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Re: [K12OSN] More feedback on Fedora 10 + LTSP



Deep Sigh.  I know your pain, David, and I commend you for trying so
hard to press forward for the sake of your school, students, and the
K12LTSP legacy.  Thanks for laying all this out.

I hope that there is adequate response and follow-up from those
familiar with and able to address the Fedora+LTSP5 part of this.

When dealing with the tragic migration from an LTSP4.2 to a LTSP5
installation a few years ago, I eventually made my server tri-boot.  I
was using Edubuntu, so, one boot option was 7.04, and the other was
7.10.  The third boot option was whatever else I was testing for the
sake of salvation and sanity.

In your case, you may want to consider sandboxing your migration, or
at least creating some sane reboot options.  If you can still fall
back to the EL release of the K12LTSP, you can sleep while discovering
the best way to include sound.Others will advise that you create
custom images for subsets of your clients.  This works well, but I am
not sure how deep you want to go.

I do know that Asmo on the Edubuntu mailing list has been a one-man
bug-squashing and testing machine, and you may find some progress with
this as a boot option.  He has had mostly newer hardware, but has also
had success.  David aka 'nubae' has had some success with OpenSuse.  I
have enjoyed DRBL on Debian.

I wish I could offer more, like a clear solution to your problem, but,
in my observation the LTSP4.2 to LTSP5 migration, including supporting
the hardware we all know and love, is yet to be easy enough for the
culture we groomed and supported with the glorious K12LTSP releases.

--scott

On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 7:23 AM, David Hopkins <dahopkins429 gmail com> wrote:
> Let me first say that this is going to sound like a rant in places.
> Not much I can do about that, but ... FC10+LTSP5 has not been
> performing well at all.  I am currently at a loss to explain why.
> However, since I have to have sound working, LTSP5 seems to be the
> only way to ensure that sound works correctly. I have CentOS+LTSP4.2
> and that works well for everything except sound. So, the only option I
> see is to get a distribution that is using LTSP5 working. Again, just
> to be clear, I am using identical hardware for the comparison and
> using the same login accounts, same file server, same dns, same
> authentication server, etc. All hardware is 32bit, both server and
> clients. (I don't even want to deal/worry with the 64bit server/32bit
> client possible issues at the moment).
>
> Now, here is what I and the elementary school tech teacher observed
> today. The following is her write-up.
>
> "Things did not go so well this morning.  When all 10 computers were
> in use at the same time, the delay between mouse and screen was
> significant. . .  The point of the lesson was to improve mouse
> skills--not possible when there is a lag between their mouse movements
> and action on their monitors.   We muddled through the first group of
> 10 students, and when the 2nd group began the exercise, I allowed the
> first 10 students to open Tux Paint.  I thought because  Tux Paint is
> running local, this would work.  Big Mistake!  The delay for everyone
> increased dramatically, making it virtually impossible to complete the
> mouse task in Starfall.   When I tried to "QUIT" foxfire on 3
> computers, it took 3-4 minutes to return to the desktop.   Although I
> was circulating the room, trying to assist students, I glanced at the
> load several times--I never saw it rise above 6.  It mostly hovered
> between 4 and 5.  It took more than 5 minutes to successfully close
> the website from 10 computers.  During that time, I had 10 students
> just waiting.
>
> When my second class arrived, I did not even try to use the website.
> We used Tux Paint today.  However, shortly after we got started, I
> "banned" students from selecting a new piece of paper . . .  The few
> who had tried feature  had their monitor hung-up for more than a
> minute.  That task used to respond immediately.   There is also a
> terrific feature that allows students to select any color from the
> rainbow . . .  but choosing that feature takes more than 1 full minute
> to accomplish."
>
> This is on a system where with CentOS+LTSP4.2 I could run 25 systems
> simultaneously without issues.  She was trying to use 10.
>
> Notice that the load average never exceeded 6. This is dual
> hyperthreaded Xeon so a load average of 4 would mean 100% utilization
> although that is a bit misleading as load averages of 6-8 perform
> quite well on all my other systems. Also, the system was never using
> swap. In fact, memory usage never exceeded 5GB.
>
> So, where is the bottleneck?  The starfall activity is flash-based (it
> was the Earth Day activity).  I know that FF3+flash is going to load
> the system.  But, This issue is not as severe with FF2+Flash 9 except
> that you don't get sound half the time.  FF3+Flash10 seems to really
> slow down.  Also, it seems that network traffic is significantly
> higher with FC10+LTSP5 using ldm than with gdm.  Can I switch back to
> gdm as the default manager or is ldm it?  I have the LDM_DIRECTX set
> to TRUE so that ssh is only used for login/logout.  And, login/logout
> now takes 30+ secs compared to about 2 seconds for CentOS+LTSP4.2.
>
> For the local apps, launching FF3 can take over a minute. And then it
> will be sluggish, even when the local hardware isn't using swap
> either.
>
> I have this suspicion that it is a network bandwidth issue. The only
> difference there is that LTSP5 uses the ltsbr0 bridge setup while
> LTSP4.2 does not.  To test this, I should be able to delete the bridge
> and set up LTSP5 in the same dual NIC scenario as with LTSP4.2,
> correct?  Though I am not sure I have the skills to do so without
> breaking something else.  It might be as easy as deleting the ltsbr0
> entry and then defining the IP address for the currently-slaved NIC to
> be what the ltsbr0 was defined as.
>
> I haven't had a chance to look at the stats from the switch (Amer.com,
> SS2R24G4i ) but since I never changed the switch, only the OS, I don't
> see why there would suddenly be an issue.
>
> As for the Tuxpaint issue.  That is truly baffling.  I have the same
> version of Tuxpaint running on an older server and it is very
> responsive. There is a hardware difference for the server ... the one
> that runs very well has CPU's with only 70% the speed of the newer
> server.  The other difference is again CentOS+LTSP4.2 (using gdm) vs
> FC10+LTSP5 (and ldm).
>
> So, something looks like it 'just isn't right' except I'm not getting
> any disk I/O errors, I'm not getting a huge spike in the load ... the
> system just isn't responsive.
>
> At this point the teacher has really reached her limit as have I.  A
> single login with a single client works fine.  Add a few more and I
> get the above. I want LTSP5 to work but I can't stay with it given the
> current performance issues.  And I have to start planning now for next
> fall.  If upgrading to FC10+LTSP5 means all my current hardware is not
> acceptable, then I have a huge issue.  I know that all my current
> hardware works with FC10+LTSP5, but the performance I'm seeing is
> horrible.  I have been advocating/using K12LTSP since 2003, I really
> want this to work, but right now to say I am depressed with FC10+LTSP5
> would be an understatement.
>
> So ... help?  I'll be back at the school tonight to try and determine
> what might be happening. And once there, sitting behind the state
> firewalls, access to IRC is blocked as is all other chat capabilities.
>
> Sincerely,
> Dave Hopkins
> Newark Charter School
>
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