  Emmaüs Communities (this is where the name of the distribution is coming from). In addition, this distribution aimed at the promotion of Gnu/Linux among the novice users, as well as the lifetime extension of the hardware in order to limit the waste of resources induced by the over-consumption of raw materials.

This project started with the finding that all the current distributions, even the easiest to use, do not take into account all the needs of a large users population, for whom configuring their machine is the very last thing they want to have to deal with. One good indication is that the “Install-party“ are over-crowded despite the general ease of of the distributions, but after a first participation to install the distribution on their machine, a large portion of the population is coming back to install useful missing applications.


The initial goal for Emmabuntüs was NOT to offer a distribution based on Ubuntu and to be downloaded by everyone, but rather to sell computers refurbished with Emmabuntüs to the large population coming to buy used computers. These computers were donations made to the community Emmaüs de Neuilly-Plaisance.

The Emmabutüs Community adheres to the Emmaüs Movement Manifesto, however - as of today - is not officially recognized by this movement. But some active members of the community are volunteers within the Paris, Liberté, Catalogne, Montpellier, Villers-les-Pots, and Cabriès Emmaüs organization.

Main features

See home page of our Wiki : www.emmabuntus.org or communityportal.emmabuntus.org

Emmabuntüs overview

See this review on DistroWatch


Project goal

The activity of the Emmabuntüs community goes far beyond the pure creation of another GNU/Linux distribution. The target we are aiming for is to build the structures to ease the computers refurbishing within various Charity Organizations, and to invite people to follow our steps in order to fight three main plagues:

  • The poverty within some layers of the population, by giving new sources of income to the Charities organization when they sale this refurbished computers.
  • The Digital gap in France, in the world in general, and in Africa in particular through the spreading of a distribution extended by free data.
  • The waste of resources induced by the over-consumption of raw materials, by increasing the life-time of computer hardware.


Logo Libre Emmabuntus.png
(Fair and freed by Emmabuntüs)


Emmabuntüs is not only a GNU/Linux distribution, but also a community working on the re-use of old computers and cooperates with Les Amis de la Terre, Festival de la Récup, PC de L'Espoir, Trira (TRI Rhône-Alpes), THOT (c.i.s) (With THOT for a 2.0 solidarity), Ailleurs Solidaires, Eisenia, and e-nexus.

The collective collaborate also with some associations promoting the Free Software such as Montpel'libre, Perpinux, Gard-Linux, Infothema, EPN de Durbuy (Belgium), and the History Society Saint-George & Dalayrac for the Free Culture advancement.

Since fall 2012, a deep synergy exists between the projects Emmabuntüs and  Jerry Do-It-Together

Jerry is a computer assembled in a plastic container with components extracted from old computers. Jerry became the hardware companion of the Emmabuntüs distribution during the Free Computer Exhibitions.

This cooperation was extended when JerryClan JerryClan Ivory Coast adopted Emmabuntüs as its distribution of choice for the development of a group of medical services.

These services are based on an mobile application using SMS to monitor patients with tuberculosis, or to monitor pregnant women (see  JerryTub, m-Pregancy, OpenDjeliba). And you can watch the video Jerry-Marathon à Attécoubé.

This first project gave birth to several other cooperations with the JerryClan Ivory Coast, Togo and the new Emmabuntüs Cameroun Comunity, also the JerryClan of Chad, Benin, and Senegal. Stay tuned ...

Jerry Marathon à Bouaké - Réalisation du Jerry SMS.JPG
Testimony of Florent YOUZAN

Emmabuntüs is used in the project JerryCyber developed by Ayiyikoh Incubator (Jerry and the women). This project will provide access to computers and internet to the public and members of the FabLab. The team of Ayiyikoh Incubator was awarded the prize for the best application at the Africa Web Festival in 2015 with the GBAME project under Jerry on Emmabuntüs.

Equipe gbame awf2015.jpg
The team of Ayiyikoh Incubator during the Africa Web Festival 2015

Since summer 2013, the association Montpel’libre (The dragonfly of Liberty, from Equality to Fraternity) helps the Emmaus community in Montpellier offering a lively presentation before sale. This operation aims to present emmabuntüs to people who come to buy a computer to help them in their choice. But the support Montpel'libre does not stop there: in fact, the customer leaves with his machine and the Montpel'libre contact information to be able to contact in case of problems. Today, the team consists of Pascal, Quentin, Cellou, Romain, Nicolas and Cédric ensures constantly on the second saturday of each month.

Animation Montpellibre Emmaus Montpellier 1024x800.jpg
Presentation of Emmabuntüs and free software by Montpel'libre in November 8, 2014
at Community Emmaus Saint-Aunès (Montpellier)
Photo credit: Montpel’libre

Since the end of year 2015, we work with associatios based in French Normandy Ailleurs-Solidaires [Abroad-Solidarity] and CaLviX (Emmabuntüs, the Linux for « Ailleurs Solidaires »).Emmabuntüs was installed on used portable computers, which where then given in Nepal to the Akashganga International Academy (a school for disadvantaged children) and to the DSA (a center which takes in and educates the poorest disabled children in the country, relieving their family and giving them some hope for a better life). On both sites the results were outstanding and the Emmabuntüs system adopted with enthusiasm.

Seance formation informatique Akashganag Intl Academy.jpg
Photo: Training session in the Akashganga Intl Academy in Jan 2015.
Potable computers donated by Ailleurs-Solidaires and CaLviX associations

Since May 2016, we work with the YovoTogo and JUMP Lab'Orione associations (The march of the YovoTogo children toward the digital age) to help them install and use Emmabuntüs within two computer rooms in Togo, one in the Don Orione center and the other in the Nano college, equipped with a total of 46 computers. In addition there is the Nayéga computer room implemented by the Rotary-Club de Fleurus in Belgium.

Starting in October 2016, the Savannah region of north Togo will be equipped with seven computer rooms, featuring a total of 140 computers running under GNU/Linux Emmabuntüs and including some Free Culture data using the ePub format, vididia and the complete version of Wikipedia ...

Salle informatique Neyega Tofo equipe par YovoTogo JUMP Lab Orione.jpg
Photo: the first training room under Emmabuntüs in the Savannah region of north Togo
installed by YovoTogo and JUMP Lab'Orione

During the next years we will also participate in important Africa projects: in Cameroon with David, one of the founders of our collective who settled in Douala, who started the DouaLab. For example in 2017, we have the project to equip an orphanage in partnership with the SAVAS association. Ivory Coast and Congo to install training centers, and with the BloLab association in Benin for the refurbishing of used computers in order to donate them to schools in underprivileged areas, and train the students on free software usage.

Since January 2016, and the beginning of the Emmabuntüs Debian Edition project, we are helped by the technical advices of arpinux, developer of HandyLinux and DFLinux, to develop this new Emmabuntüs DE version and to port onver it the following applications : HandySoft as Software Center, HandyUpdateChecker as update manager, and HandyTri as an automatic file sorter.

And since September 2016, always with our friend arpinux, we participate to the redaction of the paper journal L'âge de faire, by writing a monthly column on ethical and free software.

Articles about Emmabuntüs published in the press:

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