Starting off with Edubuntu LTS

David Van Assche dvanassche at
Sat Oct 29 18:34:32 UTC 2011

The learning curve is furtuntely getting muc smaller.... If you are
settuing up a new system, you''ll run into few problems I'f you are
upgrading, the story might be different. I learned a lesson that I think
many can learn from. I inherited an old ltsp setup (5-6 years), where the
most knowledagble teacher had installed webmin.... it made sense at the
 time I guess, but he was unaware at how webmin, the user db /etc/group and
/etc/passswd as well as the gui work very differently from each other.
Coupled wit that, if your user is not connected with a unique primary group
you are screwed. Then if your /home/$user is not ownerd user.user
throughout hist home dir, you are screwed. Finallly if the user is
accidentally deleted from webmin or /etc/group man...... yoou are REALLY

This is what happens:

Adding a user from the gui.... if he didnt' already exist, perfec, if he
did... u need to either get the correct uid and gid in place. and make sure
his dir, if already exists is owned by home with his ownership.

In a school with 200+ students + teachers... this can be a painful time
consuming job (Took me aboiut 50 hours in total for about 200 users, but I
also delted all the old users.

I then creatded to fat environments, one for yonger folk, another for
senior folk, made a lot of terminals fat.... and lo and behold... which
gods one should thannk I'm not sure,,,,

But that being a serious worst case scenario and being able to fix it all
under a week + add 10 terminals.... they were baffled. I said... well i
guess now u know why u asked for ltsp to begin with.... just make sure no
one absolutely no one touches it other than user db gui and adding MAC
addresses where necessary.... a gui for that would  be really appreciated..
I'd make it myself... if someone helped me out when I got stuck

kind regards,
David Van Assche

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 5:13 AM, David Groos <djgroos at> wrote:

> Hi Dave,
> 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  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!
> Good luck,
> David G
> On Oct 27, 2011, at 7:29 PM, Dave Wilson wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> > Dave
> >
> >
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
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