Planning the rollout

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at
Mon Feb 5 22:34:49 GMT 2007


On Mon, 05 Feb 2007, Dmitri Minaev wrote:

> 1. Edubuntu is a natural choice for a classroom, but since LTSP is not
> an option due to the server configuration, should we consider another
> distribution? Plain Ubuntu, for example?

Do you mean it's not an option because you don't have someone to perform
the configuration or it's not an option because of the existing
configuration on some other server?  It's really not difficult to set up
LTSP.  If you have a DHCP server running, you could just run your LTSP
stuff on a private network in that classroom with its own dhcp. 

If you need to not use LTSP, you can just install the Edubuntu desktop onto
computers -- this would mean you'd still have all of the education-oriented
stuff.  Ironically you might find the installation and configuration of
many desktops all to have the same accounts and files to be more difficult
and time-consuming than LTSP.

> 2. To log into one account from different workstations, we could, at
> least in theory :), use: NIS, LDAP, Samba, rsynced system files. What
> would be more appropriate, in your opinion?

The next version of Edubuntu (Feisty) is supposed to include an LDAP setup.
So, I guess it would make sense to use that for global account details.  As
for rsynced system files -- if you had the time you could learn how to make
a debian package, and distribute the system files in a custom package.
Then when you need to upgrade them, you could just upgrade the package and
run apt-get upgrade on the desktops.

> 3. Should the home dirs be located on the server? If so, should it be
> NFS or Samba? The same about other network resources?

If you don't care about the contents of the home dirs (ie you don't wish to
back them up), then it probably doesn't matter where they are.  However, if
you're creating an account per user it's very simple to just set up a /home
nfs share on the server and make every desktop mount it.  This way users
can see their home dir on every desktop.  If on the other hand you have a
global account for everyone, a home dir on each machine might be simpler
(just to avoid people sharing a single home dir at any time.  Samba is
supposed to be superior to nfs in a lot of ways but nfs is very simple to
set up and maintain on linux.

In terms of users getting data from a shared resource, working on it and
placing it back in a private space others can't see, home dirs per user
seems obvious.  An alternative is to use something like moodle
which is a learning environment which would allow teachers to let users
download content and then submit them back for marking as "assignments".
This would not need any set up of users on desktops, you'd just give them
an account within moodle and sign them up to courses.


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