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Turn Your Linux Desktop,Tablet or Touch Device into Digital Sketchpad

Ardesia is a free open source application that turns your Linux device into a digital sketchpad. You can make hand drawn annotations, figures, a quick sketch, do some artwork or just use it for fun. Drawings can be made using  many pointing devices like a mouse or  a pen/finger on your touch screen device.

On the productivity side, this application can be really useful as you can record whatever you are drawing, save it on your system and then share it over a network. Doing live screencasts , demos or on screen presentations is easy as you can stream live whatever you are doing using third party applications like VLC or Icecast. The application is completely free and is under GPLv3 license.

Ardesia needs a composite manager to be able to work and has been tested with Compiz, Kwin, XCompManager (LXDE and Openbox). Also to record your work, you need to have VLC installed on your system. Ardesia provides binary packages for Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7.

Installing on Ubuntu 10.04

Download deb package from here (Released on 6th Jan.)

Installing on Ubuntu 10.10

Official packages are only available for Ubuntu 10.04 but you can use the package to install it on Ubuntu 10.10. However, it will show an error that a shared library libbfd is not found as the package points to an older version of library only available in Ubuntu 10.04. You can fix this by creating a symlink to needed library. Just run this command after installing the package.

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Now go to Accessories > Ardesia Desktop Sketchpad to launch the application (Requires a logout or run it from terminal)

Compiling the Source

If you want to use it on other distros, you will have to compile it from the source. To get the source, run following command:

svn checkout ardesia-read-only

Install required dependencies. You can find complete list here

Now to build Ardesia, Go to the source folder and run following commands:

make install

Other Goodies

Ardesia Project provides some other packages that aid in making presentations.

Florence-ramble is a virtual keyboard that provides a fast way to insert text on the selected window, moving your input device and rambling on keys.

Download from here

The Spotlighter tool focuses on a specific desktop area selected by the user. It shadows the desktop and shows a movable and resizable spotlight that highlights the point of interest. 

Download from here

Curtain allows to show and hide desktop areas using a resizable red curtain. 

Download from here


WiildOS is a live Lubuntu based distro created by the Ardesia team for the wiimote whiteboard usage and for educational purposes. It includes lxde, python-whiteboard, gtk-whiteboard, ardesia, uniboard sankore, spotlighter, curtain, florence-ramble, wmgui, wminput, easystroke, whyteboard, vmg, shutter, gimp, tuxpaint, tuxmath, tuxtype, italc, dia, scribus, audacity, freemind, stellarium, xournal, collatinus, gcompris, geogebra, wxmaxima,, audacity,musescore, solfege, stellarium, dasher, eviacam etc. You can download it from here

Further Links

P.S. Bear with the Tux drawn by me. 


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