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RE: [K12OSN] K12LTSP on Macs


> I hope I am not rehashing old ground, but I was wondering if it was
> possible to get old powermacs to boot on to a K12LTSP.

You are, but its OK, we rehash some stuff quite a bit :)

> we have about 10 old macs lying around gathering dust. I got
> a copy of K12LTSP send over, and I have it set up on a test machine with
> four old pcs acting as terminals - without wanting to sound contrite I was
> blown away at how quick these terminals were working.

I too really like K12LTSP, Eric and crew do a WONDERFUL job with it.  I have now
installed it at 4 sites (3 businesses, 1 classroom in a school), and am looking
at placing it in 2 more sites over the next year.  I have had virtually no
problems with it (at least nothing serious).

> We have a limited IT budget (as we all do) but if I could set the macs up
> as terminals, I would be prepared to put in a decent box which would allow
> for future expansion (I am having visions of a donation drive providing me
> with my next internet lab!!!)

I have one client who has about 15 older Mac terminals and have a dozen newer
IMac's (I started looking at this to put into the school, but ended up finding
some old PC's to use instead).  We created a minimal 7.5.3 image that will boot
the older Mac's from the local HD and then launch MI/X to connect to the LTSP
server for use as an XTerm.  I ripped out everything that I didn't need to run
MI/X over the network, and then use a program called OnGuard to lock down the
drive.  If it takes more than 15 minutets to repair a problem, we just reimage
the drive and go.

For the IMac's (will also work with most newer WorldROM Macs, i.e. any iMac,
iBook, G3s, G4s and the newer E series) we do a network boot from k12LTSP with a
modified version DHCPd.  I am still working with this (read, not ready to pass
it out to the world with my name on it), but it works with OSX 10.2, OS9.1 and
OS7.5.3.  For most of the newer mac's in this office I use essentially the same
boot image I use on the older Mac's hard drives to do a network boot and then
automatically launch MI/X to connect to the LTSP server.  Some of the newer
mac's netboot a full OSX 10.2 image with all of the toys, again from the K12LTSP
server.  These still have the option of using MI/X to the K12LTSP server for
basic apps, but run the more processor / memory intensive applications
(Photoshop, Quark, etc) locally.

At this site the K12LTSP server is a dual PIII 1.8Ghz, 4GB of RAM and 2 180GB
SCSI drives in a RAID-0 array.  We also run a dedicated NT4 print server on a
PII500Mhz, 512MB RAM and 4GB IDE drive, a Win2K terminal server (for the
financial apps), and a backup server (RH7.3 on a PIII 1.1Ghz, 2 180GB SCSI
drives, used to back up the other servers on an hourly basis)

It took quite a bit to get this set up stable, but I have not had to touch it
about 4 months, and it remains very stable.

Anyways, if/since you want to try it yourself the following websites have been
the most useful to me thus far.  Let me know how you do with it.

This page has all of the basic information, and the DHCPd patch:
(down a lot, mirrored at http://frank.watsons.edin.sch.uk/~ali/nb/)

I found this site to be very useful:

Another site with a lot of good details:

These sites were OK:


You will need this:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/netatalk/ (also has a webmin mod)

Steven Santos

Email : Steven StevenSantos com
Web   : www.stevensantos.com
Postal: PO Box 620753
        Newton, Ma. 02462

> Dreams aside - any help will be appreciated
> Chris Gillies

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