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It's a long story, but basically I have been increasing annoyed with RM
recently. Therefore, I would like to create a Linux distribution which works
in a similair manner to RM connect. What do people think of these proposals?
I can't guaranteee that it's going to happen or quickly (I'm busy with school
and developing KDE), but if some people want to help as well, then it just
Linux distribution plan
Schools, colleges, universities
To provide a simple to install and administer networking system, which works
in a mildly similair manner to RM Connect. Except it actually works (and has
decent security), and is based on free software (GNU/Linux).
By simply booting a machine with a boot floppy, it should be easy to install
Linux on to the macine, after just asking a few questions such as the
hostname to use, and the kind of mouse that the box has.
A Linux distribution based on Red Hat 7.2 would be created. The main reason
that Red Hat is suggested is because it can be installed based around the
Kickstart installation system, which enables an administrator to stored the
installer settings in a configuration file, rather than needing to sit in
front of the computer and tend to the the installation every time a question
The distribution will:
* Be mainly based on KDE, but provide Blackbox for older hardware (486s and
slow Pentiums). There is a possibility that GNOME could be provided as well,
but I prefer KDE, and know very little about how GNOME works.
Stuff like Kylix and Open Office will also be provided.
On the server side, CUPS would be used for the printing system and all
machines will have ext3 formatted hard discs.
* Have a central administration databases where:
- User names and groups are managed
- Print and disc quotas are managed
- Software can be allocated to a machine/group of machines
- The central configuration files are located
* On booting up a machine, a system service will check with the server hosting
the administrative database whether any software has been
allocated/deallocated. If so, it will be downloaded via apache and installed
locally, or removed, as appropriate. However, some larger software such as
Open Office might want to live permanently on the server.
If any configuration files (e.g. /etc/host or similair) have been modified,
the updated versions would be downloaded. Perhaps CVS could be used here.
* A database such as NIS would probably be used for the administrative
* Upon loggin in (via kdm) the system would map the user's home directory on
the server to the /home/user directory on the user name. NFS or SMB are
* There will be some user based administrative tools. This will allow the user
to change his/her password via a web browser. There will also be an
information page showing stuff like information about disc/print quotas.
It will also be possible to define the desktop menus (e.g. KMenu) that will
appear on the user's desktop. This will be based around .desktop files, and a
utility will convert these files to Blackbox menus so that the menu is kept
consistent between different desktops.
A web based e-mail system could be used to integrate with the IMAP mail
* The server side would consist of the following pieces of software:
- IMAP e-mail server
* It will be possible to customise the desktop to default levels. For
instance, by most KDE configuration files will be held in a globally readable
directory (perhaps in /usr or /etc). Therefore ~/.kde will be mostly read
KDE's architecture makes it very easy to provide configuration files based on
Cheers, Chris Howells -- chris(a)chrishowells.co.uk, howells(a)kde.org
Web: http://chrishowells.co.uk, PGP key: http://chrishowells.co.uk/pgp.txt
KDE: http://www.koffice.org, http://edu.kde.org, http://usability.kde.org
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