Multistation OS

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at
Mon Oct 27 14:12:05 UTC 2008

Wade Smart wrote:

> Ah, ok. The school was contacted about this setup and they asked me if I 
> knew anything about it. Im "not" suggesting they do it - I was just 
> wanting clarity on the setup.
> So one computer per 10 students - the resources of the pc are shared 
> between them all. Even a quad core with 4gb of ram system could end up 
> feeling slow.

If it's a school, I have a tough time advocating thin clients simply 
because schools have a remarkable tendency to find reasons for thin 
clients...especially if they're not not "meet their 
needs" as more shovelware comes out for Windows (like the slew of 
edutainment titles written with Macromedia and compiled into EXE 
format...bloated, limited, buggy and slow, but the user doesn't see 
this, just the techs told to get it working).

You put in a crapload of work to get things perfectly usable just to 
have it dismantled or not used within six months...

BUT to the situation you're describing. Yes, 4 gig of ram for 10 users 
could easily eat all the resources. Or it may not. You only need a few 
users on big flash games to make things go wonky. If everyone's doing 
basic, basic web browsing, etc...that 4 gig system could 
probably handle the load, especially if you're using RAID to deal with 
the I/O throughput a little better.

The only way to tell is to set up a server and slowly crank up the 
clients, probably with a bootable setup to boot by network or CD, and 
see what the load *your students* are putting on the server will allow 
it to handle, and monitor what the bottlenecks are as they appear and 
figure out how to handle them until throwing hardware at the problem 
won't help you anymore. Then you'd need another server and start over again.

I've done very little with XTerms, but I have used Windows terminal 
services for a school before...there are definite plusses and minuses.

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