What is an open board exam


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Open-Sankore 🇬🇧 🇫🇷 is a free, cross-platform program for the use of interactive whiteboards (IWB) that was originally developed in Switzerland. In addition to Linux, it is also available for Windows and Mac OS X. In contrast to the programs of commercial whiteboard manufacturers, it is not restricted to use in combination with certain hardware. The GPL3 serves as the license.


  • Drawing tools (pen, eraser, highlighter)

  • Shapes (circles, rectangles, polygons)

  • multiple levels

  • Objects can be grouped

  • virtual keyboard

  • "Laser pointer"

  • Desktop display with comment options

  • Import and export tools

Compared to commercial solutions, the program is less extensive, but this does not necessarily have to be a disadvantage. The essential whiteboard functions are covered to 90%, the rest is due to the state of development. The application thus solves a problem that occurs more frequently in practice: unnecessarily complex software blocks use and thus acceptance. Even here, everyday use must be practiced beforehand, but the clear number of functions included makes learning much easier. In addition, anyone interested can install the free software on their own computer to practice (as a full version, not just as a demo version).

The strong focus on the French-speaking area may be a disadvantage. Although the program interface is completely translated into German, a large part of the documentation is currently only available in French, and some in English. Some German-language notes and tips for use can be found at the end of the article.

Since 2014 there has been a fork with OpenBoard 🇫🇷 🇬🇧, which is being actively developed.


The program is not included in the official package sources. For the installation you have to switch to a third-party package.

Foreign package¶

So far there is no official version for Ubuntu 14.04. It is therefore recommended to use the third-party package, which is actually intended for Ubuntu 12.04, for installation. The archive file (approx. 50 MiB) can be downloaded from the project page 🇬🇧 ⮷ for 32- or 64-bit systems (the registration offered can be skipped). Before the installation, the archive file with the name


first unzipped [1] before the DEB package contained in the archive can be installed manually [2].

After the installation, the program files are located in the folder / usr / local / Open-Sankore-VERSION /.

However, problems can occur especially with 64-bit systems, but they can be solved: Mediaplayer plug-in crashes 🇩🇪

Ubuntu 16.04¶

Since there is no experience with the installation of the third-party package for Ubuntu 12.04, we would like to point out the split-off OpenBoard altung. The project offers third-party packages for 04/16 (and 04/14), but only for 64-bit systems.

From the source code¶

Further information on how to compile the program yourself from the source code can be found in the French Ubuntu Wiki.


In the case of Ubuntu variants with an application menu, the program is started via "Education → Open-Sankore (VERSION)"[3]. The application starts automatically in full screen mode. Should it be necessary to switch between the program and others, either use the desktop mode or the key combination Alt + Tab ⇆.

Board mode with partially hidden toolbars

As is usual with presentation programs, the focus is on a slide as a drawing surface. At the edge of the window there is a kind of menu bar and other toolbars that can either be moved freely or minimized when not in use. The following description refers to the basic setting:

  • above: function bar, consists of a left and a right (smaller) section

    • left: pen color and width, eraser, background, etc.

    • right: change of the operating mode (Internet, slide management, desktop, settings, etc.)

  • right: library

  • below: stylus palette

  • left: slide overview and description

The function for ending the program is somewhat hidden. It's faster with Alt + F4.

At the moment only English and French help is available. This can be opened in any web browser:

  • /usr/local/Open-Sankore-VERSION/etc/Tutorial/tutorial_en/index.html 🇬🇧

  • /usr/local/Open-Sankore-VERSION/etc/Tutorial/tutorial_fr/index.html 🇫🇷

In some cases, however, the instructions only refer to the website Planete Sankore 🇫🇷, which was founded with the aim of serving as an exchange platform for free teaching content.


The library already contains a number of examples in the basic installation, which can be easily transferred to the drawing area via drag'n'drop. In a very simplified way, it can be compared to a collection of clipart. A pre-sorting in categories makes the overview easier, otherwise a search field at the bottom is helpful.

However, the term "clipart" does not really apply as it also includes multimedia elements and ready-made applications. For example, there is a ruler, a pair of compasses ("Compass") and a protractor, while a set square 🇩🇪 first has to be retrofitted. In the category "To shape" on the other hand, the arrow symbols long missed by the article author are included.

The rubrics "Animations" (Flash), "Interactivity" and "Applications" invite you to browse and try out. The implementation is only interesting for advanced users using HTML, CSS, JavaScript and possibly also Flash. Here is a look in the folder / usr / local / Open-Sankore-VERSION / library / recommended.

Add new elements¶

Your own examples, specifically graphics, audio files or videos, can be copied into the folder automatically created when the program starts in the home directory:

  • ~ / Pictures / Sankore /

  • ~ / Music / Sankore /

  • ~ / Videos / Sankore /

and then appear in the library under the corresponding headings. Alternatively, you can fill the library from the file manager, which is also visible in desktop mode, with your own content via drag'n'drop. Since the available selection of graphics is relatively limited, a reference to the article Openclipart at this point.

Expert info:

Theoretically, the library could also be expanded by adding example files with root rights [4] in the folder / usr / local / Open-Sankore-VERSION / library / or its subfolder is copied. However, it is unknown whether these changes will be retained or deleted when the program is updated.

Desktop mode¶

The option of displaying the desktop that is normally "behind" the application is very practical, for example to indicate a specific function or to indicate this with the function "Laser pointer" to highlight. An active composite manager is required to use this function effectively.

In this mode the program only shows a small vertical bar on the left edge of the screen (the library on the right edge should be minimized). You get back to Open-Sankore with the top symbol.

It is also possible to minimize the bar. To do this, move it to the left or right edge of the screen, which shrinks it to a square symbol.

Internet mode¶

Also the mode "Internet" works in principle like the desktop mode. It is recommended to use the respective standard browser of the system, as the integrated browser is still in its infancy (see settings). In both modes, sections or the entire desktop can be imported into Open-Sankore as graphics.


In addition to your own formats (see Export), a number of different file formats can be imported:

  • Images (ICO, BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, SVG)

  • Multimedia (audio files, videos, Flash)

  • Internet sites

  • PDF


All slides are automatically in the folder ~ / .local / share / data / Sankore / document / saved in the home directory, sorted by date and time. There is no classic save dialog - each time the program is started, a new, empty slide is created (automatic whiteboard service). If you want to transport slides to another computer, they must be exported. The following options are available:

  • "Export in Sankore format" - ZIP-compressed archive file with the extension .ubzthat can be imported directly

  • "Export to Sankore UBX format" - data backup (see below)

  • "Export to IWB" - ZIP-compressed archive file with the extension .iwbcontaining a single XML file. This format was created with the aim of enabling universal exchange between proprietary whiteboard software.

  • "Export to PDF file" - Common exchange format that can no longer be edited directly

  • "Publish the document in the Sankore network" - direct publication on Planete Sankore 🇫🇷 possible (registration required)

The export format plays a special role .ubx. This means that all individual documents can be saved together in a single file. So you can quickly back up all existing content. To do this, within the slide management ("Documents") one of the sections:

  • "Own documents" (Complete backup)

  • "Renamed Documents" (only documents sorted by date and time)

  • "Models" (documents worth preserving; renaming via double-click on the document name)

Select or mark before you can save in this format.



Open-Sankore has an extensive settings dialog. Not all settings need to be adjusted, but the following points should be noted:

  • "Function bar" - Especially when children are supposed to use the whiteboard, the upper edge of the IWB may be difficult to reach. Then the function bar can be positioned at the bottom instead of at the top.

  • "Show page with external browser" - Activate this option in order to use the existing standard browser for Internet access and thus to be able to use the Internet function properly.

  • "Check software update at startup" - One of the more annoying functions in class is the automatic search for program updates. It can therefore be deactivated. Since there is no package source for automatic updating available for Ubuntu, an older version should first be uninstalled before a new version is installed.

The configuration is in the file ~ / .config / Sankore / Open-Sankore.conf saved in the home directory.


Mathematical formulas¶

Math teachers in particular usually miss a formula editor when using an IWB. Since any application can be used in the desktop mode, the easiest way to do this is to copy a formula created with an appropriate program and insert it as an image in Open-Sankore. Although formulas can then no longer be edited, this is usually faster than building your own formula library.


This revision was created on February 7, 2020 10:58 am by Heinrich_Schwietering.
The following keywords were assigned to the article: presentation, whiteboard, school, education, Qt, graphics tablet