Kevin Driscoll driscollkevin at
Tue May 16 15:09:40 UTC 2006


Your classroom sounds incredible (and the 10 minute re-image is
outstanding.)  Are you communicating with other schools in Indiana
with this same 1:1 grant?  What experiences are they having?  It would
be a big step to get all of those labs coordinating.

Great work!   I'm psyched you've joined the list.

Kevin Driscoll
Computer Science
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Cambridge, MA

On 5/16/06, "Simón A. Ruiz" <sruiz at> wrote:
> Hi, I just joined the list yesterday, so I thought I should introduce
> myself.
> My name is Simón Anibal Ruiz Rolfs, and I am the Technology Assistant at
> Bloomington High School North in Bloomington, Indiana.
> Bloomington High School North recently a grant from the State of Indiana
> to create four 1:1 computing classrooms, where--every day they are in
> class--students sit down at a desk with a computer the whole time they
> are in class.
> The reasoning behind this grant has to do with research findings that
> students in this 1:1 environment tend to write more and improve their
> writing more, as well as they tend to be better engaged in the
> classroom. We are finding this to be true in our school.
> The State paid for 120-some computers for us to use in the classrooms as
> well as desks for them, and we paid for all the infrastructure
> modifications (i.e., electrical and data wiring).
> These computers are to run Linux.
> When the State sent us these computers we had the choice of using either
> Linspire, or Novell Linux Desktop 9. Our downtown (corporate) IS
> department decided we would use the Novell Linux Desktop, and has been
> too busy with their own homogenously Microsoft network duties to help us
> with this Linux-based project.
> Although I've had almost no experience with Linux before this project
> was dropped in our laps, when I saw that the project would either sink
> or swim based on what we did here at the school level, I decide I wasn't
> going to let the project die from lack of support and I took the reins,
> so to speak, of making this whole thing work.
> My first decision was to create a new image from scratch. Novell Linux
> Desktop came to us packed with far too much software for school use
> (there was KDE & GNOME to choose from, then OpenOffice 1.9, OpenOffice
> 2.0 or StarOffice 7), and it had far too many unexplainable and annoying
> glitches (the two that come to mind most are that the desktop would
> hibernate and not wake up for anything short of a hard shutdown, and
> that it would drop to line prompt with no visible way to get back to the
> GUI).
> I figured it would be easier to start from scratch and choose what we
> wanted than start with what we had and prune it down and debug it.
> My natural choice was Edubuntu simply because it's target is educational
> usage. I've installed StarOffice 8 (using alien to convert the rpms to
> debs) as the only Office Suite, and begun to smooth the image down and
> set it up to work with our network more seamlessly than it was before.
> There's still a lot of work to do on this front.
> The only piece of proprietary software (I guess besides StarOffice, now
> that I think about it) in the image is Norton Ghost which is the
> cornerstone of my image deployment and update system.
> I've formatted and partitioned and played with GRUB and fiddled with DOS
> batch programs and Bash shell scripts to create the system we use with
> the GhostCast Server and have been able to cut down the time it takes to
> replicate the Image on a workstation from an hour and a half per
> workstation (when I first started the Edubuntu "experiment", using dd)
> to an hour and a half per classroom (when the teachers demanded Edubuntu
> over our buggy implementation of Novell Linux Desktop 9, using just the
> Norton Ghost client), to now where I can sit at my desk and type a
> couple of commands and boom, all 126 Linux Workstations are re-imaged in
> 10 minutes. (It's a slight bit more complex than that, but that's the
> gist.) I make it a point to update the workstations on a regular weekly
> basis, especially if I make any progress on the image during the week
> I look forward to excising Norton Ghost at some point in the future and
> replacing the system with an open-source solution, allowing me to share
> the entire image with other schools who might benefit from it. At the
> moment, there are more important problems to tackle.
> Anyhow, I'm not going to bore you with all the details of my project, I
> didn't mean to go off on a tangent like that, but I did want to
> introduce myself to your community, and lurk about on your mailing list
> in case I can be of use to you or you can be of use to me.
> Tambien notare que soy Venezolano por nacimiento y subscribi a la lista
> edubuntu-devel-es. Puedo entender el catellano bien, pero como no he
> estado en Venezuela por casi cinco años my vocabulario se ha atrofiado
> un poco y me cuesta recordar las palabras que necesito. Por esa razón no
> escribire un e-mail largo en esa lista para presentarme, porque no tengo
> la capacidad de comunicar muy claramente, especialmente cuando hay
> jargon tecnico.
> Anyhow, glad to meet you all. I hope I get a chance to give back to this
> community, as the Edubuntu distribution does serve as the very core of
> the Linux image we use here.
> P.S. Does anyone here have experience getting an Edubuntu workstation to
> authenticate against a Microsoft Active Directory? especially without
> having Administrative privileges on the Active Directory Server? I'd
> love to pick your brain if you do have experience in this area.
> I tried using the "sadms" package, but it asked me to change the admin
> password on the Kerberos server, and our corporate IS department refused
> to do this for me, saying that they shouldn't need to to get this working.
> I'm left to my own devices to figure out the problem, therefore, because
> they're too busy to take the fifteen minutes to explain things to me.
> And I have no experience (prior to beating my head against this problem)
> with Kerberos, LDAP, or ADS.
> --
>   ___
>  (   )   Peace, Paz, Paix, Shanti, Mir, Shalom and Salaam
>   \ /
>  >=-Y-=<                  Simón A. Ruiz
>    |                    Technology Aide
>    |              Bloomington High School North
>    ^
> --
> edubuntu-devel mailing list
> edubuntu-devel at

More information about the edubuntu-devel mailing list