Tux Paint
Tux Paint: Open Source Drawing Software for Children

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Submarine Migration
By: Mark

Tux Paint is free computer art software for children.
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Thanks to:
Magento Partner - AOE


Random review:
“I don't usually talk about or recommend software or IT things, but I would make this exception for the great drawing and painting programme for children (and the young at heart!) - Tuxpaint. Since I installed it on our ageing home iMac, my son Jacob has been really enjoying it” — Mark Lawrence, September 2006


Stories From Schools Using Tux Paint

Is your school using Tux Paint? Would you like to share your comments? Contact us!


Comments from Schools

Takoma Park Maryland Library, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA
The room in which I spend most of my time has 10 computers, and elementary and middle school students stop by daily after school to use them. About 90 percent of the children use the computers for games, and about 10 percent use them for doing homework. Very few use the computer for creative graphics applications. I'm bent on changing that. ...

Last week, I was really happy to see a mother sitting at a computer with her 3-year-old son, with TuxPaint up on the screen. The child was squealing with delight as he used the various drawing tools in TuxPaint. Listening to him speak, I noticed he was highly verbal, too. "How old is your son?" I inquired politely. The mom smiled back and said, "He's three."...

I did not expect what happened next. Somehow, the word about TuxPaint spread throughout our community. Older elementary school students started exploring it in our computer center. A few days later, a middle school boy asked how he could use TuxPaint on his computer. This is a boy who has spent hundreds of hours playing first-person shooting games. ...

Within a span of 10 minutes, the computer center had transformed itself from a games-playing room to a room full of creative exploration. I can't explain how it happened, but I give a lot of credit to the programmers who created TuxPaint. For those of you who work with youth in outside-of-school settings, there is hope that students will voluntarily move themselves off a games-playing path and onto a creative exploration path.
The day TuxPaint became contagious, opensource.com, May 4, 2012
Cusco, Peru
Tux paint solved many of my problems in the classroom (Arts Area), especially the lack of materials, pigments, media cards, colored pencils, various brushes, etc. [It also solved] the problem of time; [...] the subject of art only lasts one hour and 20 minutes per week. ... [We researched] the use of this educational software to develop expressive skills in children of 11 and 12 years in my workplace. The result was optimal. I am pleased to have Tux Paint as a partner in my field.
Posted on the Tux Paint Facebook wall, January 13, 2012
Taejon Christian International School, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
...A lovely video of a Kindergarten class using Tux Paint to illustrate their autobiographical stories. The children also podcasted their stories to accompany the images and put it all together using Movie Maker.
Posted on the ICT for Early Childhood Educators blog, January 2011
Kentfield School District, California, USA
During computer class, kindergarteners are introduced to computer drawing tools using ... Tux Paint.
From the Kentfield School District Revised Technology Use Plan, December 2007
Palm Beach County Schools, Florida, USA
Tux Paint has been added to the "Approved Software" list for Palm Beach County Schools, the 12th largest school district in the United States.
An Elementary School Technician from Palm Beach County School District
A special needs school, UK
I'm IT tech in a special needs school; a teacher asked me to download this software onto her class PC, and now everyone in school wants it on their PC!
EmpowerTech, Los Angeles, California, USA
At EmpowerTech, a non-profit who's mission is to educate, train, support, and empower people with physical and developmental disabilities through assistive technology (AT), we use and recommend [Tux Paint]. Every week EmpowerTech works with over 150 preschoolers (with and without special needs) to help them acquire computer skills (through games) before they start their school career. We use Tux Paint to assess whether they can click and drag. And of course they love seeing huge swipes of color appear before their eyes with a swish of the mouse. We present educational workshops, conferences and webinars on Free Worthwhile Educational Online Games (FWOG) to teachers, students, parents and professionals. Tux Paint is always included in the handout so they can download and use it themselves. Thanks again
Judy Nahman-Stouffer, Assistive Technology Educational Specialist, Projects Coordinator, and Director of School Programs at Empowertech
Pollock Pines School District, Pollock Pines, California, USA
I truly appreciate the work that you and the other developers have put into making Tux Paint. It really is a wonderful program that we need at our K-4 school and obviously allowing us to use it for free is amazing. Our school was on an Apple platform that are now around 7-8 years old and we are replacing them with a Windows system. One of the major concerns with changing platforms was the idea of losing Kid Pix, but with your program that concern has been eliminated completely.
Sean Martin, Director of IT, Pollock Pines School District
Technology for Improved Learning Outcomes (TILO) project
The USAID-funded Technology for Improved Learning Outcomes project is recommending Tux Paint and Tux Math to teachers and students in Egyptian schools, as we believe that they support our project objectives to improve teaching and learning through the use of technology. Thank you for creating [them] and for making them freely available to support teaching and learning globally.
Andrea Bosch, Cheif of Party & Ginny Woolley, Director of Digital Resource Development, Technology for Improved Learning Outcomes (TILO) Egypt
Holmfirth Junior, Infant & Nursery School, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
A very positive experience using TuxPaint with Key Stage 1 pupils as an alternative to commercially licensed software. ... The younger children in our school love to use TuxPaint because of its simplicity and its ability to create a picture from scratch very quickly. It comes complete with a wide range of different stamps and backgrounds that the children can start creating with, straight out of the box. The first thing you notice is that its interface differs from most other programs; each button is clearly labelled with a picture and label. There are no common menus with features hidden behind them, so it is perfect for our younger children who lack basic reading skills. Another great feature of this free software is its parental and teacher controls that allow certain features in the program to be locked down so the child can't access them. ... Overall, TuxPaint is a great piece of software for younger children and provides them with every tool they require at a basic level. It may be the case that older children will require more tools and a more standardised interface; however they're still provided with the tools to create a great picture. The great thing about TuxPaint is it's free, you don't pay anything, no matter how many machines you install it on! ... TuxPaint will work on most platforms and doesn't need much computing power to get up and running. A computer no more than 5 years old should be adequate. Installation is simple - it's just a case of a quick download from the website. (Full review at Open Source Schools)
James Dowland
Bubble Dome, Auckland, Wellington and Taupo, New Zealand
Every school holiday break Bubble Dome runs school holiday workshops for children aged 5 to 16 years around New Zealand, where 3D computer learning is combined with lateral thinking and problem solving activities. The kids absolutely love Tux Paint — we taught it on our courses all over the country. Our programmes attract 100s of children each holidays. Thank you for providing such an awesome programme.
Rebecca Merle, Director, Bubble Dome
Auburn Washburn Unified School District, Topeka, Kansas, USA
I am a technology teacher at a Primary Building. In the past few years we have upgraded our hardware which made some of our software not run any more. One of the titles was Kid Pix. The kids were very disappointed. I was too. I had developed numerous templates to help reinforce the indicators that were being taught in the classroom. We went through the year not having a paint program for the students to use. One of the other technology teachers in the district discovered Tux Paint. We previewed the program and had our technology dept. test it out on our network. Needless to say, we are using it this year and the kids are loving it! I have written the address on the board and students have taken it home and downloaded your program on their computers. We recently had an open house and the lab was open to parents and students. All the kids wanted to show their parents was Tux Paint! Everyone loved it. Thanks again for your awesome program.
Jill Beam, Technology Teacher
Brampton Christian School, Ontario, Canada
I installed Tux paint for windows in my schools elementary library. A few months back the Librarian told me that some of the students were getting their work done before the end of class and getting into mischief because there were no activities on the computers to hold their attention. I told her that I knew of many wonderful and available programs because of my involvement with Linux. Tux paint was one of the programs I installed for her and after a few months of use the jury is back with their verdict. The kids love it! Thank you for this outstanding program it is going to very good use.
Steve Lougheed
Good Shepherd Lutheran Primary School, Australia
I want to say thank you for providing such an excellent piece of software with Tux Paint... it is so user friendly for our students. Previously we have been using Kid Pix (a commercial option) but are now finding that Tux Paint is superior in so many ways. You really have done a fantastic job...and the continual development of the program as well as customization options are much appreciated (i.e., being able to 'update' the included graphics is fantastic!)
Matthew Polack, ITC Co-Ordinator
Ecole Primarie du Moulin, Digne-les-Bains, France
"My pupils (aged from 6 to 8 years old) use Tux Paint on Windows and Edubuntu. It's their favorite software. Most of them have it at home too, now. We are about creating a book with the pupils for a school meeting. The text will be typed in Abiword and the illustrations will be made with Tux Paint. Tux Paint will soon be introduced to other teachers during the next Free Software meeting in Digne-les-Bains."
Arnaud Champollion
Sun Grove Montessori, Florida, USA
"I am the computer teacher/net admin at a small private school (50 students) and I installed Tux Paint on the five Windows and one iMac in our elementary program two years ago — we now have seven Windows machines plus the iMac. Tux Paint is the favorite program of our 6-9 year olds and the latest update, which I just installed this morning, will hold the interest of the 9-12 year olds as well. In fact, it was the 9 year olds who had used the older version who were the first to be able to test the new version and they love it. They have already made several requests for CDs of the program to take home.

"As far as doing the admin part, I find Tux Paint easy to install and configure. I run the program from each local computer and save the files to the network drive to optimize speed. I was quite happy to find the 'start with blank page' option in the new version."
Sandra Thorne
Blaine Street Elementary School, Georgia, USA
"My students and I love to use TuxPaint. I have made several templates which have greatly enhanced their learning-thank you for this tool..."
Michael Rotjan
An Elementary School, Alabama, USA
"I use it in a lab with 26 computers... My students have created some great things... We love the program!"
Annette
Tremont School, Dixon Unified School District, California, USA
"I work at Tremont School in Dixon and the students love it."
Dorene
A Pre-School / Elementary School, Ohio, USA
"I had been searching high and low for an alternative to paint (a program the kids just LOVE) after we received new iMacs last month. Seashore was too complicated and Poster Paint didn't quite do it [...]. However, I finally found a great program kids will love: Tux Paint. It's a great program with really neat features and big buttons and very simple icons. Another great thing is that the prefs are a seperate program so kids who like to just swing the mouse around everywhere and mess up all the prefs won't mess them up for this program. Anyway, if you have kids, or are a kid at heart, give this a whirl."
"Mavimao" (on MacRumors Forums, March 2007)
An Infant School, England
"I've used TuxPaint where I work for a number of years now, mainly because the children prefer it to the quite expensive painting package the school has. I thought that as TuxPaint is such a well thought out program that I'd send a letter of recommendation out to the parents. Within the week children were keen to tell me about the new software that they had got at home. It also met the approval of the parents as slips were returned with comments like 'Have put it on the computer this weekend. The girls love it.' So, great for school use and at home - FANTASTIC!"
Mr. R. Beales, England
A school in Overpelt, Belgium
"I teach children [ages 12-15] to draw [and] paint. ... I used it in a few classes last year and asked the pupils what they thought about it and if they thought it was childish. They loved it and they all wanted to know how to download it. This year I have used it in all my classes and pupils are very enthusiastic! I told them to make a surrealistic drawing. That is very easy using the stamps. I had some great results. I can really recommend this program!"
- Ilse Verhoeven, Overpelt, Belgium
Lower Salford Elementary School, Souderton, Pennsylvania, USA
"This morning the Tech teacher in our lab explained to the students the history of Tux Paint how it has evolved while I was installing Tux Paint for them on 30 new computers in the lab. The students and Tech teachers at Lower Salford Elementary School are excited that I am installing it after seeing the creative possibilities and the user-friendliness of the application the teacher demonstrated. Since the program was tested in another one of our schools the last two years, the word spread how much fun the children had using it with the many new features and stamps. Kudos to you and thank you for sharing this Tux Paint for the little ones and us bigger ones who think we are younger. WE LOVE IT!"
- Debbie Doebler, Instructional Technology Specialist, Souderton Area School District
An Elementary school, California, USA
"I recently installed Tux Paint on 60 Macintosh computers and have been having a lot of success with it. It's been especially popular with the girls who haven't had quite as much interest in using the computers until now. It definitely taps into the creative side of children without requiring any extensive technical skills."
- Adam Lowe, Tech
Kings School, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
"We recently downloaded Tux Paint after finding the software on Softpedia.com. We've been eagerly deploying it accross the school and it's a HIT with everyone who uses it, from the 3 year old children to the staff! Thanks for producing such an accessible and easy to use program that is packed with rich media. Two thumbs up to your devlopment team."
- Lee Bond, ICT Manager, Kings School
Lubbock Independent School District, Lubbock, Texas, USA
"I just thought I would let you know I really like TuxPaint and I am installing it on 26 school computers in my lab. ... It's a great alternative to Kid Pix (since Kid Pix doesn't work properly on Windows XP). Anyway, thank you for being involved with this. I can't wait to start using Tux Paint!"
- Theresa Slemmons, Lubbock Independent School District
Greene Street Friends School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
"My kindergartners loved Tuxpaint. They had played with Kid Pix some last year, so I was waiting to hear some complaints about missing bells and whistles, but aside from one 'where's the bomb?' they were purring like kittens. Hey, without that bomb they were actually more interested in making pictures than destroying them!"
- Leslie Campbell, Technology Specialist, Greene Street Friends School
Helensburgh Public School, New South Wales, Australia
"Thank you for the great program. [We] have been using it with [our] Kindergarten class (children 5-6yrs) who are learning to read and write."
- Kindergarten teachers at Helensburgh Public School
Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, USA
"I am a doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University, currently involved in a small usability testing project. I've introduced four children -- two second graders, one fourth grader and one fifth -- to Tux Paint, had them explore its functions and capabilities and then create a design of their own choosing, which we printed on cardstock (I provided envelopes). One of the younger children gleefully made his mom a Mother's Day card, typing "I Love Mom" across an impressionistic array of Magic-altered ladybugs, freeform lines, and geometric shapes against a blue-fill background. All four of the children loved Tux Paint."
- Marilyn Olander, doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University
Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, Napa, California, USA
"I'm using Tux Paint in the computer lab at work (a youth center in Napa), and it's a mondo hit with the kids. I've just been reading the Tux Paint docs for some config options -- less noise, bigger canvas, and finding where the pictures are saved. Very nice work, Bill. I can also see this as a good basis for transitioning to the GIMP later on."
- Karsten Self
Fordyce School District, Arkansas, USA
"We're running Tux Paint and Tux Math on 60 terminals and 30 lab machines... The kids want breaks and we don't want them playing brain decaying, bandwidth hogging games when they get done with their work. These packages have been the perfect solution."
- Caleb Wagnon, Technology Coordinator, Fordyce School District
Grant High School, South Australia
"In an attempt to create consistency, not only throughout the software portfolio on the schools computers, but extending into the students' home computers, Grant High School in South Australia has adopted a wholistic Open Source approach. 'This way, our students can legally afford to install the programs at home, necessary for them to do their homework....' a spokesman said.
"By using Open Source applications the students have access to a wider variety of software than what would've been possible, had they and the school had to pay for expensive proprietary software licenses. Grant High School has recently added Tux Paint to the 'standard image' for another 140 PCs, next to other fine works in the graphics category, such as: Sodipodi, The Gimp, OpenOffice Draw and Pixia, fully replacing the need for MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw and other costly alternatives.
"Tux Paint is a natural choice of drawing application for the Grant High School Community Software model, as it fills all criteria for selection: The price is right, it has lots of functionality, the licensing model is inobtrusive and it makes very little assumptions about the users Operating System choice.
"Tux Paint is a winner, from Kindie to year 12, the kids all get 'that shining look' on their face when using it."
Northfield Community School, Northfield, New Jersey, USA
"Tux Paint is *AWESOME*!!! I teach in an elementary school and we have installed the software in our computer lab. I wish I could have had my digital voice recorder running when I introduced the software to the kids. They went absolutely wild! You would have loved to hear them I'm sure. [We] just upgraded to v0.9.13, the new features are amazing. We especially love the stamps and the sound effects. The GUI is very intuitive, I've got kindergarten kids coming up with the most amazing abstract art. Teachers love it too, they all look at me like I have three heads when I tell them it's free software."
- Kevin Jarrett, Technology Facilitator, Northfield Community School
Clemens Crossing Elementary School, Columbia, Maryland, USA
"Poking around looking for an alternative to Kid Pix - (can't seem to find a definitive date for it to be ported for OS X) and found 'Tux Paint.' It's open source, and there is a specific compilation for OS X. I downloaded it on one machine to play with and is it ever cool and fun! In some regards, I think it's better than Kid Pix - it has more text options, stamps as a separate download, a "grabber" to rotate geometric shapes, terrific sounds, terrific paint effects... I could go on. [...] Further exploration/experimentation: the Windows XP compilation looks and acts like the OS X, it's free - maybe this should be the first reason to look at it :-), scripty-creative types can create new stamps, individual stamps can be added and/or removed, stamps can have sounds and text files associated with them, multiple font options and sizes, there are stamps for coins (US and Euro) and musical notation. I'll stop here, enthusiastic enough? Now, have to wait for our system's software committee to give final approval."
- Patricia A. McCord, Elementary Media Assistant, Clemens Crossing Elementary School
Mineral Elementary School District, California, USA
"The kids at our school regularly skip over KidPix 3 and head for Tux Paint. Kid Pix is just a big mess of fancy nonsense, whereas they can actually create pictures in Tux Paint. Good stuff!"
- James Mayfield, Mineral Elementary School District
Tecumseh Local Schools, Ohio, USA
"I really love your program. I am running it on an OS X version 10.3 laptop and it works great. [...] We currently use Kid Pix via classic mode within OS X and it is nothing but headaches. I would love to get our teachers using Tux Paint and I have the go ahead to allow some teachers test it."
- Veronica Cassidy, Network Administrator, Tecumseh Local Schools
Bullock Creek Schools, Midland, Michigan, USA
"I can't tell you how many school districts in Michigan have problems with KidPix. I downloaded the Tux Paint installer and stamps and was happily creating in minutes. My wife and daughter thinks its great."
- Mike Wittbrodt, Director of Technology, Bullock Creek Schools
Village Community School, New York City, New York, USA
"We just installed Tux Paint on our Macs to try out with some of the kids! The software looks great and our tech coordinator is excited to get started using it in the classroom. ... thanks for the great software!"
- Brad Schonhorst, Village Community School
Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA
"WOW: What a great program. Thank you so much for sharing and allowing me to share with my students. I am an Ast. Professor at Fort Hays State University in the Technology Studies Department. I work with Pre-service teachers. In addition, I have a grant in 12 4th & 5th grade classrooms. We put wireless laptops and everything you could want. I have just shared this program with my Grant teachers as well as my students. I just wanted to say thank you!!!"
- Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, Fort Hays State University
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, USA
"I want to thank you for developing this software. I prepare teachers and this is a great introduction for children to computers."
- Dr. Donald Luck, Austin Peay State University
Springfield School, Drayton Hampshire, England
"The pupils love it (11-16yrs!). My problem was the saving to their network areas and I just could not get it to work in a previous version. Happy to report that this works brilliantly with latest download. ... Again many thanks for an excellent piece of educational software."
- Simon Marsden, Advanced Skills Teacher, IT Springfield School
Montgomery Knolls Elementary School, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
"I think Tux Paint is a neat program that comes close to answering our need for a simple children's painting program."
- Amado Narvaez, Montgomery Knolls Elementary School
ArtWorks Visual Art School and Gallery, Trenton, New Jersey, USA
"Kudos and thank you for your tremendous contribution to the world. Tux Paint is a joy to use, a wonderful idea, and done quite well. You have done a great thing by making this program!"
- Sean Dembrosky, ArtWorks Visual Art School and Gallery, Trenton, New Jersey
Vassalboro Community School, Maine, USA
"The kids love it! (and so do I)"
- David Trask, Technology Teacher/Coordinator, Vassalboro Community School
Stormonth Elementary School, Milwaukee, Wisconson, USA
"Teachers and students at Stormonth Elementary School in Milwaukee, WI, have switched from Kid Pix Deluxe to the open-source program Tux Paint. Teachers were blown away by the programs features, easy of use, and kid friendly layout. The program will be used by all children in kindergarten through the second grade. Tux Paint is a very simple program that allows our younger students to learn to use the PC and to create wonderful, full colored drawings for their teachers and parents. With the dwindling budgets schools are facing, quality open-source software like Tux Paint has been a welcome."
- Chris Gotstein
Queen Of Peace Parochial School, Mesa, Arizona, USA
"Thanks for the great software! ... [I'm] the tech guy for my son's school board [in Phoenix, Arizona]. I'm in the process of trying to convert all the school's computer's to Linux. ... In order to for me to pull this off, I need to ween the school off of Windows software. Tux Paint seems like the perfect replacement for the a program they are using called 'Kid Pix 3.' It also helps that they can use it on windows until I cut them over to Linux next school year. ... [Also] thanks for picking SDL to do this program in. The Kid Pix program I mentioned uses Quicktime and is horribly slow on the lab's Pentium 200s."
- Luis Montes
PC-in-the-Village Experiment, Goa, India
"[The 'PC-in-the-village'] experiment indicated that school-age children are able to effectively and quickly begin understanding the basics of computing, almost intuitively. ... This experiment also validated the results of the PC-in-the-wall experiments previously conducted by NIIT in Delhi. An additional learning was that when the Operating system was switched to Redhat Linux, the users were quickly able to adapt to using Tux-paint."
- Sangolda PC-in-the-village Experiment

Other Comments from Teachers

  • "Lately, I have been having my younger kids from kindergarten on up use a program called Tux Paint. ... Tux Paint lets kids color with an array of bushes on hundreds of backgrounds. They can stamp any number of pictures from the large clip art library and draw to their heart's delight." - Lee Biggs (via 'Tales from a 21st Century Teacher' blog), Greenwood Elementary School, Wisconsin, USA
  • "I'm a teacher of IT technology in an elementary school in Warsaw, and from the moment I installed TuxPaint, my litlle students, in their free time, use (play with) this program very often. They said Tux Paint is better than other software installed in the school's computers (involving games!!!) My daughter agrees."
    - Maciek, Warsaw, Poland
  • "I am in K-12 running [Linux Terminal Server Project] on [Red Hat Linux]. The elementary kids LOVE Tux Paint."
    - Chuck
  • "I work at a primary school and have found that Tux Paint is fantastic."
    - Philip Duldig
  • "Tux Paint is installed in the computer room of my sister's school. They're quite happy! ... [It's kids] 6 to 11 years. [They] especially [like] the stamps and magic."
    - Ingo Blechschmidt, Germany
  • "I have just discovered Tux Paint and I'm really impressed!"
    - Rosemary Collins, East Perth, Australia
  • "At this moment Tux Paint is using in two schools, I recommended and installed there."
    - Sergio Javier Belkin, Argentina
  • "Thank you for an excellent piece of software. I don't have kids but some of my friends children love Tux Paint. I added [some of my own photos] to be used in some local schools."
    - John O'Sullivan
  • "...One of my teachers, who has got an 8 year old son, likes [Tux Paint] very much. He thinks it is really good for children."
    - Fabian Franz

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