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Old 07-21-2008, 10:05 AM
"David Stalane"
 
Default Desktop Install - Central Login ??

Dear Gavin,

Thanks so much for replying. I am starting this tomorrow !!!

The reason I think I'll do full desktop installs is that all the PC's
are identical and the spec is not good enough for a server and too
good for thin client (they had bought the gear already)...I don't want
to cannibalize the existing machines or spend anymore money.

Then again.... The school has an expansion plan to double the number
of computers. Maybe I can make 2 thin clients from 1 fat one

Regards
David


On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 5:26 PM, Gavin McCullagh <gmccullagh@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On Mon, 21 Jul 2008, David Stalane wrote:
>
>> I want the kids to be able to log in from any machine in the lab
>> I want the teachers to be able to log in from any machine in the school
>
> Thin clients would be a very quick way to do this, but installed desktops
> have their advantages too.
>
>> Do I have to use server/thin client or can i do this with the desktop
>> install? i.e. having authentication and user space on just one box but
>> run all the applications locally.
>
> You can store /home/ on a server with NFS, then mount that directory as
> /home on each desktop. This will mean that user's files and settings are
> available from any computer.
>
> You can use any of a number of centralised authentication schemes (LDAP,
> NIS, AD) to allow consistent logins on any computer. I've never needed to
> make rules about which computers certain groups can login to, but I'm
> guessing that should be pretty doable.
>
> Gavin
>
>
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:15 AM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Desktop Install - Central Login ??

Hi,

On Mon, 21 Jul 2008, David Stalane wrote:

> The reason I think I'll do full desktop installs is that all the PC's
> are identical and the spec is not good enough for a server and too
> good for thin client (they had bought the gear already)...I don't want
> to cannibalize the existing machines or spend anymore money.

That makes reasonable sense. The only trouble with desktop installs is the
maintenance is a lot greater. You need to maintain the install on each
desktop individually. Some of this can be automated, but thin clients
really are one machine.

I'm not sure of the status at this point of the diskless fat client (or
whatever it's called). The idea is that your desktops network boot, and
take their applications, etc. from the server as with thin clients, but
they actually run applications locally on the desktop, rather than running
them on the server. In principal, this should give you a single install to
maintain, but use the computing power of the desktops.

I'm not honestly sure if this works well at this point though. I've never
done it myself.

Gavin


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Old 07-31-2008, 03:30 PM
Mon Sagullo
 
Default Desktop Install - Central Login ??

From: Gavin McCullagh <gmccullagh@gmail.com>
To: edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 5:26:31 PM
Subject: Re: Desktop Install - Central Login ??

You can store /home/ on a server with NFS, then mount that directory as
/home on each desktop.* This will mean that user's files and settings are
available from any computer.

Gavin

= = = =>
Hello, Gavin.

I have a slightly similar "intention" that your reply appears to be helping me in the right direction :-)

I just recently plunged into 40 very fat clients for our new lab in school:-)

Kindly correct me if I am wrong, but can I
make a list of users - students with their respective log-in names and password - on one desktop, then copy this configuration file (I don't exactly know how to refer to this), and then copy this on all the desktops so all the students can use any of the computers with the same username and password - without me doing this manually on all the units?

The desktops are all identical.

Oh, and anyone is most welcome to ease our transition to a fully Ubuntusized and OOo computer lab.

I just got my copy of Ubuntu Unleashed 3 weeks ago, but I don't have the time to really dig into its pages. I normally zero in on a chapter or a few pages for a "quick reference" fix.* A small school like ours? Am a one-man IT department, so it takes a lot of efforts not to spread myself too thinly, yet I have to address all the IT concerns - hardware-software-user's "could you please show me how?" package that goes with my job. I recently "recruited" a
working-for-the-school-student as an assistant, slowly training him for now, on the more "mundane" IT-related tasks.

From my corner of the globe, I still could not find a real supplier for "thin and net appliance." And with what I have read from this listgroup about the issues on
smoothing out the "friendship" between thin clients and an Ubuntu
server, I chose what I believe is the more manageable approach, considering my situation as described in the above paragraph: identical "fat desktops" using wireless NICs. So far, the" only problem" I have is the old issue that after a reboot, I have to re-type the "password" to reintroduce the wireless NICs to our Linksys WRT54Gs. Then do a "switch user" so the students can log-in and do what their teachers would have planned for the day.

Any script to minimize this tedious routine would be much appreciated. I am glad to have stumbled on how to do a timed-shutdown :-)

With a script that can do most of the above, I guess I can* to do an auto-log in as "admin," set the wireless to connect, then the script would switch for the student's log-in, then shut-down at the end of the day???

So far, the "repeatable" success rate is far from okay when I try setting the wireless NICs to roaming, then type in the password after the prompt;
enabled MAC filtering thrown in. I noticed that the "repeat success" seems to slide down when I have more than one wireless AP/Router within range. ??

Thank you for your time.

Mon










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Old 07-31-2008, 04:31 PM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Desktop Install - Central Login ??

Hi,

On Thu, 31 Jul 2008, Mon Sagullo wrote:

> I just recently plunged into 40 very fat clients for our new lab in
> school:-)
>
> Kindly correct me if I am wrong, but can I make a list of users -
> students with their respective log-in names and password - on one
> desktop, then copy this configuration file (I don't exactly know how to
> refer to this), and then copy this on all the desktops so all the
> students can use any of the computers with the same username and password
> - without me doing this manually on all the units?

You can do it, but you should _strongly_ consider learning NIS instead.
It's relatively quick to set up and it means new accounts automatically
propogate across all machines the moment you create them on the server.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SettingUpNISHowTo

> From my corner of the globe, I still could not find a real supplier for
> "thin and net appliance." And with what I have read from this listgroup
> about the issues on smoothing out the "friendship" between thin clients
> and an Ubuntu server, I chose what I believe is the more manageable
> approach, considering my situation as described in the above paragraph:

We've never used specific thin client hardware, we just use old computers.
That generally works great for us. Experience will vary depending on your
position on the globe, but with a decent server, that scales very well for
us.

> Any script to minimize this tedious routine would be much appreciated.

NIS (or better yet LDAP) is the real answer to this problem. A little
reading and experimenting will make your life so much easier.

> I am glad to have stumbled on how to do a timed-shutdown :-)

sudo at 23:00<enter>
shutdown -h now<enter>
press <ctrl>-d

"at" is a very useful command.

> So far, the "repeatable" success rate is far from okay when I try setting
> the wireless NICs to roaming, then type in the password after the prompt;
> enabled MAC filtering thrown in. I noticed that the "repeat success"
> seems to slide down when I have more than one wireless AP/Router within
> range. ??

Your desktops are on wireless? If they're fixed to their locations, don't
use roaming mode. Instead, use "manual configuration", set the essid, etc.
That will work more reliably. You can usually set the BIOS to turn the
machine on at a particular time (eg 9am) and you can add a line to
/etc/crontab like this:

00 23 * * * root shutdown -r now

which will shutdown every night at 23:00.

Gavin



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