Is it just me, or is LTSP a mess?

Dean Mumby dean at
Wed Sep 10 10:17:42 BST 2008

David Van Assche wrote:
> I've taken a look into the email in question, and can answer some
> questions. I in no way am affiliated with canonical, though I do work
> within the ed/ubuntu community. Firstly, Scott mentions not using
> 8.04, clearly you should upgrade as that will solve 50% of your
> issues... the other issues are all valid, and I guess the problem is
> one of communication between developers and end users. Lets address
> the issues seperately:
> - The gnome lingering process problem
> Agreed.. this is a heavy issue that is a pain in the behind, but it is
> not LTSP centric... the fault lies with gnome. Right now the
> workaround is a watchdog script, which seems to work ok, but is by no
> means a fix... This needs to be tackled from the gnome side... Right
> now the solution is in monitoring and ending misbehaving processes
> through the script or by hand via pkill -u or killall. It makes sense
> to clean all processes at least 1 time per day... consider it
> maintenance.
A point that seems to be avoided is why is this such a prevalent issue 
now ? The fact is more people are experiencing hard crashes and are left 
in a situation where they cant use the terminals any more until an admin 
kills processes. I think the reason for these crashes needs to be 
explored as it seems everything is fine in small deployments and when 
thin clients have more ram , maybe it has to do with the nbd server and 
all the "swap files" that are created , but certainly there are a number 
of us HP T5xxx users that are very frustrated
> - tcm (thin client manager)
> Indeed this no longer exists, and I believe it has been discussed
> about here before on various occasions. Italc has replaced thin client
> manager as the software that should be run to control thin clients
> from a centralised location. The new documentation reflects this (new
> in intrepid ibex), and I agree it was confusing, but a quick jump to a
> channel of importance (#ltsp primarily, but also #edubuntu) will give
> you the answers you need. Or a search in google. To install it is
> apt-get install italc-client
> - port forwarding
> The reason this is not built in is because no one knows how the
> network structure looks like at a particular location. There could be
> many different setups, but the documentation tells you how to easily
> do this in the most common way (this has been in documentation for a
> while now):
> Setting network forwarding
> Primary server will act as an network gateway for other servers. With
> this configuration, other workstations will be able to
> access the network behind the primary server. Here is an example of
> script that setup the network forwarding. We put it in
> /etc/network/if-up.d/, and make it executable. The script
> will run at each network start. In this example, the primary
> server private IP is It must be adapted for the IP address used.
> #!/bin/bash
> echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
> echo Setting up the forwarding
> LAN_NIC="eth1"
> OUT_NIC="eth0"
> iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s $LAN_IP_NET -o $OUT_NIC -j MASQUERADE
> iptables -A FORWARD -j ACCEPT -i $LAN_NIC -s $LAN_IP_NET
> iptables -A FORWARD -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
> - speaking to canonical employee
> Well, you may have spoken to canonical employees, but just like in any
> larger company, unless you talk to the ones involved in the area you
> are asking about, you'll probably get blank stares or answers that
> don't fit. You did not speak to any educational or ltsp canonical
> developer. I guarantee that if you search a little you'll quickly find
> out who they are. If you are serious about your issues and concerns,
> then why not try to contact one of these developers directly?
> - lts.conf file
> This is where LTSP gets complex, and its the same across ALL
> distributions... If you don't know how to create a file, then it is
> not recommended you touch a lts.conf file. Increasingly, reliance on
> this file has been diminished to the point that in MOST setups the
> lts.conf file is not really required. But if it is, a quick read
> through the documentation will show you an example file and where it
> should go.
> - upgrading from earlier versions
> Finally, I would recommend against upgrading, but instead noting the
> setup you have and migrating that to a new already working ltsp setup.
> If you have ubuntu 7.10, then installing a new 8.04 from the alternate
> cd is the best practice that will cause the least pain... and if you
> have problems... go to the #ltsp channel, where you will probably get
> an answer to any question within minutes. oh, and for the record...
> the devs do read this list...
> Kind Regards,
> David Van Assche
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 1:21 AM,  <monteslu at> wrote:
>> ---- David Van Assche <dvanassche at> wrote:
>>> Asmo is certainly not the only person. I know of at least 10 live
>>> deployments that have no problems with ubuntu/edubuntu. I'm running
>>> pentium 2 500mhz with 128 mb ram as the majority of my thin clients
>>> (must be a good 8-10 years old) and they run like clockwork... the
>>> problems almost always have to do with server configuration and how
>>> the ltsp 5 has been setup there... If you believe jumping to another
>>> distro is going to solve your problems, think again. LTSP is now
>>> distro independent and whatever problems you run into on ed/ubuntu you
>>> are likely to run into on another distro (probably with many more
>>> problems jumping at you first.) Ubuntu is the ONLY distro that has
>>> LTSP as out of the box as it does.
>>> If there are issues with 8.04, then please, by all means note them
>>> down... file a bug report... or at least list them here so we can help
>>> go through them...
>> Read Scott's email from August 24th.
>> He raised several valid points.
>> I'm currently running 2 8.04 servers for 70 (6020P & older clients)
>> I've run into issues with sound, as well as thin clients locking up.
>> Going from K12LTSP to 7.04 last year was tough, and I had hoped that this summer's upgrade to 8.04 would make things easier, but it I think I traded my old problems for new ones.
>> It seems that traffic on this list as well as the irc channel on freenode slowed considerably once ltsp moved from edubuntu into standard ubuntu.
>> If k12linux picks up momentum us school ltsp users almost have to move to it just to stay part of whichever community is larger for help.
>> At least no one has started complaining about the crossposting between this and the k12OSN list.
>> Luis

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