[K12OSN] School K12Linux clients not able to complete boot after 50+ or so clients are up

"Terrell Prudé Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Fri Aug 21 16:06:04 UTC 2009

Daniel Howard wrote:
> Barry Cisna wrote:
>> Daniel,
>> I think I understand you right? This is happening on more than one
>> server? Just curious if by chance you are running the same brand/model
>> of switches on all of these? What brand/model of switch are you using?
>> If you are running these TC's via a managed switch your switch is a
>> possible suspect. I know you wouldn't think so, being this is actually
>> an OS upgrade/change but I have seen different kernel versions act a bit
>> different in regards to 'network negotiation'. Do you have just a 
>> cheapy plug and play switch you can temporarily try
>> and see if the results are the same?
>> Take Care,
>> Barry Cisna
> We do have managed switches and had to tweak it just to get them to 
> work at all.  We may be stuck with the managed switches via District 
> mandate, is there a FAQ or list of things to modify posted somewhere 
> for that scenario to ensure they work?
> Thanks!  Daniel

There's nothing wrong with managed switches, generally.  I've run LTSP 
on quite a few brands over the years, and I love 'em. 

One key factor is spanning-tree negotiation.  Normally the spanning-tree 
algorithm will take about 30 seconds to bring up a port.  It's usually 
necessary to turn on what is generically called "Rapid Spanning Tree".  
Some vendors call it "fast-learning" or "portfast" or something 
similar.  Apple Macintoshes, including those running OS X, also required 
this back when we still had some of those.

Now, all that said, I doubt very seriously that this is a switch issue.  
The reason is that you told us you can get 50 clients running just 
fine.  Ethernet switches actually don't give a rip if your traffic's 
even TCP/IP.  They only care that your frames have the proper 802.3 
Ethernet header, and however many frames there are doesn't matter, up to 
the capacity of the switch's backplane.  The fact that you had K12LTSP 
5EL working just fine on it before tells me it ain't the switch.

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