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[school-discuss] LTSP minimum machines & infrastructure ?

Daniel Howard <dhhoward@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
What else does one need to convince oneself of the benefits of Open
Source software and terminal/server architecture?

Best regards,

I'm very encouraged to see K12LTSP working so well. If I may ask, what kind of laptops are these? Year made? CPU? RAM? HDD? I'd very much like to know how well LTSP performs on your laptops.

When I worked at a small charter school I had wanted to build a mobile computer cart that would fit into any  of the classrooms. I had looked at the (K12)LTSP & the Nexedi LiveCD as well. I also looked at what it would've taken to implement VPN as well ... I found the XLive-CD (a bootable CD that runs OpenVPN w/ UtlraVNC or MetaVNC) so users could VPN in w/out having to install software.

Just FWIW, the crux for me (I was working totally alone) were the minimum requirements to run K12LTSP -- at the time the k12ltsp website suggested spending easily $200 - $300 / seat to get new thin terminals to run it & 1000-BaseT wire. However we only had 100-BaseT and it was bad wiring as well (over-long segments w/ noise, bad grounding...). I did try LTSP and it was extremely slow on our LAN and when the server was down the PXE-boot terminals were dead.

Also at the time I didn't have the resources to rewire and/or repartition the LAN. I was also faced with the problem of non-technical staff who didn't want to be too dependant on server & network infrastructure, so the decision was to go with self-booting systems. To handle domain user accts I chose karoshi.org.uk 's complete integrated system which includes an online classroom, an online library, a media server, Dan's Guardian, room-level & acct-level room blocking, 3 domain servers, etc. I think the karoshi.org.uk devleopers are looking at integrating w/ some kind of LTSP-type environment & allowing VPN.

So maybe here's a 2nd nettlesome question -- what's the minimum IT organizational capabilities to successfully install & run LTSP? The problem I see is that when the server is down, all the computers go down with it. Can the QOS be guaranteed w/ distributed/backup servers? How does infrastructure overhead factor in providing extra servers?

Best regadrs,

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