[K12OSN] How SHOULD I set up an ALL FC3 LTSP network?

David Trask dtrask at vcs.u52.k12.me.us
Tue May 3 13:26:23 UTC 2005

"Support list for opensource software in schools." <k12osn at redhat.com> on
Monday, May 2, 2005 at 9:50 PM +0000 wrote:
>This is my last attempt at making FC3 work in my
>building before banning it completely and cursing the
>day I switched from a nice, functional RH8 network. 
>Oh how the skies seemed bluer and the grass greener
>back in the day...
>Can someone tell me how to do a "default" install with
>FC3, using the following criteria?
>Please, someone tell me how to set up my K12LTSP
>network using only FC3 on the servers.  I have four
>classrooms (currently, with 2 more planned) to install
>into.  Each classroom will have it's own server.  One
>classroom has a server with SCSI drive - I'd like it
>to be the one that also serves /home out to the other
>servers via NFS.  All the other classroom servers need

Question one.....do you have gigabit on these servers?
>I'd *like* to be conservative with my bandwidth and
>use IceWM (but I've never done without Nautilus
>because of the desktop icons and file manager). 
>Students like to change their desktops, but I probably
>DON'T *need* to have desktop icons.  So, which
>"session" should I allow?  Which window/desktop
>manager should I use? OR, should I opt for ease &
>simplicity and only allow GNOME?  Remember, this is
>being served out to all the other classroom servers,

Use IceWM....you won't lose Nautilus as IceWM uses Gnome for it's
windows....in fact to change the background and so forth in IceWM....you
simply right-click and use the same background mgr just like Gnome.  IceWM
also keeps the Gnome desktop icons....the menu changes, but that's for the
better because you can use something like icemc or my fave....icecc to
have a GUI for editing the IceWM menus to show ONLY what you want the kids
to see....no more of the "server stuff"...etc. like in the default Gnome
menus.  Editing the menu is very simple and it's actually a text file so
there's no XML and stuff to learn.
>I'd like to have sound running on all the clients
>(using Flash too, for starfall.com).  But, aside from
>the return of Jesus, I'm not sure this will ever work!
> (Sorry for my skepticism, I know there are people
>that say they've got sound working, but I live in
>Missouri "Show Me!")  Of course, when Jesus returns we
>won't use computers any more, so I won't care about
>sound on my clients then.

It works fine!  I use it....and I use Starfall.com everyday with my
kindergarten kids.  (you are very pessimistic)  It either works out of the
box or you may need to make a simple tweak to lts.conf and change 

SOUND_DAEMON       = "nasd"

You install Flash by clicking an icon in the "Install Additional Programs"
on root's desktop
>One of the main reasons I wanted to use FC3 was the
>numerous reports of sound working on the clients with
>FC3.  But I'll gladly give up sound just to have a
>functional LTSP network that mounts /home properly.

When setting up FC3....don't enable any firewalls....AT ALL.  Disable
them...they are enabled by default.
>Can anyone help me do this from scratch?  I've
>attempted for the last three weeks now to make it work
>to no avail.  Let's pretend that I'll just do
>completely fresh installs, no upgrades at all.  I'll
>then add users via webmin.  Then copy over their
>documents from my backup of /home.

Are all the machines on the same subnet or are they on different isolated
networks with each machine (server) serving it's own little LAN.  If so
I'm assuming all the machines have two NIC's...one internal and one
external.  Set up K12LTSP 4.2 on each machine.  Make sure that each
machine is configured so that dhcp is working on the corrent interface to
serve the clients.  Now...on the master server....create the users (on all
servers).  If Webmin allows you to specify the UID....it would be a good
idea to do so...that way you can guarantee they are the same on all
servers.  Delete /home on the other two servers.  Now....create and entry
on each of the two servers in fstab similar to this:        /home                   nfs    
defaults,rsize=8192,wsize=8192 0 0

Use your own IP address.  On the master server you need to export /home to
the other two....make an entry in /etc/exports similar to this:

/home          ,sync,insecure_locks,no_root_squash)

Use the IP addresses of the other two servers....you'll need an entry for
each different server.  To manually export at this point use   exportfs -av

Now....the only caveat I can think of is whether or not the system will
allow you to connect from the external interface....LTSP makes entries in
the hosts.allow file...if you are unable to mount /home with the next
command (ie: if you get the error you got last time) you may want to go
into /etc/hosts.allow and comment out the active lines to allow all
connections and see if that works.  I have a Samba/LDAP server doing
essentially what you're doing...and my hosts.allow and hosts.deny are both
empty.  Also double-check hosts.deny and make sure everything is OK in
there....mine is empty thus allowing all.

The command to mount is:   (on the other 2 servers)     mount -av

If you can now see home directories on the classroom servers....then it
works.  Remember you deleted the other /home dirs so they weren't there.

Now....if all that is working (and don't give up....the problems you
described earlier were simple to fix, but you gave up....you missed
something...something small that you probably did in RH8, but forgot you
had done.  We can help....just make sure to tell us exactly what you see
for errors.

Assuming it works....now let's go to sound.  There are a bunch of
different ways to get sound working....first...try it as it may be working
out of the box.  Sound generally works....it's a matter of sound working
with Flash.  I use TuxMath to test sound as it's obnoxiously loud.  If
sound works there....I go to PBSkids.org (after installing flash) and test
a game I always go to Arthur and use the "alien" game.  If sound works
there...you're all set...if not....what I do....in
/opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf   Change    SOUND_DEAMON  =  nasd  (it may be
the default, but I cannot remember.  Also if you're using any ISA sound
cards you'll need to uncomment the line that has

 ### For ISA sound cards, you have to specify the module to use:
        SMODULE_01       = "sb io=0x220 irq=5 dma=1"

Also  make sure that   SOUND = Y

Given all this....sound should work too.  You can check the wiki for more
ways to do it.  As for IceWM...give it a try...it works much better than
Gnome or KDE as it loads a LOT faster.  AND it's VERY configurable.  If
you want to use ICEWM as the default session you can check the wiki

for how to remove the other choices from the users and have ICEWM be the
only choice.  To edit the menus....I believe icemc  is include with
K12LTSP now....simply type icemc in the command line....when it loads
you'll get an error...disregard...it simply means you have to go get the
file....open the file   /usr/share/icewm/menu  and edit away!  The program
is pretty easy to figure out.  You can also edit that same file using a
text editor...it too is easy to figure out.  You can also edit the toolbar
as well....found in the same directory....I believe you can edit it with
icemc.  Also if you look at the icewm preferences file you can turn off
some things like the "pager" and so forth.  Once you start using IceWM
you'll never go back.  

Whatever you do....don't give up!  Check bach here often....many of us
monitor this list during the daytime while we're at school....like me...so
I can help you almost in "realtime" so check back constantly for
assistance.  You can do this.  And remember you couldn't stick with RH8
forever as you would have missed a lot.  The newer versions of K12LTSP
solved a lot of previous issues and the newer programs rock!
>This ought to work, right?  This sounds like it ought
>to be simple, right?  Someone please hold my hand
>through this and document what I must do to make this
>Thanks for all your patience.  This is my last attempt
>before doing an "fdisk /mbr" and going back to RH8. 
>And starting the whole thing from scratch.

That wouldn't be wise.
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David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Coordinator
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask at vcs.u52.k12.me.us

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