[K12OSN] LTSP 4.4.1 client booting fails

Eric Harrison eharrison at mail.mesd.k12.or.us
Wed Jun 7 20:21:06 UTC 2006

Gavin Chester wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-06-06 at 16:01 -0700, Eric Harrison wrote:
>> Gavin Chester wrote:
> -snip-
>>> This time around, I finally got my system working by choosing to install
>>> ONLY the default settings.  That is, when I had installed 'everything'
>>> or made extensive package selections, making sure to include LTSP, my
>>> server would end up not working for my clients.  The only way I finally
>>> cracked it was to choose the default 'LTSP' install option and not
>>> change any other package choices that came with that (save substituting
>>> KDE for Gnome).  Now, everything works just fine, phew.
>>> If other people are having similar problems (?) maybe the installer
>>> scripts need a little look, Eric (if you're reading)?
>>> I HTH, Hung.  Post a followup if it does.
>>> Gavin.   
>> If I am reading this correctly, when you had problems you selected a
>> normal (Fedora option) install and clicked on the "Customize" packages
>> and added the K12LTSP packages?
>> If this is correct, that is the issue you are having. The "K12LTSP"
>> option automatically runs the LTSP configuration scripts at the end of
>> the install, the "Fedora" option does not even if you pick a custom
>> install and select the K12LTSP packages. This actually can work, but you
>> have to 1) make sure you have the network and firewall configured
>> correctly (the K12LTSP install option does this by default) and 2) you
>> run this script after the install has completed:
>>     /opt/ltsp/templates/k12linux/K12Linux-LTSP-initialize
>> If you pick the "K12LTSP" install option, you can customize the package
>> select as much as you want and still have the terminals auto-magically boot.
> Your understanding of the problem I stated was _largely_ correct, Eric
> but the way I caused the install to fail was too simple for my comfort.
> I had been lulled, by previous versions that I had installed, into
> expecting K12LTSP to automagically work whatever options I chose - as
> long as I chose an LTSP system instead of any other Fedora install
> option.  
> This time around with 4.4.1, I produced two types of failures:
> 1/ I broke a successful install by adding new packages. I suspect
> trouble arose because of an unsuccessful install of the NVidia kernel
> module, but I have no proof. 

The Livna repository has the NVidia drivers pre-packages. Proprietary
drivers are still bad, but having them properly packaged at least makes
it less risky...

    rpm --enablerepo=livna install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia

> 2/ When re-installing several more times, I again chose an LTSP system,
> but somehow caused it fail (as an LTSP system) by choosing to
> 'customise' my package selection.  I tried manually configuring
> services, following the LTSP documentation, but didn't succeed. 

I played around a bit with this on the K12LTSP 5.0 beta, which is not
exactly the same but its behavior should be similar.

Once I picked "customize", I could de-select the LTSP packages. It seems
to me that this is reasonable behavior, if you *specifically* tell the
installer you don't want it to install the LTSP packages it should not
install the LTSP packages (even if you picked the LTSP install category).

The other issue I found is that if I de-selected ALL packages EXCEPT the
LTSP packages, the were a couple of oddities such as the dhcp client was
not installed (i.e. eth1 could not use DHCP to get an IP address). While
this is clearly an out-liner issue, it is one that could likely be dealt
with in a reasonable fashion. I'll see what I can do.

> After much frustration, I only succeeded by reinstalling with the LTSP
> 'default' and did NOT touch a single thing with regards selecting other
> packages to install.  I knew about the 'initialize' script from having
> used earlier versions K12LTSP, but didn't/couldn't find reference to it
> anymore so didn't think, or remember, how to try running it after my
> unsuccessful installs. 

The initialize script is installed with the LTSP packages. If you don't
install the LTSP packages, the LTSP initialization script won't be
installed either.

> Perhaps a feature request, if I could be so bold of your hard-pressed
> time:
> After installing, a script runs at first boot to see if the K12LTSP
> packages were chosen.  If they were, then a check is run to see if the
> services were enabled and running correctly.  If they are, a dialogue
> pops up and says something like "Congratulations on installing K12LTSP
> yada, yada ..."  If the required services are NOT running, then the
> dialogue instead says something like "You have chosen K12LTSP as your
> install option, yet the system is not running correctly.  Would you like
> to initialize your server to enable client access?", and then run the
> initialization script if 'yes'.  I guess I envisage a system check like
> possible with the LTSP status report.
> I know that's easy for me to ask, and MUCH harder to implement.  But,
> boy, I would have more hair left from the past two-weeks frustration if
> such a thing was part of the install :-) 
> Thanks, an older and wiser Gavin.

One issue is that K12LTSP is often used to build stand-alone desktops,
proxy servers, etc. To support such multiple purposes, I can't FORCE the
installation of the LTSP packages. As long as the LTSP packages are
optional (installed by default with the LTSP option, not installed by
default with the Fedora option), it is possible for people to shoot
themselves in the foot if they choose to customize the packages that are

In the feature request above, it is suggested that firstboot check to
see if the LTSP packages were installed... how does that fix the case
where the user manually chose not to install the LTSP packages?

It is a real interesting challenge making the system both flexible and
foolproof ;-)


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