Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (60 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-edu] Suse in the class room
  • From: James Tremblay aka SLEducator <fxrsliberty@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 07:47:04 -0400
  • Message-id: <487DDFB8.8010009@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Jpd wrote:
On 15 Jul 2008, at 17:08, Lars Vogdt <lrupp@xxxxxxx> wrote:


On Dienstag 15 Juli 2008 11:54:39 Jpd wrote:
How well does kiwi-ltsp perform with audio and video
applications? Is it
already possible to run such applications for example locally on
the client?

FYI: I'm still running LTSP 4.2 on openSUSE 10.2 with 30-40 Clients on a
Dual-Xeon 3,2 GHz with 4 GB RAM and a 100MBit/s network without

Sounds promising.

We have only got a dual 2.8Ghz with 2Gb on 100mbit.

BUT: sound and especially 3D effects (and video) is something you like
to do directly on powerful clients. And even if you've enough powerful
hardware on the client side, you should use this power directly ;-)

Which is why I did not look at Ltsp in the first place.

How easily can you run everything from the local host?

You can add some local applications in the boot image, but this would
expand the boot time as the whole image must be transfered over the
network. <= having the "simple" LTSP solution in mind.

Again these are not going to be thin clients.

End machines are between P4>=2.8 or Pentum dual cores.

There all going to be dual boot with XP due to being shared resources.

Does software installed on the server get "pushed" to the clients so
they can be used?

I ask because the clients have more ram and CPU than our server and
we are mainly doing 3D and video.

^^ looks like you want to run linux native on the client side.

I have seen kiosk but could not work out if it only did local config
and not for a network.

Would perfere to stay on kde as that had worked better with the

Looks like the kiosktool is one of the tools you like to have a look
at ;-) The settings can be saved on a network storage - so every client
has to be "touched" only once so he knows where to get his settings

I was hoping for a smarter solution to this. But this will do.

I like to give a short summary about the possibilities from my point of

Proposal 1) Mounting directories via NFS from a server:
(and some more, but this should be enough)
can be mounted read only from a server on each client.
Some other directories like
need to stay on the client or need to be mounted rw from a client. But
the files in this directories are normally not necessary for your

In the end, you can configure your server (which for example can be the
teachers client) as you want - even change the settings of the menu
entries or (even funnier) just run a "chown -x <application>" to
prevent your users on the other workstations starting <application>

Again hassel I was hoping to dodge :(

Proposal 2) Using kiosktool
openSUSE Education still has a package "kiosktool-edu-settings"
containing two different profiles for KDE. Please ask aochs@xxxxxx for

Will do

Proposal 3) Use autoyast
See for details. But this currently just covers
the automatic installation and configuration - not updates or new

So not really an option

Proposal 4) Use cfengine or ZenWorks

cfengine or ZenWorks allows to configure each client from a central
place. Depending on your needs and clients, this could be a solution if
you've a huge amount of different clients.

Zenworks does not seem to work on opensuse

Cfengine seems close but I was hoping for a "shrinked wraped" option

Proposal 5) Use a combination of the proposals above including some

- You can cover your "desktop settings" with kiosktool.
- You can install a client "from scratch" containing ~2 GB software and
personal settings in ~20min.
- You can install additional software and/or change configuration
settings for each client using simple bash scripts which can be
installed via RPM during autoinstallation. These scripts "ask" the LDAP
server (or just look into a directory on your server) for other scripts
and execute them as root. (Have a look at my answer to Mike's mail for
some details).

/me likes 5 -as this covers all your needs without increasing expenses.
But it needs some linux knowledge (at least for bash).

If only I had the time...

I could probably do this but I don't get paided to do this, just to keep my job.

And now a bit advertisement: the OpenSchoolServer in version 2.6.1 might
help you in this area -as it already contains:
- a free Imaging system for Windows (and even Linux) workstations
- Autoinstallation with different profiles (Linux-Workstation (dualboot
is possible), Terminalserver (currently not LTSP - work in progress),
or X-Client) - including the scripts I mentioned in Proposal 5.
- a LDAP based user and classroom management, including classroom mode,
internet access rules (and filtering), and many more
- Moodle, Joomla and OpenExchange included and already conecting to the
LDAP server, so every user (student, teacher, admin, ...) who's known
by the server can login
- single sign in for windows workstations (for windows-, admin- and
internet login)
- ...

Feel free to test it ;-)

Again massive over kill!

All I was is a way to simple install and maintain rooms of suse pcs with the least amount of effort as I am not the IT support.

With kind regards,
I have looked at several ways to ease classroom software installation. The most effective way is to share\mount server directories as Lars mentioned.
Maintenance is actually easier than windows profile management because the kiosktool is graphical i.e. you actually manage a desktop not check boxes and it works on existing users jsut like a windows policy. It's sort of JAVA like, install once run anywhere. Remember this is linux so reinstalling clients is rare and user directories such as /home/user/.gimp, can be renamed or deleted to fix\troubleshoot a users problems. There is no need to reconfigure the system registry. In the end, you will go to the server install the new software then adjust the kiosk "profile" for the students with new launchers and all is done.
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