[K12OSN] one more time

Petre Scheie petre at maltzen.net
Mon Feb 28 19:34:20 UTC 2005

Do you want to just provide those apps--Gimp, StarOffice, etc.--to the 
Windows clients, but from a central server so you don't have to install 
them on each individual Windows client machine?  Or do you also want to 
setup linux thin clients?  These are not mutually exclusive, but they're 
different problems/projects (both of which should be fun).

Re-reading your message, it sounds like the former is your first 
priority.  To run Linux X-based apps on Windows clients you'll need to

1. Get the linux server to use the Windows AD for authentication when a 
client connects.  Have a look at David Trask's  smbldap installer 
script.  There has been much discussion of it in the past few weeks.  I 
think it's geared more for OpenLDAP than AD but I don't think that 
should be a show stopper.

2a. Install an X server on the Windows boxes.  The X-LiveCD allows you 
to run the CygWin X server from a CD, and it also has an option to 
install the X server on the Windows machine (the installer has a few 
bugs regarding the icons and menu choices it's supposed to add, but the 
actual X server installs without problems).  If you're trying to get to 
the point of users just clicking on an icon and having it automatically 
connect to the Linux app server and loading the Gimp, say, you'll have 
to setup encryption keys with SSH & putty, and use those to 
automatically launch the apps.  I haven't done this, but it's an 
interesting problem; but it may require more effort than step 2b below.


2b. Install VNC client on each Windows client, and have the users launch 
that to connect to the Linux app server.  This route doesn't provide the 
click-on-icon-and-app-magically-appears aspect that may be possible with 
2a, but it would be easier to setup.  However, make sure your Linux box 
is big--that is, LOTS of memory, fast CPUs--because now it will have to 
support a whole desktop environment for each user rather than just an 
application or two.

Anyone have any alternative suggestions?


Sharon Betts wrote:
> Hi Petre,
> 	I am grateful for all your thoughts and help.  I have answered your
> questions below.  
> In short -- I want to add a linux applicaiton server to an existing
> windows network to serve GIMP, SCRIBUS, STAR OFFICE etc.
>>It sounds like you have several projects rolled into one here. ;-)
>>1. Get LTSP server to use Windows server for authentication.
>>2. Get LTSP server to mount users' homedirs that live on Windows server.
>>3. Get LTSP server to print to same printers as Windows server.
>>4. Get rdesktop working on LTSP server so users can access apps on Win 
>>5. Allow Windows clients to run apps from LTSP server (?).
>  Sure
>>I wasn't sure if #5 was something you had in mind or not.  
>   Yes, to minimize the winders TS cals needed.
>>As to the 
>>first four items, they're listed in order of decreasing difficulty, but 
>>probably in the order you need to get things working in order to pull 
>>this transition off.  And I may be incorrect about #1; are you running 
>>Active Directory on the Windows server?  
> Yes, running Active Directory.  
>>Or are the Windows clients just 
>>using local authentication (info which is then passed to the Windows 
>>server when a user connects to his/her home directory on the Windows 
>>server)?  The users care about #2, getting to their files.  You care 
>>about #1 because it may affect how you handle #2.  Others may have 
>>tackled automatically mounting Windows shares on the LTSP server 
>>(anyone?), but I haven't.
>>With #3, are the printers all connected directly to the network (they 
>>each have their own ethernet jack) or are they connected to a computer 
>>which is then connected to the network? 
> Both.        
>>In either case, defining the 
>>printers on the LTSP server is fairly easy and can be done via cups or 
>>webmin.  I would avoid using the print queues on the Windows server as 
>>it's unnecessary and just makes the LTSP server dependent on the Windows 
>>#4 is just a matter of installing rdesktop on the LTSP server.  Seems to 
>>me someone on the list once described setting up icons for users that 
>>called rdesktop and specific apps on the Windows server.
>>So, if you can clarify #1--that is, do you want the Windows server, 
>>where you presumably have all the user IDs and PWs stored, to handle the 
>>user authentication for the LTSP server so that you only have to 
>>maintain one user store, and is the Windows server running AD--then we 
>>can try to figure out what you need to do there, which should then 
>>dovetail into #2.  HTH.
> Yes to both of these.  We are running Windows DHCP.  
> Sharon 
> MSAD#71 Director of Educational Technology
> sbetts at msad71.net          http://www.msad71.net     207-985-1100
> "To err is human - and to blame it on a computer is even more so."    
> Robert Orben
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