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Re: [K12OSN] K12LTSP server for a student organisation

On 3/14/07, Nils Breunese <nils 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.

K12OSN mailing list
K12OSN redhat com
For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>

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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