Is it just me, or is LTSP a mess?

Todd O'Bryan toddobryan at
Fri Sep 12 03:10:51 BST 2008

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 6:37 AM, Oliver Grawert <ogra at> wrote:

> hi,
> On Mi, 2008-09-10 at 09:37 -0700, Jordan Mantha wrote:
> > 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.
> another thing i asked for as well in the 7.10 cycle (where i still could
> invest worktime into edubuntu) various times was to help testing *during
> the development cycle* at a time where i can fix bugs, my last request
> got me two new testers, mainly David van Asche and Asmo Koskinen ... you
> will notice that these two are the guys who apparently dont have any
> problems at all, both deploying huge setups of edubuntu with ltsp. with
> hardy our policies changed and i will be able to apply fixes even to the
> released version, that will give you the opportunity to help improving
> the LTS release to your requirement, all this needs is that developers
> get clear bugs, i will do what i can to help out here but please note
> that my time is very limted, beyond me there is Jordan Mantha around to
> help with educational apps and Scott Balneaves can help with the ltsp
> side of things, but what we need for that is a set of clear bugs to work
> on, ranting or blaming anyone for anything wont get us anywhere.

That's great news. The big problem with LTSP is that many of us who use it
do so precisely because we have no money, no dedicated tech staff, etc. I
only have one setup and in addition to acting as a sysadmin for that lab of
thirty clients, I'm supposed to be a full-time teacher of 150 students. I
still have assignments from the second week of school, two weeks ago, that I
haven't been able to return to students. I simply can't run stable releases
and try out development versions as well.

One of the things that I've noticed is that Asmo and David seem to have a
number of custom fixes they've applied--for example, the environment
variable fix that Asmo mentioned for Firefox 3 to avoid the pixmap issue.
Clearly, if these are necessary, those changes need to be made available
somehow, preferably in some kind of package that updates things that most
LTSP users need. Otherwise the rest of us have problems because we don't
have those fixes.

I very much appreciate all the work that has gone into LTSP and Edubuntu. It
has huge promise, but I have students who've spent the last four weeks using
Linux, most for the first time, and they're all asking me why Linux sucks so
much. That's not the way to convert students for a lifetime. I just have to
hope that I can fix the problems and they'll forget how big a mess things
were at the beginning of the year.

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