Potential School Wide Linux Implementation

ac "aec$news" at candt.waitrose.com
Sun Apr 5 19:34:22 UTC 2009

Tim Holmes wrote:
> Hello Folks:
> I am the One Man IT shop for Medina Christian Academy, and am facing a
> potential situation that i am trying to avert in the future. I am currently
> a largely Windows XP (fully patched and updated) network built on a Windows
> Server 2003 Active Directory domain. I have some samba servers for file
> servers and an APACHE web development server. We have ~150 desktops spread
> between the classrooms, offices and computer lab. The computers are mostly
> roughly 5 year old Pentium 4 gateways mostly have 40 gb hdd, onboard sound
> and video cards and between 512 and 1024 mb memory
> I am seeing a problem in that XP support ends here in the next few days /
> weeks. Our hardware will NOT support Windows Vista , and some of the reviews
> that I am reading are beginning to indicate that we will not be able to
> support Windows 7 (even if we can afford the licenses).
> I spoke with our Executive Director today and he indicated a willingness to
> at least consider moving the entire school to linux as a potential solution.
> We need to be able to do the following things...
> - most of our computer classes use Microsoft Office -- thats covered with
> Open Office, so no problem there, the same for our teachers using office and
> the folks in the front office.
> - each classroom is equipped with a SmartBoard interactive white board, --
> SmartTech has linux software and drivers for them, so it may be a little bit
> of work but should be workable.
> -- Printing -- we have a number of printers across the network -- couple of
> which are all in one type units by keyocera - and all stations/users need to
> be able to print -- so that means samba print server -- again -- probably
> take some development work but i am pretty sure it can be done.
> -- domain (or whatever its called in linux) -- users need to be able to sign
> in on any computer, and have their files accessable similar to what happens
> when a user logs into a windows domain.
> -- Our School management software / gradebook -- not available in linux, but
> im wondering about using crossover office / wine or possibly VMWARE -- i'll
> need input on that -- its a client server app sort of the gradebook writes
> out text files that are imported into the main application which is based on
> microsoft access databases with a custom written interface -- might have to
> run a Virtual windows 2003 server to run the server portion of it -- and
> like wine or something for the users to access it -- i dont know
> -- backup -- we have a quantum loader, so one way or another we'll need to
> be able to back stuff up
> -- file servers -- ive got a couple linux file servers now -- but they are
> running samba i dont know how to share stuff via linux
> im sure there are things that i have forgotten so if anyone has ideas /
> suggestions please chime in.
> I am tentatively planning to use kubuntu, for the desktop environmen, and
> this project (if it goes) at least for now would be deployed summer of 2010
> for use beginning in the fall of 2010
> ANY and all input is welcome

I was a kubuntu user and am now moving to ubuntu, for its speed an 
dparticularly its simplicity. The current developmentsd towards kde4 
are coming in effectively, and unless you really want a lot od fancy 
functionality and wizardry, and eye candy, I would suggest you consder 
ubuntu vs kubuntu carefully.

It will not prevent you making use of some kde applications of course.

By the way in the Examples folder contents on the Desktop CD of (8.04 
I know) ther eis a one page item

it is also discussed at

I am sure there are many more of such case studies.

Thinking of what might be an unseemly and brief timescale, if the 
project moves forward, have you considered the benefits of encouraging 
skilling up some of the more able pupils and parents and staff too, on 
their own home machines? Some may be keen to try an alternative and 
while you are concentrating on the professional implications, you may 
find that a self help and interest group has a useful momentum 
locally. After all, the software has many advantages in a domestic 
environment. The domestics project might start simply by free copies 
of CDs and some basic information, with a declaration about the limits 
of (your) support) and encouraging use of helping each other and 
ubuntu forums? Maybe a subsidised evening meeting room.

good luck

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