Edubuntu rocking the [school]house

Matt Oquist moquist at
Sun Jan 14 03:33:24 UTC 2007

We've got a pair of Edubuntu servers handling somewhere between 80 and
100 thin clients (TCs).

The following are some notes I've made on setting up Edubuntu (edgy).
I know lots (if not all) of these points are covered on the wiki, but
I had to find each one out after some trial and error so I put this
list together for my co-workers (hence all the links to my own
website -- I'm sending this almost exactly as I sent it to them).

I don't recommend so much that others exactly DO everything as
I recommend to my coworkers here, but I hope that others can learn
from this list and/or emulate some of these things (such as the
ubuntu-media script) for their own environments. (I make no promise
that these URLs will remain valid.)

I've been very satisfied with Edubuntu (after #3 was discovered
a couple of days ago), and I'm hoping to switch to it (from other LTSP
servers) soon at our HS, which has a few hundred TCs. I'll send
another report if/when we make that transition.

1. Install using the edubuntu-install CD; it sets up more-or-less
   everything automatically.
2. The driver necessary for the broadcom ethernet adapters in some
   servers is not included on the install CD; this shouldn't really be
   an issue, but if you care you can grab the broadcom driver for the
   2.6.17-10-386 kernel from a running Ubuntu system and copy it (I
   used a USB drive) into your system, and then insmod it. (You could
   also grab it ATM from
3. Immediately after installation, apt-get install linux-image-generic
   and make sure it's the default kernel in /boot/grub/menu.lst
   (otherwise you'll only use one of your CPUs).
4. Set up /etc/ltsp/dhcpd.conf for your network.
5. Go to to get media
   working (gstreamer is recommended over xine); you can just execute if you prefer (it does all that
   stuff automatically).
6. Grab and
   follow the instructions on to set up
   a Samba/LDAP server OR to configure Edubuntu to authenticate to
   another LDAP server (talk to me if you sent up an Edubuntu server
   to authenticate elsewhere).
   THANKFULLY, this will no longer be necessary when Feisty is
   released, as smbldap-tools will be integrated into the installer
   and ajmitch's authconfig tool will be included for LDAP client
7. Add all users to the fuse group so they can use USB thumb drives
   (talk to me and we can do this with a simple script instead of
   manually). If you're lazy (and don't have a reason NOT to do so),
   then you might just use GID 115 (fuse) as your default group. Then
   every user will automatically be able to use USB drives.
8. We're using DHCP failover (see to split the load
   between our two Edubuntu servers, but I'm hoping to implement
   a scripted mechanism of splitting among more application servers.

The only thing this doesn't provide (to my knowledge) is Flash WITH
SOUND on TCs. Flash itself works fine, but you can't hear it. Other
media formats all play fine, AFAIK.


Open Source Software Engineering Consultant

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