low fat clients - 2 issues

David Van Assche dvanassche at gmail.com
Mon Mar 10 21:45:11 GMT 2008

   I've finally had some time to test my low fat clients to see what else
can be done to get them working better, and for now I have managed to get
all the software I needed to install within the chroot without problems
(usually mounting proc and sys fix most installation issues.) Both Gnome and
XFCE have been tested, though I'm pretty sure kde and kde4 should work too.
I'm mounting via nfs, which seems to work fine, although logout takes about
a minute (before the screen comes up with logout options.) I finally got
sound and flash to work by installing libflashsupport from the hardy rep (on
gutsy), and compiling flash from source. Java also installed fine and now
works in all the cases I've tested. I've stress tested this on 10 clients at
once and got great results for flash. Of course can't see what's happening
from the server on a process level, but doesn't matter, at least my network
isn't crawling to a halt because of gone crazy processes in firefox, and I
know flash is the culprit here. I use gnash on the server side thin client
(for sound support on youtube which some teachers use.) My server is 64bit
so the low fat client environment also solved the otherwise not working java
and flash (in some cases.) And I want to take advantage of the xeon
processors so I dont want to resort to using nspluginwrapper.

   So... everything seems to be working great except usb or local devices.
I've tried quite a lot of stuff, even various automounting scripts and tools
floating around the internet without success. I can mount the devices
manually without issues. Groups are all correct, but perhaps this is
automounting at the root user level which is what's stopping it, or
interference from the ltsp init scripts, though I doubt it since the RCFILE=
are executed after all of that. Finally I have another logical issue, which
is that dansguardian and squid don't relay traffic on the local interfaces,
because I was using a simple iptables rule to direct all traffic in a
particular group to dans and all other traffic to squid. Now because on the
local level it can't read the LDAP groups from the server (I guess) iptables
doesn't know what to do with the traffic. Maybe someone can give me some

If I can solve these 2 issues then the low fat clients can finally be useful
in my environment.

Many thanks,
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