About the EaaSI Sandbox

Powered by the EaaS emulation-as-a-service system, the Open Source Software Sandbox provides free, public access to emulated computer environments featuring operating systems and software from over twenty years of open source development. We’re offering this version of the EaaSI service to show how it makes access to emulation possible at the click of a button. You can also review the metadata records we are sharing via the Wikidata knowledge base to learn more about the open software software inside and to verify its accuracy. We invite you to poke around these fascinating legacy programs and to learn more about the capabilities of the EaaS system as you do.

What can I do in the sandbox?

You are encouraged to investigate any and all of the example emulation environments in the Sandbox. Feel free to open any application, create new files, edit sample files, change operating system settings, etc. The Sandbox is exactly that, an open space to interact with software.

Since the Sandbox is provided for demonstration only, you won’t be able to save any changes you’ve made to an environment or export the files you interact with. We’ve also restricted access to the internet, so you won’t be able to surf the web or download anything to the emulation environments. Emulation sessions are time-limited to 30 minutes so do not attempt anything too time-consuming. 

To get started, navigate to the Environments page, find an environment you want to see, and select “Run Environment” from the Choose Action menu. For more details on interacting with various environments in the Sandbox, check out the user guide here or click Help.

What's in the sandbox?

We’ve loaded the Sandbox with notable examples of open source operating systems and software applications to illustrate the breadth and diversity of open source development over the years.

Landmark Open Source Distributions

How does the look and feel change from version to version?
What unexpected developments are noticeable?
Are there changes in the software applications packaged with the OS?
How do these systems compare to commercial platforms like Windows, MacOS?

  • Every major Ubuntu release from 2004-2010

  • Red Hat Linux as it transitioned to

  • Fedora Core

  • Mandrake Linux

  • Yellow Dog Linux

  • Slackware

Alternatives to Major Software

How does the look and feel differ between the open source and commercial platforms?
Are there differences in format support?
What additional functionality does the open source application include? Does it have limitations?

  • OpenOffice.org (vs. Microsoft Office)

  • GIMP (vs. Photoshop)

  • SciLab, FreeMat, GNU Octave (vs. MATLAB)

  • Scribus (vs. InDesign)

  • FreeCAD, QCad (vs. AutoCAD)

A Comparison of Interfaces for the R Programming Language

How do the features of each GUI differ?
Are there any differences in the data outputs of each application?
Which GUI is easiest to use? Are there tradeoffs for more advanced functionality?

  • R Studio

  • RKWard

  • R Commander

A Comparison of Open Source Educational Software

How does the curriculum of the projects differ?
Are there any similarities in the games included?
How do these differ from the commercial education software you’ve seen?

  • The KDE Education Project

  • Edubuntu