Is it just me, or is LTSP a mess?

Jordan Mantha laserjock at
Wed Sep 10 17:37:38 BST 2008

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 8:58 AM, R. Scott Belford <scott at> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 11:05 PM, David Van Assche <dvanassche at>
> wrote:
> I find it hard to believe that any devs with any power or will to improve
> Edu/Ubu Buntu actually read this list and take the time to test fixes.  What
> is your relationship with Canonical and your depth of experience setting up,
> deploying, supporting, and advocting on behalf of Thin Client setups, David?

I've been reading this thread carefully and really thinking hard about
the overall issues here. I can't talk specifically about LTSP because
I don't use it and I'm not in a position of expertise there. I am
however, and Edubuntu and Ubuntu developer and am very much interested
in making both work for educators, students, and educational
institutions. There are a lot of people using Edubuntu successfully,
but I personally take user complaints very seriously.

I've been involved with the Ubuntu community and distro development
for 3 years now and we've seen our share of issues. I think we need to
get this thread steered a bit back on course towards constructive
dialog about problems people are facing and possible solutions we can
try to implement. We all need to vent sometimes, but let's try to keep
it civil and constructive as much ass possible.

I get the impression at times that people think there are a myriad of
people paid to work on these issues. The reality is that there has
only ever been 1 person paid to work on Edubuntu/LTSP, and in fact
that person has been moved to another project for his paid time and is
now volunteering like the rest of us to work on Edubuntu. We had a
period of time where the primary developers of Edubuntu were basically
inactive due to real life situations. I know I personally feel like
I've let the community down by not being around for Hardy, but I have
real life obligations I can't just shirk to work on software. These
are the times when we need people from the user community to step up
and maybe try to contribute a bit here and there. I'm somewhat
frantically trying to get Intrepid ready for release and Scott
Balneaves sounds like he's able to help out more with LTSP bugs. We're
planning on having an LTSP Bug Day next week (looks like Wednesday) in
#edubuntu and could use all the help we can get (testing, triage,
patches, etc.).

I usually don't like talking about development issues on the -users
list as I don't want to burden users with these issues, but I think
perhaps it's useful for people to see. Here are the things I'm getting
from the thread so far (please correct/add):

1) lack of feedback from development team on "pain points"
2) lack of vision/purpose/goals for Edubuntu
3) trend towards "fix via documentation" rather than fixing code to
just "do the right thing"
4) fixes not being backported to the stable release

I think we can work on all of these areas, but of course we need help.
We need help testing, help writing documentation, help triaging bugs,
help in terms of advice from educators. I firmly believe that Edubuntu
has huge potential to affect the lives of children and students around
the world, but it doesn't happen on it's own. People have to step up
to contribute to turn that potential into reality. I'm willing to help
as much as I'm able to train people, to advise and mentor
contributors, and to work towards making Edubuntu the best educational
distro we can. I, and the rest of the current team, can't do it alone
so please do hop on #edubuntu on or send an email to
edubuntu-devel introducing yourself.


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