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Old 05-17-2008, 06:06 AM
"Butch Arias"
 
Default Maximum Addressable RAM

Dear Ubuntu Techies and* Users,

Our school has been on Edubuntu for three years now and we have been happy with it. Last year we used as server an Intel Core-2 Duo with 4 GB RAM.

This coming school year I plan to add more thin clients, from an existing 16 we plan to add about 24 more. The thin clients we will be using this time are old IBM Celeron 766 32 MB RAM we got from a second-hand computer shop. But if we will add more thin clients then we would need more than 4 GB RAM (RAM - 512 MB Server, 128MB per thin client). In this case I believe we need to use the 64-bit version the fact that the i386 could address only up to 4 GB RAM.


Questions:
* (1) Will the 64-bit version work with Intel Core-2 Duo?
* (2) If it will work (or I will use an AMD 64) would there be NO problem if the thin clients are 32-bit?
* (3) I tested a unit (32 MB RAM) and it worked with Edubuntu 7.10. Is 32 MB enough or I need* 64 MB for 8.04?

* (3) In case the setup for 64bit Server and 32-bit client will NOT work:
***** (3a)** Will it be possible to divide the thin clients (to divide the CPU load) across two servers (4 GB RAM each) but still share a common disk system?

***** (3b)** Will it be better to have two separate network servers and use just enough thin clients until the server runs out of RAM required for the clients? How may users access their files in case they logged in the other "network?"


Thank you very much in advance. Your previous help have been very useful indeed.

Butch Arias
Saint Philomena School
Lucena City, Philippines

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Old 05-17-2008, 07:41 AM
Oliver Grawert
 
Default Maximum Addressable RAM

hi,
Am Samstag, den 17.05.2008, 14:06 +0800 schrieb Butch Arias:
> But if we will add more thin clients then we would need more than 4 GB
> RAM (RAM - 512 MB Server, 128MB per thin client). In this case I
> believe we need to use the 64-bit version the fact that the i386 could
> address only up to 4 GB RAM.
the -server kernel flavour adresses up to 64G even on i386

ciao
oli
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:26 AM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Maximum Addressable RAM

Hi,

On Sat, 17 May 2008, Butch Arias wrote:

> (1) Will the 64-bit version work with Intel Core-2 Duo?

It should do, yes. Though certain (usually proprietary) software won't
work on 64-bit. The most obvious example is there is no 64-bit Adobe Flash
plugin so if you want eg. youtube, 32-bit might be a better choice. As
Oliver said, the -server kernel will let you use > 4GB ram on 32-bit.

> (2) If it will work (or I will use an AMD 64) would there be NO problem if
> the thin clients are 32-bit?

That should be fine. The clients can run a 32-bit environment with the
server on 64-bit -- some setup is required, but it's pretty doable.

> (3) I tested a unit (32 MB RAM) and it worked with Edubuntu 7.10. Is 32 MB
> enough or I need 64 MB for 8.04?

A thin client with 32MB RAM? That seems a bit short of RAM, but if it
worked on 7.10 I guess it probably should on 8.04.

> (3) In case the setup for 64bit Server and 32-bit client will NOT work:
> (3a) Will it be possible to divide the thin clients (to divide the
> CPU load) across two servers (4 GB RAM each) but still share a common disk
> system?

Yes. You can put all home directories on a single server and have one or
all of your thin client servers mount them over NFS. You would then need
to setup a central user system (eg LDAP, NIS) so that the usernames,
userids and passwords were common to all systems. This is a bit of a
hurdle.

Some people have divided clients up simply by running a DHCP server on each
server and letting the thin clients boot whichever responds first (the
theory is that a busy server responds slower, so this load balances to some
degree).

> (3b) Will it be better to have two separate network servers and use
> just enough thin clients until the server runs out of RAM required for the
> clients? How may users access their files in case they logged in the other
> "network?"

I don't really understand this question. I'm not sure how much RAM the
average edubuntu user takes at the moment, but I would hope you'd get well
above 16. One big server has advantages in that you don't have to split
the users at all, don't have to manage multiple systems, etc. Several
smaller servers has the advantage that if one dies or is giving problems,
your system can keep going using the other servers while you go and fix the
problem server (which might involve obtaining parts, etc).

Gavin


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Old 05-17-2008, 10:40 AM
Kai Wollweber
 
Default Maximum Addressable RAM

> (3a) Will it be possible to divide the thin clients (to divide the
> CPU load) across two servers (4 GB RAM each) but still share a common disk
> system?

You want to have multiple server setup as documented here:

http://doc.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/edubuntu/handbook/C/multiple-server-setup.html

Clients will get the boot image from one main server which also holds the user
setup and user homes. Cpu load is shared among secondary servers - effective
load balancing is included.

With 64 bit server and 32 bit clients install i386 chroot and image and don't
forget to point to the right image from dhcp. On 64 bit servers only the
amd64 client will be installed as default ltsp installation.

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Integrierte Gesamtschule
Eckernförde

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Old 05-17-2008, 08:43 PM
"David Van Assche"
 
Default Maximum Addressable RAM

** I have been running 64 bit edubuntu for about 8 months, but decided to change to i386 to see if there would be any difference in speed. The result was that things actually work faster and more stable on i386. People had been telling me to forget 64 bit, as almost no applications take advantage of the 64 bit instruction set. I was constantly struggling with different setups and configurations, or having to run applications in a 32 bit chroot... After going through the experience, i would really recommend to forget about 64 bit for the time being as it brings no advantages, just headaches. I would even suggest that the devs take the 64 bit option out alltogether until things get better, but I guess one still needs to test that environment :-)* I have 8 gigs of ram in my server and this works perfectly with the -server kernel...


Kind Regards,
David

On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 12:40 PM, Kai Wollweber <wollw@ki.tng.de> wrote:

> (3a) * Will it be possible to divide the thin clients (to divide the

> CPU load) across two servers (4 GB RAM each) but still share a common disk

> system?



You want to have multiple server setup as documented here:



http://doc.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/edubuntu/handbook/C/multiple-server-setup.html



Clients will get the boot image from one main server which also holds the user

setup and user homes. Cpu load is shared among secondary servers - effective

load balancing is included.



With 64 bit server and 32 bit clients install i386 chroot and image and don't

forget to point to the right image from dhcp. On 64 bit servers only the

amd64 client will be installed as default ltsp installation.



--

Kai Wollweber

Integrierte Gesamtschule

Eckernförde



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Old 05-18-2008, 05:45 AM
"Butch Arias"
 
Default Maximum Addressable RAM

Thanks for the very helpful replies.

By the way, the client was 64MB and not 32 MB. Mea culpa.

Regards,
Butch Arias

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