[K12OSN] K12LTSP server for a student organisation

Rob Owens rowens at ptd.net
Wed Mar 14 23:29:21 UTC 2007

You can always leave a local installation of Ubuntu or Windows running
on the workstations, but have them default to booting off the LTSP
server.  That way if the LTSP server goes down, they still have their
local operating system to fall back on.


On Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 04:13:15PM +0100, Nils Breunese 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  
> 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  
> 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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