[K12OSN] More detailed instructions & documentation needed for K12LTSP implementation

Robert Arkiletian robark at gmail.com
Thu Jul 13 22:41:57 UTC 2006

On 7/13/06, Roj Jer <rojjer389 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Words from yet another newbie... please be patient.
> Career Microsoft folks (like myself) wanting to move from the Microsoft
> community to the Open Source Linux community face enormous challenges when
> first arriving in the neighborhood. We don't understand the "lingo" or even
> where to go to find anything that looks vaguely familiar.
> I have been recruited to help design and implement a computer lab for a
> neighborhood private school (K-12). The largest factor was $$COST$$. They
> have a big need and a small budget. They've received a donation of 30+
> 100Mhz Pentium PC's with 64Mb Ram, 1GB Hard Disk, and 10/100 Nics. The cost
> of implementing new "Dell's" was around $15,000... (way over budget). What
> is the budget? The least expensive method possible. So, my research has
> begun. I thought about Citrix on a Microsoft Server, but there were all of
> the licensing $$COST$$. So, I considered researching Open Source solutions.
> I got super pumped when I Googled "Open Source Linux Terminal Server" and
> the 2nd item was titled, "K12 Linux in Schools Project". I read all of the
> "Testimonials" and "Case Studies" and determined that this was a perfect
> match.
> I downloaded the K12LTSP 4.4.1 - Install CD-ROMs and commenced to installing
> it on a donated 1.4GHz AMD PC with 4GB of RAM. I emulated an Ethernet

A single 1.4GHz AMD will probably be okay upto 10 clients. For 30
clients you will need a dual core Athlon X2 or Pentium D to really
fly. But your 4GB of ram is super.

> bootrom on the client PC's by booting from a floppy disk created from the
> http://www.Rom-O-Matic.net site. Within an hour after having the K12LTSP
> server online, I had 3 of the 100MHz Pentium PC's connected and working.
> Super! Great! But that seems to be where the Magic ends.

The magic has just begun.

> And now the point!
> In the Windows world it is easy to configure the "All Users" Start Menu
> (C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu), or customize a Start Menu
> for a particular user. You can customize the Default User environment (local
> machine) as a template for subsequent new users.
> When incorporating Citrix into the Mix, you can install software on the
> Citrix server and "Publish" the application for a particular user or group.
> My questions:
> 1) How / Where do you configure K12LTSP to segregate "Teachers" from
> "Students", "3rd Grade" from "12th Grade", so that each "group" gets the
> appropriate desktop and program menu respective to their roles in the
> school? A 3rd Grader does not need the same applications, shortcuts, etc as
> a 12th Grader.

use iceWM. You can configure it easily. See the file /usr/share/icewm/menu
See the docs here http://icewm.org/manual/icewm-12.html to edit the file.

As for different groups having different menus. There is a hackish way
of doing it.

type this stuff in a console terminal.

whereis firefox

you will see it's located at /usr/bin/firefox

ls -l /usr/bin/firefox

shows the permissions
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 4768 Apr 14 13:36 /usr/bin/firefox

read up on unix file permissions off google. But basically you can
create a new group called firefox with the program system-config-users

now change the group of the program to the newly created firefox group

chgrp firefox /usr/bin/firefox

so now ls above gives
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root firefox 4768 Apr 14 13:36 /usr/bin/firefox

now change the permissions from 755 to
chmod 754 /usr/bin/firefox


so only the owner (root) or members of the group firefox can launch
it. Others cannot and it won't even show up in their icewm menu since
it's not an executable for them.

Now just add the firefox group to all the users who you want access to
the program with system-config-users.

Welcome to the wonderful and completely customizable world of Linux.
Remember a text editor is the only tool you really need. Kind of like
a light saber for Jedi Knights. Works in all situations. True Jedi
Masters use vim. I would recommend nano to start. The first time I
used vim I had to reboot cause I couldn't exit. :)

Robert Arkiletian
Eric Hamber Secondary, Vancouver, Canada
Fl_TeacherTool http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/Fl_TeacherTool/
C++ GUI tutorial http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/

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