Starting off with Edubuntu LTS
djgroos at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 03:13:20 UTC 2011
Sounds like you are new to Edubuntu? Welcome.
I've been using Ubuntu running the LTSP system (thin clients) for 3+ years now in my classroom of 20 or so computers--actually support 3 classes. Since the start I've used LTSP, never used local installs--actually we use recycled machines and it's easiest just removing the HD. Our first year we used pure thin client setups where practically all processing was done on the server. That was cool except when it came to using a java-based application called CmapTools. Only 2 clients could use that software, barely, and with another user the whole server would become unresponsive. Flash content was pretty unacceptable as well.
Thus we moved to using 'local apps' the next year. One can install a program into the chroot, then tell the client to use these installed programs, locally. That year we ran Firefox, CmapTools, and it seems like a few other things locally. It worked so well, we ran things as localapps last year as well (but with 10.04, not 9.04 like the previous year). Well, this year we made the leap to 'fatcleints' where basically everything is run locally. This means that now we can use the computer-interface probes like LabPro. Things are going smoothly this year. We did make sure that all of our P4's have a gig of RAM, though and are at least 2.2 GHz. Anyway, this is a long way of saying that you may want to look into fat clients or at least localapps instead of thin clients. They are all part of the LTSP system, however.
For managing your computers (like what a teacher needs to do, sometimes sharing screens or locking screens for example) I would recommend looking into epoptes--"Overseer". You'll find that at epoptes.org. I think that Thin Client Manager and Pessalus haven't been maintained--someone correct me if I'm wrong.
About making user accounts, I didn't really understand your concerns. I finally got LDAP working this year (!) but before this I've just created the accounts using the 'users and groups' app or through the command line. However, at the start of the year to import lots of users I used webmin--always been happy with it for the limited things I ask it to do. I've never really had to do anything special with user accounts, they just work like one would expect. I've dabbled with SAMBA sharing for shared folders and it has worked OK but haven't done much with it lately.
My experience is that there's a big learning curve to get everything working like you want it, but when it is, it is painless!
On Oct 27, 2011, at 7:29 PM, Dave Wilson wrote:
> I have a project underway which refers to a room of 30 machines, having about 160 users over a weekly period.
> I have downoaded 11.10 and used it in live mode successfully and then installed it on the hard disk. It works well, but I am considering the real deployment of this system.
> I intend to go for a system based on the use of two LAN cards, but I am not too worried about the hardware but more of the practical details of managing a network of this type and what is needed. I would be grateful for comments and recommendations under the following headings.
> (1) I wish to give the users access to both a home folder and access possibly to other Read Only folders I designate. I believe this is controlled by NFS. Is this correct ? Is this already involved ? Asuming that this is the case what mechanism do the clients use at their desktops to access home folders etc ?
> (2) I understand that the Thin Client Manager is used for general client control and calls upon Pessulus to lockdown clients. Is all this provided already or is it necessary to download the manager?
> (3) There would appear to be a lot of things going on here that have affects in various places and for example I can see that the creation of a new user would need to have an effect on nfs in terms of designating a new home folder etc. Is there a webmin type of piece of software that handles the integration of these functions so that the addition of a new user automatically causes the changes required?
> I would be very grateful for any comments that can point me in the right direction.
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