[K12OSN] K12LTSP server for a student organisation

Robert Arkiletian robark at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 19:39:43 UTC 2007

On 3/14/07, Nils Breunese <nils at breun.nl> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I have been on this list for some time now, but have only once just
> done a short test session with K12LTSP. I have been running Fedora on
> my workstation since version 1 and use CentOS for servers at my company.
> I also happen to be a volunteer in the sysadmin team for a small
> student organisation for a few years now. This organisation doesn't
> have an IT budget really and the current setup consists of a server
> (well, desktop) running Debian (serves Samba shares, runs BackupPC,
> handles mailinglists and serves some wiki's and other simple internal
> web applications) and ~8 workstations defaulting to Ubuntu, but some
> of them dualboot Windows XP (the accounting software only runs on
> Windows). These workstations (a few different models) are not very
> powerful machines (around 450 MHz or so).
> I was thinking this is an ideal place to introduce an LTSP server.
> They are already using OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird and
> Scribus (we started a move to Linux a couple of years ago, Windows
> licenses were just to expensive). With an LTSP server I think the
> workstations should be a lot speedier than they are now. Buying new
> computers has been an ad hoc business until now. "Oh, a computer
> broke, we need to get a new second hand machine!" I'm trying to
> figure out what hardware I need for an LTSP server that could serve
> 8-10 workstations for the coming years and what kind of money it
> would take to set this all up. Since there is no real budget I'm
> looking for a cheap solution. If I can convince them that in the long
> run this is cheaper than keep going with fat clients I might be able
> to get some money for this (I hope).
> People are a bit sceptical though. The sysadmin volunteers are not on
> site that often and they fear an LTSP server going down and not being
> able to work at all. I might be leaving the sysadmin team at the end
> of this year, so we'd need something that's low maintainance. Of
> course only having to admin one machine (the server) should be less
> work than keeping 10 different machines up to date. But there's a
> bigger single point of failure as trade-off. Right now, when the
> server is down they can't get to their files, but at least they still
> can surf the internet and use email.
> Any recommendations for hardware? We are in The Netherlands, so if
> anyone has any recommendations for hardware you can get here at
> interesting prices, I'd be more than interested. I'm planning to do a
> K12LTSP 6 install on an old borrowed 6-way (!) 450 MHz server with 2

Even though it's 6 way it's probably not going to be much faster than
the stand alone 450's. Although it sounds like a nice server (ram and
disks) and it will probably be okay.

> GB RAM and a SCSI RAID array. I'm thinking that for a production
> server we should probably get a fast dual-core processor and 1-2 GB
> RAM? I guess SATA (probably RAID-1) should be fine? Currently
> everything is on 100 MBit switches, I think we'll need a gigabyte

For only 10 clients you don't need gigabit. Just make sure it's a
switch not a hub.

> model attached to the server? Still debating whether to use the LTSP
> server as a gateway or not.
> Thanks in advance for any tips,
> Nils Breunese.
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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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