Edubuntu Meeting Notes: 11 January 2012
11 January 2012
== Present ==
== Quick Summary of Meeting ==
* Edubuntu now has LTS Status:
* Python build dependencies cleanup completed, thanks to stgraber
* Discussion on Edubuntu Unity lenses, we need to do some call for ideas
* Discussion on authentication features in Debian Edu server,
* Revising Edubuntu meeting times, perhaps time to add another meeting
in another time slot to accomodate people in different timezones
* Debian Edu 6.03 beta 2 is ready, testing is welcomed:
* Discussion on epoptes and other control tools
== Full IRC Log ==
14:05 < highvoltage> howdy!
14:05 < tedmasterweb> hi
14:05 < highvoltage> anyone here for the Edubuntu meeting?
14:05 < tedmasterweb> me
14:05 < highvoltage> great
14:06 < highvoltage> stgraber, dgroos, mgariepy, alkisg: around?
14:07 < highvoltage> I guess I'll start off by mentioning some news
14:07 < dgroos> a round and as usual, a square ;)
14:07 < highvoltage> - Edubuntu 12.04 will be an LTS version
14:07 < highvoltage> We went through the process with the Technical
Board and they approved it on Monday
14:08 < dgroos> nice! congrats.
14:08 < highvoltage> I put together a quick blog post about it for the
edubuntu blog: http://edubuntu.org/2012-01-10/edubuntu-lts-status
14:08 < highvoltage> - stgraber has been cleaning the python build
dependencies for packages shipped with Edubuntu
14:08 < highvoltage> we don't have any legacy python dh scripts anymore
14:09 * alkisg waves
14:09 < highvoltage> anyone else have any news to share?
14:09 < highvoltage> one of our goals for 12.04 is also to create some
bite size tasks for Unity lenses
14:10 < highvoltage> they're reasonably simple to create and may be
really useful in education
14:10 < dgroos> Unity lenses?
14:10 < highvoltage> yep, let me see if I can find a link with more info...
14:11 < dgroos> btw, how easy will the JRE install, be?
14:11 < dgroos> (from your blog post)
14:11 < highvoltage> well, here's a somewhat technical page describing
14:12 < highvoltage> dgroos: very easy, the java we're shipping now will
just be an apt-get / software center install away. you won't need
additional archives or anything fancy.
14:12 < dgroos> Cool.
14:12 < highvoltage> dgroos: basically, lenses allow you to display data
you have on your system (or on the internet) in a specially organised way
14:13 < highvoltage> dgroos: have you seen Ubuntu TV? it's main
interface is actually a unity lense.
14:14 < dgroos> Not yet, but will check it out. Is this a way that we
could do edubuntu-menu type stuff?
14:14 < highvoltage> possibly
14:14 < highvoltage> you could probably implement something like
per-grade menus with that
14:15 < dgroos> could it be per-group menus? (user groups)
14:15 < highvoltage> I'm wondering if we should do weekly meetings again too
14:15 < pere> a better way is probably to use desktop-profiles.
14:15 < highvoltage> I think we kind of lost momentum doing it monthly
14:16 < pere> it would allow per-group menu reordering.
14:16 < highvoltage> indeed, desktop-profiles work great for that
14:16 < dgroos> Thanks, I'll check into these as well.
14:17 < highvoltage> I've been looking at our artwork situation last week
14:17 < pere>
http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/i386/education-menus/filelist show a
desktop-profiles package reordering KDE and Gnome menus.
14:17 < dgroos> pere: thanks.
14:18 < highvoltage> I think that we should actually stick with the
wallpaper we used in 11.10. We had great feedback on it and we never
really extended it to the whole system. I think it might actually be
best to extend that artwork and polish it up more rather than changing it
14:18 < highvoltage> Will talk about that on-list to see if there's any
14:19 < highvoltage> pere: I haven't had much chance yet to try to
integrate an edubuntu machine into a debian-edu network yet
14:20 < pere> too bad. squeeze/beta2 is very good now. :)
14:20 < highvoltage> pere: but I've gotten some big hairy sticky things
off from my todo list so I should get to it sooner now
14:22 < dgroos> will there be any changes in users and groups
tool--sorry I've dropped out of the loop.
14:22 < highvoltage> well, even if we get it right with some
documentation on what users have to do, I guess it won't be that bad. if
we have something working then we can get it *great* for the next release(s)
14:23 < highvoltage> dgroos: nothing planned as far as I know. aparently
the kde users and groups tool is a lot better and someone even suggested
that we ship that, but I doubt it would happen
14:23 < highvoltage> dgroos: I guess when we have freeipa in ubuntu we'd
probably use that in edubuntu
14:24 < dgroos> I did end up using their tool a couple of years ago due
to a bug in the GNOME tool.
14:24 < pere> highvoltage: in theory all you should need to integrate a
ubuntu machine into a skolelinux network should be to install libpam-sss
and libnss-sss, and the rest will happen automatically. :)
14:25 < dgroos> Cool. How about LDAP tool? I mean a tool that doesn't
take too much sys knowledge?
14:25 < highvoltage> pere: I'll try that and paste that back if it
doesn't work :)
14:25 < highvoltage> dgroos: that's what freeipa does as well. you get
user management and ldap/kerberos/etc all in one
14:25 < pere> dgroos: jxplorer seem to be the best gui for ldap editing.
14:26 < highvoltage> dgroos: and on the client side you install sssd and
then you pretty much have authentication against it and cached
credentials / kerberos tickets / etc.
14:27 < pere> in Debian Edu/Squeeze, we set up a LDAP backed Kerberos
server out of the box, and use sssd for the laptop setup to allow
laptops to work also without connection to the LDAP/Kerberos server.
14:28 < highvoltage> anything else that anyone wants to bring up? I
guess alkisg, mgariepy and stgraber is busy elsewhere atm :)
14:28 < highvoltage> pere: I didn't realise it did all of that already.
When I have a working setup I'll document it for the edubuntu website too
14:28 < pere> am I allowed to talk about Debian Edu?
14:28 < highvoltage> pere: as much as you want!
14:28 < pere> highvoltage: it does all that and more. :)
14:29 < dgroos> I think it's great the collaboration that has started
between the diff distress.
14:29 < highvoltage> cool
14:29 < dgroos> *distros
14:29 < pere> in Debian Edu, we have automatic configuration of Nagios
and Munin, where clients register with the server and the server
automatically start to monitor the services on the clients.
14:29 < pere> this is done using the sitesummary package.
14:29 < highvoltage> I've never heard of that
14:30 < pere> we also provide KDE, Gnome and LXDE as desktop solutions.
KDE get most work, but the others seem to work fine as well.
14:30 < highvoltage> looking at the package description it looks like it
could be useful for a bunch of stuff
14:31 < pere> See <URL:
> for the munin count for the city of Narvik. :)
14:31 < pere> The admin set site to be the name of the school, and the
stat show how many computers report in from each school. :)
14:32 < dgroos> Wow--mucho info.
14:32 < pere>
http://lists.debian.org/debian-edu-announce/2012/01/msg00000.html is the
announcement for beta2 of Debian Edu/Squeeze, which I hope to have ready
in a few weeks.
14:33 < highvoltage> nice
14:33 < highvoltage> I'm a bit unsure, is this the first squeeze release
for debian-edu? or just the point release update?
14:33 < pere> we also provide LTSP setup out of the box, with either
thin clients (X terminals running everything on the server) or diskless
workstations (workstations running everything locally but with no disk -
root is NFS).
14:34 < pere> when we are done, it will be the first squeeze release for
14:34 < pere> progress has been slow since I got my second kid. :)
14:34 < highvoltage> I guess we can announce that on the Edubuntu
website too when it's ready, if that's ok
14:35 < pere> absolutely. :)
14:35 < pere> one nice feature is our roaming workstation profile, which
is the laptop setup with connections to the LDAP/Kerberos server.
14:35 < highvoltage> I'm sure I've seen you post it before in
#debian-edu, but where's the link to the iso that should be tested?
14:35 < pere> I made it autodetect everything in a way that allow me to
install it at the university of oslo network and get it to connect to
the uio.no infrastructure instead.
14:36 < dgroos> That is an important feature for schools that allow
integration of student laptops into their network.
14:36 < pere> I made a pam module that create a local home directory for
the user on the first login, and after that the user can take the laptop
with him and log using the cached password.
14:37 < pere> highvoltage: at the end of <URL:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-edu-announce/2012/01/msg00000.html > are
the links to the ISOs.
14:37 < highvoltage> thanks
14:37 < pere> we also look up the networked home directory and provide a
KDE and Gnome shortcut to the SMB exported home directory. Thanks to
Kerberos, this worked flawlessly at the university. :)
14:38 < pere> I could just click on the link and get direct access to my
university home directory. :)
14:39 < dgroos> cool, very useful.
14:39 < pere> I guess that is enough adverticement for now. :) There
are heaps of other nice stuff in Debian Edu, so check it out. :)
14:39 < highvoltage> that's pretty neet
14:39 < highvoltage> *neat
14:40 * alkisg wants to try debian-edu in a school some time, but
didn't have the chance to do it yet
14:40 < highvoltage> pere: yeah features like that are a bit harder to
just find by yourself though. thanks for mentioning it :)
14:40 < alkisg> highvoltage: about the weekly vs monthly meetings... why
not every 2 weeks?
14:40 < highvoltage> alkisg: well, I just sent a mail to the list about
it. I think perhaps every week but with alternating times
14:41 < highvoltage> alkisg: this timezone is hard for some people in
your timezone because it's in the evening, so perhaps there should be an
earlier slot too
14:41 < highvoltage> alkisg: but I guess every 2 weeks would be fine too
14:41 < alkisg> Nah, at 9 a.m. here teachers are at schools so they
couldn't attend meetings. It might help people in other timezones though
14:41 < highvoltage> alkisg: perhaps we could try that first
14:42 < highvoltage> well 9:00 UTC would be around 11am for you
14:42 < alkisg> Ah 9 UTC, not 7 UTC... same thing though
14:42 < highvoltage> but yes, they'd still be at school
14:42 < pere> for me it need to be after the kids are in bed, so 19:00
UTC was fine.
14:43 < alkisg> It'd be interesting to try alternate meeting times, yup
14:43 < highvoltage> so perhaps we should keep the last wednesday of the
month at 19:00 UTC
14:43 < highvoltage> and then have another one the second wednesday of
the month on another time
14:44 < highvoltage> we've had a few people say before that 19:00 never
works well for them
14:44 < highvoltage> so it would be nice to have an alternate time
14:44 < dgroos> I can only do it now since I'm not teaching this year.
14:45 < highvoltage> yeah I think you, dinda and flint asked for
alternate times a few times
14:45 < highvoltage> ok, I'll update that to the list too
14:45 < highvoltage> I have nothing more, anything else before we wrap up?
14:46 < alkisg> Some small news about epoptes, a new version with groups
support will be released soon, I hope stgraber can
import it even though we're past debianimportfreeze
14:47 < highvoltage> cool, that's a nice feature
14:47 < dgroos> For sure.
14:47 < highvoltage> pere: have you seen epoptes before?
14:49 < highvoltage> pere: it's similar in some of its functionality to
italc, we're moving away from italc to epoptes in edubuntu:
14:50 < pere> highvoltage: nope. the italc alternative I know about is
14:50 < pere> I have not investigated any of them.
14:50 < pere> the german group in Debian Edu use italc, and the spanish
group use controlaula.
14:51 < pere> highvoltage: why do you move away from italc?
14:52 < highvoltage> pere: stgraber pointed out some concerns over its
supportability over the long term. epoptes seems to have less crud and
it's very actively maintained by alkisg
14:53 < alkisg> And the reason we developed epoptes in the first place
was that italc crashed in more than 50% of our systems...
14:53 < pere> does it work for non-linux machines?
14:53 < alkisg> No
14:53 < alkisg> It works on most Linux DEs, but not on non-linux machines
14:54 < pere> right. I have vague memories of icalc or controlaula
working on windows and mac, but might be mistaken.
14:54 < alkisg> Italc does work on windows. The problem is that it's not
maintained on linux...
14:55 < alkisg> ...e.g. logout/reboot/shutdown has not been working on
linux for years
14:56 < dgroos> I always found iTALC unstable and if a teacher can't
depend on something, better to not to even try it.
14:56 < dgroos> That's why I like epoptes.
14:57 < pere> right. did any of you try <URL:
14:57 < highvoltage> I've only heard of it before but haven't seen it
14:58 < alkisg> I did, and while it has a lot of features, it's too
focused on the specific installations done in Spain...
14:58 < alkisg> I don't think I got it working, and I had to format to
get it properly removed :(
14:58 < alkisg> But that was 2-3 years ago, haven't looked at its
14:58 < highvoltage> screenshots look java'y
14:59 < highvoltage> I need to go, can we call it a meeting?
15:00 < alkisg> Thank you highvoltage :)
15:00 < dgroos> I like the, "…share information and files easily".
Reminds me of the coccinella I just read about --use jabber?
15:00 < dgroos> OK
15:00 < dgroos> Thanks highvoltage as always.
15:00 < highvoltage> and thanks alkisg, dgroos, pere and tedmasterweb
for being here :)
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