[K12OSN] Preparing K12Linux F11

Terrell Prude' Jr. microman at cmosnetworks.com
Wed Jun 3 17:37:54 UTC 2009

Joseph Bishay wrote:
> Hello,
> I hope everyone is doing well.
>>>            * I am thinking to make the K12Linux F11 Live Server ISO
>>>            x86-64 only as this is the majority of deployments.  32bit
>>>            clients are supported by the 64bit server.  32bit servers
>>>            are still possible if you install K12Linux on top of the
>>>            standard Fedora 11.
> I know for myself and some others, that our servers are going to stay
> 32-bit because of the cost of upgrading it to anything more than that.
>   My question is this -- is the plan to have K12Linux by default a
> cutting-edge system? I.E.: You need 64-bit servers, gigabit-network,
> excellent, modern thin clients?  If that was the case it makes sense
> to have it only 64-bit.  But I would imagine a lot of people using
> LTSP are not at all in that boat and were drawn to it for exactly the
> opposite reasons. So what's the vision?

Same here.  Most of the people for whom I've done this always ran 32-bit 
K12LTSP on 32-bit machines with 3.5GB DRAM.  And they will continue to 
do so.  If they've got to buy a new machine, then it's "well, we're 
buying a new machine anyway, let's just put the regular Windows Server 
on there."

Additionally, there is a very large bit-ness problem with some apps.  
The Adobe Flash plugin on Firefox is simply the most famous of them.  
Such bit-ness problems are a second reason (in addition to the first 
one, above) why I run exclusively 32-bit K12LTSP today.  I'm a long-time 
IT engineer, and I can sort out bitness issues, but I'm the exception.  
If I'm a typical technology administrator at a school, I don't have time 
to futz around with bit-ness issues or excuses, because I've got an 
entire school to take care of.  Your "Linux thing" is now keeping me 
from doing my job.

Hence, I stay with 32-bit, because that's what works.

>>>        OpenOffice.org is an absolute must, because of all the MS
>>>        Office files that teachers sling around.  Remember that one of
>>>        the big selling points of GNU/Linux distros is that "it
>>>        already comes with office."  This really can't be considered
>>>        negotiable any more than the kernel can...if it's to be taken
>>>        seriously in a North American K-12 environment.
>>>        As for the educational apps, some should be included, e. g.
>>>        ChildsPlay.  After all, there's gotta be something "K12" for
>>>        "K12Linux" to demo.  :-)
> What about the option that used to exist with the older K12LTSP --
> after the initial installation there was a desktop folder script the
> administrator would have that contained a series of scripts to
> download educational/extra software.  It basically was a front-end for
> yum.  That's still an incredibly cool demo feature -- double-click
> additional software, double-click 'get OpenOffice' or 'Get ChildsPlay'
> - wait a moment, and it's ready to go!

That was used for non-Free apps like Adobe Flash and Java.  
OpenOffice.org has always been on there, and given the MS Office file 
issue, I'd say that app's too important.  What happens when you demo the 
"get OpenOffice" on a slow link?  Say it's a school that cannot afford 
high-speed connections, or they're simply not available in that area.  
If we're focusing on just the United States and southern Canada with 
K12Linux, then we can assume high-speed connections for "get <insert 
large app here>" demos.  Worldwide, that's a different story.

Here's an example.  I met some young (and very pretty) college students 
from some remote village way up in the mountains of Peru.  They had 
computers up there...but no Internet.  No electricity, either.  So how 
did they have computers without electricity?  Solar panels from a 
government grant.  Kids did their homework on computers powered by solar 
panels.  Granted, they were older computers, but they worked.  Software 
was installed via CD-ROM.  When they went off to the university (about 
half of 'em did, Peruvians are a very educated people), they were 
already computer-literate.

Well, I'd come prepared for such an opportunity.  I promptly showed 'em 
my PowerBook G3 running Kubuntu Dapper and the Spanish Language pack.  
They already knew about Firefox from college, but had never seen 
OpenOffice.org.  I explained to them that it's "basicamente Microsoft 
Oficina, pero gratis, como Firefox."  They were quite impressed and 
immediately asked me where they could download it.  This led to one even 
asking me about GNU/Linux, and then they all wanted to try it 
(naturally, I let them).  Score one for FOSS there.

Folks, OpenOffice.org is one of our two mondo-big poster children for 
desktop FOSS (Firefox is the other one).  We need to get it immediately 
in front of people, again, just like Firefox.  Best way to do that is to 
have it on the ISO image.


More information about the K12OSN mailing list