logging in, printing photos, sharing bookmarks, home access (!)

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at gmail.com
Mon Sep 17 09:23:07 BST 2007


Hi,

On Sat, 15 Sep 2007, Miles Berry wrote:

> A few things we'd like to sort out:
> 
> When all 18 users log on together, there's often quite a delay for many of
> the workstations to log in, like a couple of minutes, and then all of sudden
> they all seem to come through together. Is this normal?

Presumably, the delay is caused by the load on the system, due to the many
other users logging in simultaneously.  It's not immediately clear what the
cause is though without more detailed information.  You could perhaps try a
simple ssh into the machines while this is happening and see does that get
delayed.  You could also set up a system monitor like munin to see what the
cpu load, ram usage, etc. is and see is there something in particular which
may be acting as a bottleneck.

An alternative possibility is something like a DNS issue.  Perhaps ssh is
performing some DNS lookup and that is timing out after a minute or two.
This would probably be the case regardless of the number of users logging
in though.  Can you set a password on the thin client chroot, switch to a
text console on your thin client and just ssh into the server?  Is there a
noticeable delay?

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EdubuntuFAQ#head-285f03d2d3ed2f29847c7793dbdb8f1488814c1b

> Printing multiple photos - our previous operating system had a nifty
> photo-printing wizard, using gthumb image viewer provides the right tool,
> but the printer (Xerox Phaser) doesn't produce any output. Found a
> work-round by printing to pdf and then printing the pdf, but this is a bit
> complex for novice users. Any thoughts? We have a vast collection of photos
> in our archive, and wonder if f-spot might be worth exploring - does anyone
> have experience of this in a multi-user setting?

It sounds like an issue with the photo application and/or printer driver so
you could try a different photo browsing application.  You could take a
look for bugs on the gthumb website.  They might have a fix already, or you
might be giving them something new.

> Is there any way to share a bookmark file across all users' firefox
> profiles? I'd like to set this up so all staff can create bookmarks and
> all pupils access the shared list, but not create their own bookmark.
> Although I can chmod the bookmarks.html to 777 and (I think) point
> others' browsers to access this file rather than their own, as soon as
> bookmarks.html gets updated the permissions revert to 755 and ownership
> changes.

Firefox does have various add-ons for bookmark sharing

	https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/
	https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:1/cat:22

I don't know but it's possible one of those might be of use.

Alternatively, you could create a homepage with links on it.  If you know
anyone who writes PHP, I'm sure they could whip up some simple way for
staff to add URLs to it in a simple way (though initially you could just
instruct them to "email URLs for addition to xxxx")
 
> Anyone tried providing access to the edubuntu desktop from pupils homes via
> VNC or NX? Are there notes on this somewhere?

Jim McQuillan (author of LTSP) seems to think it's not a great idea with
LTSP.  He may be thinking in terms of "on a local network" of course.

http://www.mail-archive.com/ltsp-discuss@lists.sourceforge.net/msg31732.html

I've heard of people doing NX alright but I suspect it involves a fair bit
of work at both ends. You might get something out of reading this:

https://oa.doria.fi/handle/10024/5803

I'd say it might be more hassle than it's worth.  It might be easier to
provide them with TheOpenCD application CD and some way to transfer files
to and from home.

	http://www.theopencd.org/

Gavin




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