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Re:[K12OSN] multiple LTSP servers same network:

I have done this with NIS and exporting /home to the
LTSP servers via NFS. It is faily simple to do. If you
need help, you can email me directly or we can post
back and forth to the listserve. Be aware that NIS has
security issues. If you don't have strong needs around
security, I would do NIS it is simple and
straightforward. If you have strong security needs,
then investigate LDAP. Be aware LDAP is tricky. You
could also do Samba authentication.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Message: 3
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2004 22:39:19 -0800
From: Dennis Daniels <ddaniels magic fr>
Subject: [K12OSN] multiple LTSP servers same network:
tips/ tricks/
To: "Support list for opensource software in schools."
	<k12osn redhat com>
Message-ID: <41AEB897 3090200 magic fr>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii;

Greetings all from a harried teacher a.k.a. sys.

I'm at wits end here. I've got my home directories on
a second drive.	I 
need all requests for home dir to go through the main
LTSP server which 
is where the second hard-drive is mounted with all of
the user 
directories. I've read the wiki, which is painfully
shallow on setting 
up multiple LTSP servers on the same network,


and it is rarely updated and has only rare bits on
real-world setups.  
need to add a second server to relieve some of the
load on the main 
server. I searched for sharing load on the wiki and it
came up with no 


I have no cash. I can't buy more RAM. I put the
network together on 
donations of computers and the generous help of a
helpful LUG member.

I need to add a second server without losing home dir.
access. I'm 
thinking some kind of authentication either NIS or
LDAP but, after 
having copied the home dir to a second HD my students
__are__ able to 
log in. Their folders/ files etc. are gone, they
__can__ log in, but 
of their previously created documents/prefs/ history
files are missing 
so naturally I'm more than worried that adding a
second server reffing 
the /home dir on the second drive on the primary ltsp
server is going 
really mess things up. I've got a number of scripts
that are working on 
students' files now so I'm loathe to mess around yet
further with home 
dir. paths.

I want the main server.ltsp.one on dhcp response on
server.ltsp.two dhcp response on 121-130 but the
authentication of 
having the /home dirs is causing me no end of anguish.
Accessing the 
home directories via NFS failed flatout. NFS would not
play nice on 
k12ltsp 4.1/FC2 even for a seasoned linux buddy of

Make no mistake, I love what I've got working now.
But, the network is 
slow and my student's protests are growing louder for
paper and pen. I 
need a cheap 'dummy' solution for my problems here;
I'm not a computer 
science major. I'm only a dedicated teacher trying to
put the 21st 
century in front of my students but I feel like the
21st century is 
going to beat us because it is __too__ difficult and
__too__ complex 
the ordinary mortal to set up a network that requires
more than one 
moderately priced LTSP server to support the user

We only use firefox and gedit. OpenOffice users are
booted off 
immediately. Tuxtype is the same.  Anything more than
the most basic 
webbrowsing and text editing is immediately
questioned. Application cop 
is not the role I want to play as an English teacher
in an LTSP enabled 

There has got to be an easy way to add more server
power to an existing 
network without digging deep into moth riddled

I am a poor teacher, not a rich school district. Is
there anything in 
the works (next version of LTSP?) that makes it
__easier__ to add a 
second, even third server, to existing networks
without increasing user 
authentication problems/home directory issues? I ask
because I know 
  Mandrake will ask you where the home dir will be
located...and having 
read that Skolelinux has an authentication/multiple
already built in(?).

Is there anything in the LTSP that will ask how many
servers the admin 
wants to set up to support the LTSP network? I use
webmin but there 
isn't thing nice in there that says, "Ah, your using
LTSP... I see 
another LTSP server offering DHCP. Would you like to
have the second 
server reference your existing home directories?"

I've got a dual xeon 2.4ghz, two gigs of RAM.
ltsp.server.one I've got 
second dual PIII ltsp.server.two with two gigs of RAM
as well. I can't 
shell out more cash. The school district Computer
Informatin Services 
head guy wouldn't mind seeing my 'little experiment'
fail so that he 
push through his Citrix/Microsoft client solution.  My
LTSP proof of 
concept is on the edge of failing. I'm not a
trained/certificated sys 
admin. I'm an English teacher. And I find myself
asking more and more, 
"Is K12LTSP only for small boutique/wealthy
classes/teachers if you're 
not a full-fledged and trained sys-admin or have deep

I need to squeeze more performance out of my single
server(now) 35+ 
network before parents/ stakeholders step in and say,
"Enough, you 

Is there anyone in the Los Angeles region who has a
multiple LTSP 
servers on the same network running? Can I come and
see how you've got 
your network setup? I'm nearing desperation here.

Maybe a competition describing the most performance
out of the cheapest 
setups of LTSP? Anything! I can't get any interest in
LTSP out of other 
teachers or the administrators when they see/hear how
much trouble I'm 
having. I'm not stupid but there are some critical
pieces missing in 
documentation and narratives on how to get more out of
LTSP network on 
real classroom size of 35 plus students without
spending thousands of 
dollars on new servers and clients.
Could someone please do a write up on how they set up
multiple LTSP 
servers on the same network to share the load? Please
include more 
details on how you set up the central home directories
and the 
authentication of the user logins.

Many many thanks to all of those who have made the
LTSP applications as 
powerful as it is now! I beg of you to make it easier
to add tools to 
make it easier for the dummies, like me, who see the
future in 
in the classroom, but don't have the same years of
experience! Please! 
want to be able to say that K12LTSP is ready for prime
time in the 

many heart-felt thanks!

Dennis Daniels

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