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Re: [K12OSN] 64 bit ltsp vs. virtualization

James P. Kinney III wrote:
On Mon, 2008-06-23 at 07:49 -0700, Luis Montes wrote:
I'm placing an order today for a new server. The school I'm using it at has about 75 thin clients.
Currently we're using an smbldap serer and two dual-core 4GB ram servers.

I'm gonna spend 5 or 6 K today on a 64bit 8-core 16GB ram monster. (well monster compared to what I have right now)

Sounds like a name-brand Dell, HP, etc. Overpriced to buy and overpriced
to maintain.

They're not that bad. I could probably part it all out and save a bit building it myself, but I like the 3 year on site warranty. I've been building my own workstations and servers for the last 14 years and have acquired a distaste for it :)

Now I'd like to just add this new box to the network as another ltsp server using 64 bit edubuntu or fedora+ltsp, but so far my couple of months with a 64 bit desktop have me thinking this might not be the best approach.

The main problem I have is that Adobe's has yet to get off their butts and product a 64bit flash plugin. I know I can use the nspluginwrapper but it only seems to work about half the time, and when it does work, half the time sound doesn't. I imagine that sound through the thin clients will be even more troublesome.

The solution to the flash problem is to use the 32-bit firefox and
associated components for multimedia. Then the flash player works just
fine. You will need to get the 32-bit version of xine, mplayerplug-in
and the associated requirements all in 32-bit. Happily, the 32-bit stuff
plays very nicely in a 64-bit sandbox!

You will need to tinker and make pulseaudio run on the server so that
flash will be happy.

This doesn't sound too bad. I imagine it'll be a bit of work up front figuring out all the dependencies, but I guess I'll only have to figure out what all the pieces are once.

The other option I have is to load centos5.1 or ubuntu 8.04 on the new server and something like vmware server to slice it up with 4 or so 32bit guests.

Load up K12LTSP-EL v. 5.1 (Centos based) and use the 64-bit version so
you can use directly the full 16GB RAM. Don't bother with the vmware
slices as it won't get you anything of benefit.

My only problem with K12ltsp-el is that it's still based on ltsp4. All of the cool new development is happening on ltsp 5. I've been using edubuntu for the last year, and k12ltsp for the 5 years or so before that. I still like redhat based distros better and edubuntu was rough around the edges (at least as of 7.04), but the fedora/centos ltsp5 versions still seem to be in their infancy. I'm just volunteering so I can only do upgrades over the summer. Hopefully I can be back on fedora or centos next summer.

The benefit of virtualization is cloning and rolling back when i screw something up, but if I can easily use all the ram in the server without it I'll skip it.

Thanks for the input!


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