The Endless Key is a distance learning solution from the Endless OS Foundation. Is brought to you through a partnership with Common Sense Media and Learning Equality.
It provides access to quality educational resources from Wikipedia, Khan Academy and more. The Endless Key works on computers with Windows 10, macOS and Endless OS, even without Internet access.
In addition to great content, you can restart your Windows-based computer into the Endless operating system to access powerful, open source programs including Hack, a playground for kids to learn digital skills in a safe, autonomous environment through coding games and adventures. Endless OS also includes powerful open source programs like LibreOffice (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation app and database), raster and vector graphics editors (similar to Photoshop, Illustrator), video game creation, animation, 3D modeling, video and audio editors, and much more.
You can discuss the Endless Key on the Community Forum.
You can use the Endless Launcher app on the Endless Key to browse the Encyclopedia, Explore Learning Content available through the Kolibri educational platform, or Restart and Try Endless OS on Windows computers to run a self-contained Endless OS system from the USB key - it uses your computer's hardware, but it doesn't affect any of your data. To return to the Windows operating system, simply restart your computer.
- To browse the Encyclopedia and other offline content:
- macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later
- To restart into Endless OS:
- NOTE: The Restart and Try Endless OS feature is not supported on macOS.
Insert the Endless Key into a USB 3.0 port.
In the Windows File Explorer, open the Endless Key USB drive. NOTE: Don't copy files from the Endless Key to your hard drive - it is best to access them from the Endless Key.
Open the Endless Launcher and accept the Windows User Account Control prompt to confirm that the Endless Key can make changes to your hard drive.
Choose whether you want to:
- Open Encyclopedia
- Explore Content
- Restart and Try Endless OS
- Open the Endless Launcher app and press Open Encyclopedia.
- Use the Search Bar at the top to find Wikipedia articles.
¶ Access educational content in Kolibri (Windows and macOS)
Follow the instructions based on your operating system.
a. In Windows, press Explore Content from the Endless Launcher.
b. On macOS, double click Kolibri for macOS in the Finder.
NOTE: The first time you open the Kolibri content app might take several minutes.
Security Note: You might need to grant Kolibri access:
a. Windows: If you encounter a Windows Security Alert, press Allow Access to grant Kolibri permission to bypass the Windows Defender firewall settings.
b. macOS: If you encounter a dialog box asking to access files from a removable device, press OK.
In the Kolibri Learn screen, click the channels to explore content.
- Consider creating an user account with the avatar in the upper right to track your progress as you browse content.
- Parents or educators can create an Administrative account to add content channels, Quizzes, custom content and more with Kolibri Studio. We have created a default Administrator account (Username and password: “admin”).
- To access information on using Kolibri, visit “How to get started with Kolibri on Endless OS”.
To open the Endless Key in macOS:
- Insert the Endless Key into the USB port.
- In Finder, open the Endless Key USB drive.
- Open the Kiwix for macOS app, then press Open File.
- Navigate to the Endless Key USB drive.
- Press Command + Shift + . (period) to show hidden files.
- Navigate to .kiwix → Flatpak → com.endlessm.encyclopedia.en-openzim-subscription and double-click 1.zim
- Browse the Encyclopedia contents or search on a subject at the top.
The Endless Key allows you to experience Endless OS without installing Endless OS on your personal computer. When running Endless OS from the Endless Key you can access and even install programs, create documents, make music and pictures, and do anything you would normally do on a computer. If you decide to swap back to your original operating system, your files are saved on the Endless Key, ready for you to use again. You can even use your Endless Key on multiple different computers, with all your applications and files at your fingertips.
- In the Endless Launcher, press Restart and Try Endless OS
- The computer will restart in Endless OS.
- Follow the prompts onscreen to set up Endless OS the first time, for example, creating user accounts, choosing your location, time zone, and so on.
- In the Endless OS Desktop, you can launch apps or explore more apps by clicking More Apps or the App Center in the lower left corner. TIP: Even without internet access you can access a wide variety of programs and educational content offline.
Press Save and the file will be stored in the Documents directory on the Endless Key USB.
Documents saved from programs after restarting in Endless OS are not typically accessible from other operating systems. To access files on other computers, save the files on a second USB drive.
Important: Don't remove the Endless Key while you're using Endless OS.
- Write an essay, notes, or other text
- Open LibreOffice Writer by clicking the icon on the desktop.
- Find information and tools on my computer
- Use the Search Bar above the icons to find anything on your computer. Endless OS pre-installs lots of great educational tools and other programs!
- Create 2D art, 3D art, and music
- Explore GIMP, Inkscape and Krita to create raster or vector drawings or create beautiful digital paintings.
- Use Blender, the cutting-edge, open-source 3d modeling suite!
- Check out LMMS or Audacity and unleash your inner music producer!
- Programming and your Endless OS System
- Dive into Hack and learn coding, how your Endless OS system works, and how to control the world of computers!
- Take a break and play some games
- Hack also offers a set of fun-first coding games, to play and learn at the same time.
- Visit websites, read email or watch videos: Open the Chromium web browser by clicking the Internet icon on the desktop.
- Video conference with teachers, family and friends or teachers: Install Zoom and Skype from the App Center (see below).
- Install more programs: Launch the App Center from the "More Apps" icon on the desktop, then browse or search for the program you want. You can also browse the almost 1,000 Endless OS-compatible apps at www.flathub.org.
¶ Download and install Endless OS on your computer
Although the Endless Key is a great way to try Endless OS, there are some limitations:
- Space on the USB key is limited, so there might not be enough room to save a number of large files or try lots of apps.
- If the USB key itself is damaged, you could lose your data.
- In addition, the operating system and apps on the Endless Key cannot be updated.
For these reasons, if you love the Endless Key, we recommend downloading and installing Endless OS on your computer.
Visit www.endlessos.com/download to learn more!
If your computer starts back up in Windows, as opposed to restarting in Endless OS, or displays an error message, you might have an incompatible BIOS. Please check that your PC has a UEFI BIOS.
It's also possible that you might not have the right type of processor to run Endless OS. Please check that your PC has a 64-bit Processor.
In all cases, it's best to refer to the documentation that came with your computer. If you received your computer from your school or workplace, contact your IT department.
- Please do not duplicate the Endless Key. It is manufactured using a special process that allows you to access the content on macOS/Windows, as well as reboot into Endless OS, and is not intended for duplication on a home computer.
- Do not delete any files from the Endless Key other than documents you have created.
- Your system does not have a 64-bit processor (CPU). The Endless Key cannot be used on this computer to restart into Endless OS.
- Your computer does not have a UEFI BIOS. The Endless Key cannot be used on this computer to restart into Endless OS.
- The Endless Key does not have the security privileges necessary to function.
- Remove and re-insert the Endless Key, and accept the Windows UAC prompt.
- Your computer's version of Windows is not supported - The Endless Key only supports Windows 10. The Endless Key cannot be used on this computer to restart into Endless OS.
- Your computer does not have enough memory available (2GB of RAM is required). The Endless Key cannot be used on this computer to restart into Endless OS.
- Your computer's processor (CPU) is not powerful enough - The Endless Key requires a multi-core processor. The Endless Key cannot be used on this computer to restart into Endless OS.
- Your computer has no USB 3.0 ports. The Endless Key cannot be used on this computer to restart into Endless OS.
- Make sure that you are running the Endless Launcher from the Endless Key, and that you have not copied it to your hard drive.
- Additionally, there might be an issue with your Endless Key, please refer to the resources in “Need more information,” below.
- Any error starting with error_firmware_
- For other errors not listed here, please contact us for additional support.
Additional Notes on using Restart and Try Endless OS
On some computers, choosing Restart and Try Endless OS will restart your computer, but back into Windows rather than starting Endless OS.
You may be able to work around this by entering the BIOS settings and choosing to start the computer from USB, or by setting “Fast Boot” to disabled.
Unfortunately, the process to change your BIOS settings is different on every computer. You normally need to press a specific key—such as Esc, Del, F10 or F12—after you turn the computer on, when the manufacturer’s logo appears.
For example, here is the process on an Asus E406MA laptop. The exact keys and screens will be different on your computer, but the principle is the same.
Turn the computer off.
Turn the computer on, and press Esc as soon as the Asus logo appears
At the menu, choose “Enter Setup”
Switch to “Advanced Mode”, if applicable
Choose the “Boot” tab, select the “Fast Boot” option and choose “Disable”.
Save your changes and exit the BIOS setup.