Plan B Edubuntu Terminal Server Install Problem

operationsengineer1 at operationsengineer1 at
Fri Apr 18 02:33:45 BST 2008

dbclinton and all,

i have good news and bad news.

first, the good news.  the one computer that wouldn't connect was a cable issue - the protective cover for the locking pin hit the case before the connector was set in place.  after it was set in place, i was able to get into the edubuntu log in screen.  also, the switch looks to be working fine.

the rest of the news is bad...  or should i say leaves room for opportunity.

i tried to connect three computers.  first, i connected my laptop (toshiba laptop circa 2005) which got me to the boot screen.  i logged in with the admin password.  the desktop displayed shortly thereafter, however, there was high pitched hum coming from the speakers (a ray gun sound came to mind) and none of the icons did anything.  the mouse did move, though.  i hate to hold the power button to shut down the laptop.

next i tried to boot the computer with the connector problem.  again, i was taken to the login screen and entered the admin's login.  i was left with a blank screen and a visible mouse pointer.  i could move the mouse pointer around with the mouse.  i had to manually turn off the computer.

the third computer never made it to the login screen.  i was left with the monitor flickering in the following repeated sequence - bottom 1/3 of the menu turned greenish, cursor displayed as "x", cursor changed to circle with internal spinner, a quick flash of the ubuntu color with a possible black box flicker that looked to be in the location of the login box and a blank screen.

also, i didn't realize the clients would be prompted for a password.  how do i set the username and password for the specific clients?

any help resolving these issues would be greatly appreciated.


----- Original Message ----
From: dbclinton <dbclin at>
To: operationsengineer1 at
Cc: EDUBUNTU MAILING LIST <edubuntu-users at>
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:51:30 PM
Subject: Re: Plan B Edubuntu Terminal Server Install Problem

Coincidentally, my first successful thin client connection was with a
laptop (a Compaq PIII 1.0 ghz whose BIOS controlled the boot-to-NIC
perfectly). Check out the BIOS of some of your clients to see if their
boot options include booting to an NIC. 
Resetting the switch simply involves pulling its adapter plug for a few
seconds and letting it start up again. Either it will make a difference
immediately or it won't. Not a lot of guessing on that one.
Check outputs from /var/log/syslog during client boots to see if your
clients are getting IP addresses. This is the beginning of a successful
thin client boot on my system:

Apr 15 13:13:58 rishon dhcpd: DHCPDISCOVER from 00:50:da:d0:c6:af via
Apr 15 13:13:59 rishon dhcpd: DHCPOFFER on to
00:50:da:d0:c6:af via eth1
Apr 15 13:14:01 rishon dhcpd: DHCPREQUEST for
( from 00:50:da:d0:c6:af via eth1
Apr 15 13:14:01 rishon dhcpd: DHCPACK on to
00:50:da:d0:c6:af via eth1
Apr 15 13:14:09 rishon dhcpd: DHCPDISCOVER from 00:50:da:d0:c6:af via

"00:50:da:d0:c6:af" is my client's MAC address - the first sing that the
computers are at least talking to each other.
Good luck,

On Tue, 2008-04-15 at 12:56 -0700, operationsengineer1 at wrote:

> i have other old computers that also don't connect.  i think i need to 
> 1. make sure the switch is working correctly
> 2. make sure the dhcp on the server is working correctly.
> can anyone help with troubleshooting ideas?  i do have a winxp laptop that i could use.  i could even boot off of a dsl linux cd, if that will help.
> i will try resetting the switch if it turns out i can't get my laptop to connect.
> i do believe that i'm getting a link light, although i will double check. 
> there is only one nic card on the server and on on the client.
> thanks for the info on the bios issue.  i will give it a shot - and that will give me another test computer, too.
> oe1
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: dbclinton <dbclin at>
> To: EDUBUNTU MAILING LIST <edubuntu-users at>
> Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 4:05:25 PM
> Subject: Re: Plan B Edubuntu Terminal Server Install Problem
> > i think this could either be a romomatic problem (perhaps i didn't create the boot disk correctly), a software configuration problem or a nic compatibility problem.
> If you have another NIC available, perhaps you could try troubleshooting
> with that. I had one older client (PII 500) that I simply gave up on
> when it refused to boot to the network (returning an similar error
> message to yours) despite trying at least three different NICs. I
> suspect that the BIOS was somehow the culprit.
> You might also want to reset your switch just in case that's an issue (it was once for me).
> I assume that you've successfully booted other clients to this server...
> Good luck

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