Potential School Wide Linux Implementation

Bruce Ferrell bferrell at baywinds.org
Sun Apr 5 19:54:53 UTC 2009

ac wrote:
> 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
> case_Skegness.pdf
> it is also discussed at
> http://opensourceschools.org.uk/cost-effective-curriculum-delivery-skegness-grammar.html
> 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

Forget what I said about distro specific.  Have a look here:


Pick your poison!


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