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Old 05-31-2011, 10:29 AM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Hi,

oops, I should clarify this:

On Tue, 31 May 2011, Gavin McCullagh wrote:

> Gnome losing all settings (due to gconfd problem I suspect),

... until you logout and login again. It doesn't permanently lose
settings.

Gavin


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Old 05-31-2011, 10:29 AM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Hi,

oops, I should clarify this:

On Tue, 31 May 2011, Gavin McCullagh wrote:

> Gnome losing all settings (due to gconfd problem I suspect),

... until you logout and login again. It doesn't permanently lose
settings.

Gavin


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Old 06-04-2011, 03:45 AM
David Groos
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Thanks Gavin, LVM--not heard of this so I just read up a bit about it.* Looks doable and elegant but.. I'm not ready for 'one more thing' at this moment * I've used clonezilla quite a bit and I've used that to approximate a roll-back system.* Having some system with which to safely experiment has proven important for me--several times I saved a lot of time returning to a perfectly working image and doing something correctly the second time (or avoiding it) than trying to troubleshoot/patch up something and then wondering if I had a flawed system.

David



On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 4:23 AM, Gavin McCullagh <gmccullagh@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi,



On Mon, 30 May 2011, David Groos wrote:



> School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of break,

> then will be back to preparing the technology for the next school year.

> I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps. *Next year I want to move

> to Fat Clients. *I'm guessing I'm not alone in this. *My BIG QUESTION is,

> which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or 11.4?



I can't speak about the LTSP aspect, but I've noticed some bugginess in

Natty. *Gnome losing all settings (due to gconfd problem I suspect), I'm

not at all a fan of the ubiquiti desktop either -- though you can choose

classic view.



I'd be a little cautious, that's all. *If the LTS release has everything

you want, it's like to be a slightly cleaner experience for now. *12.04 is

probably the next LTS release.



One thing that might be nice that I never thought of before would be to run

your LTS environment in LVM (the logical volume manager). *Assuming you had

a modest amount of disk space free, you should be able to snapshot the

volumes, then run the upgrade, test it for a while and roll back if you're

not happy. *You should be able to do this several times over the summer and

roll back each time. *You might want to snapshot the home dirs too, as

programs may upgrade settings of users and then if you roll back, it may

not know what to do with them. *If you're doing that, you need to warn

users that they may get their home dir rolled back.



Gavin





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Old 06-04-2011, 03:45 AM
David Groos
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Thanks Gavin, LVM--not heard of this so I just read up a bit about it.* Looks doable and elegant but.. I'm not ready for 'one more thing' at this moment * I've used clonezilla quite a bit and I've used that to approximate a roll-back system.* Having some system with which to safely experiment has proven important for me--several times I saved a lot of time returning to a perfectly working image and doing something correctly the second time (or avoiding it) than trying to troubleshoot/patch up something and then wondering if I had a flawed system.

David



On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 4:23 AM, Gavin McCullagh <gmccullagh@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi,



On Mon, 30 May 2011, David Groos wrote:



> School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of break,

> then will be back to preparing the technology for the next school year.

> I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps. *Next year I want to move

> to Fat Clients. *I'm guessing I'm not alone in this. *My BIG QUESTION is,

> which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or 11.4?



I can't speak about the LTSP aspect, but I've noticed some bugginess in

Natty. *Gnome losing all settings (due to gconfd problem I suspect), I'm

not at all a fan of the ubiquiti desktop either -- though you can choose

classic view.



I'd be a little cautious, that's all. *If the LTS release has everything

you want, it's like to be a slightly cleaner experience for now. *12.04 is

probably the next LTS release.



One thing that might be nice that I never thought of before would be to run

your LTS environment in LVM (the logical volume manager). *Assuming you had

a modest amount of disk space free, you should be able to snapshot the

volumes, then run the upgrade, test it for a while and roll back if you're

not happy. *You should be able to do this several times over the summer and

roll back each time. *You might want to snapshot the home dirs too, as

programs may upgrade settings of users and then if you roll back, it may

not know what to do with them. *If you're doing that, you need to warn

users that they may get their home dir rolled back.



Gavin





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Old 06-21-2011, 04:13 PM
Donaldson Jeffrey
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

David,



I'm the Technology Manager for a Charter School in Delaware. We've been
using a Thin Client environment successfully for a number of years now,
but I've only been in this position for a little less than a year. My
knowledge of Linux and LTSP is growing with each day. Currently we're
running 9.10 and plan to upgrade over the summer to 11.04. I hate to
bother you, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for software
and Repositories. Or any useful tips you may have learned along the
way. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate any advice
you're willing to give.



If anyone else on the list would be willing to share their experiences
as well, I'd be very grateful. Some things of particular interest are:



Global Firefox caching to local /tmp instead of user's home directories

SmartBoard setup

Installed Moonlight, but can't get Microsoft Media Pack codecs to
install (repo issue?)

Getting CUPS to work with local apps (i.e. printing from local firefox,
is it possible?)

Unity or Gnome UI in 11.04?

Suggestions for VESA mounted thin clients

DRBLClonezilla server setup on dual NIC

Software suggestions



I know that's a lot, but I welcome and appreciate any advice!



Thanks in advance,

Jeff Donaldson





David Groos wrote:
Hi Edubuntistas,



School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of
break, then will be back to preparing the technology for the next
school year.* I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps.* Next
year I want to move to Fat Clients.* I'm guessing I'm not alone in
this.* My BIG QUESTION is, which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or
11.4?* I've seen some passing comments on irc about this and some
mention in this list-serve, but nothing comprehensive.* Some specific
considerations include:



LTSP 5/Fat Client ease of use/setup



Compatibility with SmartBoard



Effectiveness of Video Codecs



LDAP integration



User management (like, users and groups)



Permissions management (like, Sabayon)



Internet Proxy/Site white/black-listing



Client management (like sch-scripts or iTALC)



Jonathan--wouldn't a comparison table like they do on wikipedia, be
useful for something like this?* It would look nice on edubuntu.org
* Actually, what I'll do is take notes from this discussion and put
it on a public
googledoc since, with its wysiwyg editing it's easy to make and
share.



David




--
Regards,
Jeff Donaldson
Data Services Manager
Newark Charter School
(302) 369-2001 ext:425
jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us



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Old 07-22-2011, 10:38 PM
David Groos
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Hi Jeff -- I'm just getting back to school technology, hope these thoughts will still be useful to you.

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Donaldson Jeffrey <jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us> wrote:









David,



I'm the Technology Manager for a Charter School in Delaware. We've been
using a Thin Client environment successfully for a number of years now,
but I've only been in this position for a little less than a year. My
knowledge of Linux and LTSP is growing with each day. Currently we're
running 9.10 and plan to upgrade over the summer to 11.04.*I had a very successful 10.04 install for 2010-11.** My inclination is to go for the best/newest BUT I've always got more on my plate than I can politely eat so I considered NOT upgrading to Natty and staying with Lucid, that Lucid was good enough.* However, I wanted a second opinion, from someone who had a much broader understanding of the variables involved (though of course doesn't know the specifics of my needs) and asked alkisg what he was going to do in 'his' classrooms next year.* Here's a copy of our short irc dialog, but the short answer is that in his situation, he's going to stay with Lucid.* I found no compelling reason to upgrade my server to Natty--don't need to make a fresh install this summer!




I hate to
bother you, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for software
and Repositories. Or any useful tips you may have learned along the
way. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate any advice
you're willing to give.
A few random thoughts:
The chroots are often 32 bit arch even though they are stored and served from a 64 bit server.* They need to be since the chroot is what runs on the (almost invariably) 32 bit clients.

When I develop the server, I do so over the summer, giving me plenty of time to iron out all the issues and make it as good as I can get it.* I've learned the hard way though, set it up from the start in the network envirnoment in which it will be used.* Every time I set it up at home I spend a lot of time troubleshooting basic config file stuff once I move the server back to school.* There always seem to be config files I forget about...

I first install edubuntu via DVD on the summer, getting LTSP working to a basic level.
Then with clonezilla live I make a disk image of the server on an external HD.* This is my insurance!I then set up localapps for firefox and cmaptools.* Then another clone of the server...
I then do the nat forwarding so that Firefox on the clients can get out, through the server, to the internet.

And back and forth, save, advance, save...I make sure that video is working great on the clients as well as it can (adding various codecs) this is not trivial.I add on the Greek, "shell-scripts" AKA 'sch-scripts'.* These help with controlling classroom computers from the teacher computer.* You'll need a bit o' help from alkisg for this stage.* For the first 2 years I tried to use iTALC for some of these functions but I just couldn't get it to work like I needed it to work.


When I first started with thin clients, I had a good (though old) 3com switch and a cheap switch.* The 3com worked with thin clients right off the bat.* I couldn't get the clients to boot with the cheap switch and finally a guy who knew lots about switches made a few configuration changes on it and it has worked for thin clients since that time.

I have my students use web tutorials I've made (How do you use a microscope?) as well as java applets for simulations and flash applets as well.* These didn't work well on my thin clients the first year.* The next year I upgraded (from hardy to jaunty) to using firefox and a java app (cmaptools) as localapps.* I've had excellent result with them.* My clients are Pentium 4's, 1.8-->2.8 GHz machines with 512 MB of RAM.* This summer I'll be upgrading to fat clients.

the ubuntu app, 'System Monitor' uses up too much cpu to run continually.* When keeping an eye on server functioning I usually use the colorful terminal app, "htop" (sudo apt-get install htop).
NX has proved great for me so that I can access the server, at near-local speeds even over the internet.* I've had some issues getting it working, but once it works it's all worth it.*
I add a script by Andy Figueroa that, when run, kills all processes of users who are logged out.* Supposedly WatchDog does that but seems like it misses a lot.
By editing the firefox prefs somewhere I can save class time for homepages, network proxy settings and more.* These files change locations/names between firefox versions.Use the irc room: #ltsp when you need immediate help--often will reply quickly.

Hope there has been at least 1 point that will help you here,
May you have many years of successful Edubuntuing

David
*




If anyone else on the list would be willing to share their experiences
as well, I'd be very grateful. Some things of particular interest are:



Global Firefox caching to local /tmp instead of user's home directories

SmartBoard setup

Installed Moonlight, but can't get Microsoft Media Pack codecs to
install (repo issue?)

Getting CUPS to work with local apps (i.e. printing from local firefox,
is it possible?)

Unity or Gnome UI in 11.04?

Suggestions for VESA mounted thin clients

DRBLClonezilla server setup on dual NIC

Software suggestions



I know that's a lot, but I welcome and appreciate any advice!



Thanks in advance,

Jeff Donaldson





David Groos wrote:
Hi Edubuntistas,



School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of
break, then will be back to preparing the technology for the next
school year.* I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps.* Next
year I want to move to Fat Clients.* I'm guessing I'm not alone in
this.* My BIG QUESTION is, which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or
11.4?* I've seen some passing comments on irc about this and some
mention in this list-serve, but nothing comprehensive.* Some specific
considerations include:



LTSP 5/Fat Client ease of use/setup



Compatibility with SmartBoard



Effectiveness of Video Codecs



LDAP integration



User management (like, users and groups)



Permissions management (like, Sabayon)



Internet Proxy/Site white/black-listing



Client management (like sch-scripts or iTALC)



Jonathan--wouldn't a comparison table like they do on wikipedia, be
useful for something like this?* It would look nice on edubuntu.org
* Actually, what I'll do is take notes from this discussion and put
it on a public
googledoc since, with its wysiwyg editing it's easy to make and
share.



David




--
Regards,
Jeff Donaldson
Data Services Manager
Newark Charter School
(302) 369-2001 ext:425
jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us





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Old 07-22-2011, 10:38 PM
David Groos
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Hi Jeff -- I'm just getting back to school technology, hope these thoughts will still be useful to you.

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Donaldson Jeffrey <jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us> wrote:









David,



I'm the Technology Manager for a Charter School in Delaware. We've been
using a Thin Client environment successfully for a number of years now,
but I've only been in this position for a little less than a year. My
knowledge of Linux and LTSP is growing with each day. Currently we're
running 9.10 and plan to upgrade over the summer to 11.04.*I had a very successful 10.04 install for 2010-11.** My inclination is to go for the best/newest BUT I've always got more on my plate than I can politely eat so I considered NOT upgrading to Natty and staying with Lucid, that Lucid was good enough.* However, I wanted a second opinion, from someone who had a much broader understanding of the variables involved (though of course doesn't know the specifics of my needs) and asked alkisg what he was going to do in 'his' classrooms next year.* Here's a copy of our short irc dialog, but the short answer is that in his situation, he's going to stay with Lucid.* I found no compelling reason to upgrade my server to Natty--don't need to make a fresh install this summer!




I hate to
bother you, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for software
and Repositories. Or any useful tips you may have learned along the
way. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate any advice
you're willing to give.
A few random thoughts:
The chroots are often 32 bit arch even though they are stored and served from a 64 bit server.* They need to be since the chroot is what runs on the (almost invariably) 32 bit clients.

When I develop the server, I do so over the summer, giving me plenty of time to iron out all the issues and make it as good as I can get it.* I've learned the hard way though, set it up from the start in the network envirnoment in which it will be used.* Every time I set it up at home I spend a lot of time troubleshooting basic config file stuff once I move the server back to school.* There always seem to be config files I forget about...

I first install edubuntu via DVD on the summer, getting LTSP working to a basic level.
Then with clonezilla live I make a disk image of the server on an external HD.* This is my insurance!I then set up localapps for firefox and cmaptools.* Then another clone of the server...
I then do the nat forwarding so that Firefox on the clients can get out, through the server, to the internet.

And back and forth, save, advance, save...I make sure that video is working great on the clients as well as it can (adding various codecs) this is not trivial.I add on the Greek, "shell-scripts" AKA 'sch-scripts'.* These help with controlling classroom computers from the teacher computer.* You'll need a bit o' help from alkisg for this stage.* For the first 2 years I tried to use iTALC for some of these functions but I just couldn't get it to work like I needed it to work.


When I first started with thin clients, I had a good (though old) 3com switch and a cheap switch.* The 3com worked with thin clients right off the bat.* I couldn't get the clients to boot with the cheap switch and finally a guy who knew lots about switches made a few configuration changes on it and it has worked for thin clients since that time.

I have my students use web tutorials I've made (How do you use a microscope?) as well as java applets for simulations and flash applets as well.* These didn't work well on my thin clients the first year.* The next year I upgraded (from hardy to jaunty) to using firefox and a java app (cmaptools) as localapps.* I've had excellent result with them.* My clients are Pentium 4's, 1.8-->2.8 GHz machines with 512 MB of RAM.* This summer I'll be upgrading to fat clients.

the ubuntu app, 'System Monitor' uses up too much cpu to run continually.* When keeping an eye on server functioning I usually use the colorful terminal app, "htop" (sudo apt-get install htop).
NX has proved great for me so that I can access the server, at near-local speeds even over the internet.* I've had some issues getting it working, but once it works it's all worth it.*
I add a script by Andy Figueroa that, when run, kills all processes of users who are logged out.* Supposedly WatchDog does that but seems like it misses a lot.
By editing the firefox prefs somewhere I can save class time for homepages, network proxy settings and more.* These files change locations/names between firefox versions.Use the irc room: #ltsp when you need immediate help--often will reply quickly.

Hope there has been at least 1 point that will help you here,
May you have many years of successful Edubuntuing

David
*




If anyone else on the list would be willing to share their experiences
as well, I'd be very grateful. Some things of particular interest are:



Global Firefox caching to local /tmp instead of user's home directories

SmartBoard setup

Installed Moonlight, but can't get Microsoft Media Pack codecs to
install (repo issue?)

Getting CUPS to work with local apps (i.e. printing from local firefox,
is it possible?)

Unity or Gnome UI in 11.04?

Suggestions for VESA mounted thin clients

DRBLClonezilla server setup on dual NIC

Software suggestions



I know that's a lot, but I welcome and appreciate any advice!



Thanks in advance,

Jeff Donaldson





David Groos wrote:
Hi Edubuntistas,



School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of
break, then will be back to preparing the technology for the next
school year.* I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps.* Next
year I want to move to Fat Clients.* I'm guessing I'm not alone in
this.* My BIG QUESTION is, which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or
11.4?* I've seen some passing comments on irc about this and some
mention in this list-serve, but nothing comprehensive.* Some specific
considerations include:



LTSP 5/Fat Client ease of use/setup



Compatibility with SmartBoard



Effectiveness of Video Codecs



LDAP integration



User management (like, users and groups)



Permissions management (like, Sabayon)



Internet Proxy/Site white/black-listing



Client management (like sch-scripts or iTALC)



Jonathan--wouldn't a comparison table like they do on wikipedia, be
useful for something like this?* It would look nice on edubuntu.org
* Actually, what I'll do is take notes from this discussion and put
it on a public
googledoc since, with its wysiwyg editing it's easy to make and
share.



David




--
Regards,
Jeff Donaldson
Data Services Manager
Newark Charter School
(302) 369-2001 ext:425
jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us





--
edubuntu-users mailing list
edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:38 PM
David Groos
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

Hi Jeff -- I'm just getting back to school technology, hope these thoughts will still be useful to you.

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Donaldson Jeffrey <jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us> wrote:









David,



I'm the Technology Manager for a Charter School in Delaware. We've been
using a Thin Client environment successfully for a number of years now,
but I've only been in this position for a little less than a year. My
knowledge of Linux and LTSP is growing with each day. Currently we're
running 9.10 and plan to upgrade over the summer to 11.04.*I had a very successful 10.04 install for 2010-11.** My inclination is to go for the best/newest BUT I've always got more on my plate than I can politely eat so I considered NOT upgrading to Natty and staying with Lucid, that Lucid was good enough.* However, I wanted a second opinion, from someone who had a much broader understanding of the variables involved (though of course doesn't know the specifics of my needs) and asked alkisg what he was going to do in 'his' classrooms next year.* Here's a copy of our short irc dialog, but the short answer is that in his situation, he's going to stay with Lucid.* I found no compelling reason to upgrade my server to Natty--don't need to make a fresh install this summer!




I hate to
bother you, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for software
and Repositories. Or any useful tips you may have learned along the
way. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate any advice
you're willing to give.
A few random thoughts:
The chroots are often 32 bit arch even though they are stored and served from a 64 bit server.* They need to be since the chroot is what runs on the (almost invariably) 32 bit clients.

When I develop the server, I do so over the summer, giving me plenty of time to iron out all the issues and make it as good as I can get it.* I've learned the hard way though, set it up from the start in the network envirnoment in which it will be used.* Every time I set it up at home I spend a lot of time troubleshooting basic config file stuff once I move the server back to school.* There always seem to be config files I forget about...

I first install edubuntu via DVD on the summer, getting LTSP working to a basic level.
Then with clonezilla live I make a disk image of the server on an external HD.* This is my insurance!I then set up localapps for firefox and cmaptools.* Then another clone of the server...
I then do the nat forwarding so that Firefox on the clients can get out, through the server, to the internet.

And back and forth, save, advance, save...I make sure that video is working great on the clients as well as it can (adding various codecs) this is not trivial.I add on the Greek, "shell-scripts" AKA 'sch-scripts'.* These help with controlling classroom computers from the teacher computer.* You'll need a bit o' help from alkisg for this stage.* For the first 2 years I tried to use iTALC for some of these functions but I just couldn't get it to work like I needed it to work.


When I first started with thin clients, I had a good (though old) 3com switch and a cheap switch.* The 3com worked with thin clients right off the bat.* I couldn't get the clients to boot with the cheap switch and finally a guy who knew lots about switches made a few configuration changes on it and it has worked for thin clients since that time.

I have my students use web tutorials I've made (How do you use a microscope?) as well as java applets for simulations and flash applets as well.* These didn't work well on my thin clients the first year.* The next year I upgraded (from hardy to jaunty) to using firefox and a java app (cmaptools) as localapps.* I've had excellent result with them.* My clients are Pentium 4's, 1.8-->2.8 GHz machines with 512 MB of RAM.* This summer I'll be upgrading to fat clients.

the ubuntu app, 'System Monitor' uses up too much cpu to run continually.* When keeping an eye on server functioning I usually use the colorful terminal app, "htop" (sudo apt-get install htop).
NX has proved great for me so that I can access the server, at near-local speeds even over the internet.* I've had some issues getting it working, but once it works it's all worth it.*
I add a script by Andy Figueroa that, when run, kills all processes of users who are logged out.* Supposedly WatchDog does that but seems like it misses a lot.
By editing the firefox prefs somewhere I can save class time for homepages, network proxy settings and more.* These files change locations/names between firefox versions.Use the irc room: #ltsp when you need immediate help--often will reply quickly.

Hope there has been at least 1 point that will help you here,
May you have many years of successful Edubuntuing

David
*




If anyone else on the list would be willing to share their experiences
as well, I'd be very grateful. Some things of particular interest are:



Global Firefox caching to local /tmp instead of user's home directories

SmartBoard setup

Installed Moonlight, but can't get Microsoft Media Pack codecs to
install (repo issue?)

Getting CUPS to work with local apps (i.e. printing from local firefox,
is it possible?)

Unity or Gnome UI in 11.04?

Suggestions for VESA mounted thin clients

DRBLClonezilla server setup on dual NIC

Software suggestions



I know that's a lot, but I welcome and appreciate any advice!



Thanks in advance,

Jeff Donaldson





David Groos wrote:
Hi Edubuntistas,



School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of
break, then will be back to preparing the technology for the next
school year.* I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps.* Next
year I want to move to Fat Clients.* I'm guessing I'm not alone in
this.* My BIG QUESTION is, which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or
11.4?* I've seen some passing comments on irc about this and some
mention in this list-serve, but nothing comprehensive.* Some specific
considerations include:



LTSP 5/Fat Client ease of use/setup



Compatibility with SmartBoard



Effectiveness of Video Codecs



LDAP integration



User management (like, users and groups)



Permissions management (like, Sabayon)



Internet Proxy/Site white/black-listing



Client management (like sch-scripts or iTALC)



Jonathan--wouldn't a comparison table like they do on wikipedia, be
useful for something like this?* It would look nice on edubuntu.org
* Actually, what I'll do is take notes from this discussion and put
it on a public
googledoc since, with its wysiwyg editing it's easy to make and
share.



David




--
Regards,
Jeff Donaldson
Data Services Manager
Newark Charter School
(302) 369-2001 ext:425
jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us





--
edubuntu-devel mailing list
edubuntu-devel@lists.ubuntu.com
Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-devel
 
Old 07-23-2011, 04:24 AM
Bob Saltzer
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

I'd go with Mint 11.* Stay away from the Unity desktop.* It inhales air in such volumes it creates a vacuum.* With minimal tweakingMint will run videos on the internet well plus DVD's, as it's easy to install the additional codecs.

Regards,
Bob AtkinsonTucsonFrom: David Groos <djgroos@gmail.com>
To: Donaldson Jeffrey
<jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us>
Cc: edubuntu-devel@lists.ubuntu.com; ubuntu-education <ubuntu-education@lists.ubuntu.com>; Edubuntu Users Group <edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com>
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2011 3:38 PM
Subject: Re: Planning for summer work/next school year

Hi Jeff -- I'm just getting back to school technology, hope these thoughts will still be useful to you.

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Donaldson Jeffrey <jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us> wrote:









David,



I'm the Technology Manager for a Charter School in Delaware. We've been
using a Thin Client environment successfully for a number of years now,
but I've only been in this position for a little less than a year. My
knowledge of Linux and LTSP is growing with each day. Currently we're
running 9.10 and plan to upgrade over the summer to 11.04.*I had a very successful 10.04 install for 2010-11.** My inclination is to go for the best/newest BUT I've always got more on my plate than I can politely eat so I considered NOT upgrading to Natty and staying with Lucid, that Lucid was good enough.* However, I wanted a second opinion, from someone who had a much broader understanding of the variables involved (though of course doesn't know the specifics of my needs) and asked alkisg what he was going to do in 'his' classrooms next year.* Here's a copy of our short irc dialog, but the short answer is that in his situation, he's going to stay with Lucid.* I found no compelling reason to upgrade my server to Natty--don't need to make a fresh install this summer!




I hate to
bother you, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for software
and Repositories. Or any useful tips you may have learned along the
way. I could use all the help I can get and appreciate any advice
you're willing to give.
A few random thoughts:
The chroots are often 32 bit arch even though they are stored and served from a 64 bit server.* They need to be since the chroot is what runs on the (almost invariably) 32 bit clients.

When I develop the server, I do so over the summer, giving me plenty of time to iron out all the issues and make it as good as I can get it.* I've learned the hard way though, set it up from the start in the network envirnoment in which it will be used.* Every time I set it up at home I spend a lot of time troubleshooting basic config file stuff once I move the server back to school.* There always seem to be config files I forget about...

I first install edubuntu via DVD on the summer, getting LTSP working to a basic level.
Then with clonezilla live I make a disk image of the server on an external HD.* This is my insurance!I then set up localapps for firefox and cmaptools.* Then another clone of the server...
I then do the nat forwarding so that Firefox on the clients can get out, through the server, to the internet.

And back and forth, save, advance, save...I make sure that video is working great on the clients as well as it can (adding various codecs) this is not trivial.I add on the Greek, "shell-scripts" AKA 'sch-scripts'.* These help with controlling classroom computers from the teacher computer.* You'll need a bit o' help from alkisg for this stage.* For the first 2 years I tried to use iTALC for some of these functions but I just couldn't get it to work like I needed it to work.


When I first started with thin clients, I had a good (though old) 3com switch and a cheap switch.* The 3com worked with thin clients right off the bat.* I couldn't get the clients to boot with the cheap switch and finally a guy who knew lots about switches made a few configuration changes on it and it has worked for thin clients since that time.

I have my students use web tutorials I've made (How do you use a microscope?) as well as java applets for simulations and flash applets as well.* These didn't work well on my thin clients the first year.* The next year I upgraded (from hardy to jaunty) to using firefox and a java app (cmaptools) as localapps.* I've had excellent result with them.* My clients are Pentium 4's, 1.8-->2.8 GHz machines with 512 MB of RAM.* This summer I'll be upgrading to fat clients.

the ubuntu app, 'System Monitor' uses up too much cpu to run continually.* When keeping an eye on server functioning I usually use the colorful terminal app, "htop" (sudo apt-get install htop).
NX has proved great for me so that I can access the server, at near-local speeds even over the internet.* I've had some issues getting it working, but once it works it's all worth it.*
I add a script by Andy Figueroa that, when run, kills all processes of users who are logged out.* Supposedly WatchDog does that but seems like it misses a lot.
By editing the firefox prefs somewhere I can save class time for homepages, network proxy settings and more.* These files change locations/names between firefox versions.Use the irc room: #ltsp when you need immediate help--often will reply quickly.

Hope there has been at least 1 point that will help you here,
May you have many years of successful Edubuntuing

David
*




If anyone else on the list would be willing to share their experiences
as well, I'd be very grateful. Some things of particular interest are:



Global Firefox caching to local /tmp instead of user's home directories

SmartBoard setup

Installed Moonlight, but can't get Microsoft Media Pack codecs to
install (repo issue?)

Getting CUPS to work with local apps (i.e. printing from local firefox,
is it possible?)

Unity or Gnome UI in 11.04?

Suggestions for VESA mounted thin clients

DRBLClonezilla server setup on dual NIC

Software suggestions



I know that's a lot, but I welcome and appreciate any advice!



Thanks in advance,

Jeff Donaldson





David Groos wrote:
Hi Edubuntistas,



School year here in Minnesota is winding down, I'll take a bit of
break, then will be back to preparing the technology for the next
school year.* I've had great success with 10.04 with localapps.* Next
year I want to move to Fat Clients.* I'm guessing I'm not alone in
this.* My BIG QUESTION is, which Edubuntu should I use: 10.04, 10.10 or
11.4?* I've seen some passing comments on irc about this and some
mention in this list-serve, but nothing comprehensive.* Some specific
considerations include:



LTSP 5/Fat Client ease of use/setup



Compatibility with SmartBoard



Effectiveness of Video Codecs



LDAP integration



User management (like, users and groups)



Permissions management (like, Sabayon)



Internet Proxy/Site white/black-listing



Client management (like sch-scripts or iTALC)



Jonathan--wouldn't a comparison table like they do on wikipedia, be
useful for something like this?* It would look nice on edubuntu.org
* Actually, what I'll do is take notes from this discussion and put
it on a public
googledoc since, with its wysiwyg editing it's easy to make and
share.



David




--
Regards,
Jeff Donaldson
Data Services Manager
Newark Charter School
(302) 369-2001 ext:425
jdonaldson@ncs.k12.de.us






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Old 07-24-2011, 12:20 AM
"G. T. Stresen-Reuter"
 
Default Planning for summer work/next school year

This document is incredibly useful. Thank you so much for sharing. I think it underlines just how difficult implementing this technology can be - people often think it is as easy as installing from a CD... And you didn't go into any detail on user or group management...

And a final question for the group: can the server be managed using "puppet"? Any experiences using puppet to manage an LTSP server?

http://projects.puppetlabs.com/projects/puppet

Thanks again for the excellent insight into what is required (and your approach - e.g. setting up at home and recreating in actual lab).

Sincerely,

Ted Stresen-Reuter
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