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Re: [K12OSN] k12LTSP Documentation

K12LTSP-EL5, which is LTSP 4.2 running on Centos 5, works well with older client hardware. It's solid, and unless your needs change, it works quite reliably. It's age is irrelevant, and updates to the base OS are still coming out. To install it, just boot the server from the DVD and choose the default installation options; you'll have a server all set to go in about 30 minutes.

However, as time passes, people often want to do more with their LTSP setups, things like automatically detecting new sound & video chips and running applications on the clients because they have the hardware to support this. To do these things, and to address a variety of other issues, LTSP 5 implementations, such as K12Linux, use the packages that come from the distributions, and people from various distributions have gotten much more involved in the process. This makes it easier to update the client software so that it can handle things like newer video chipsets found in the clients, but at the expense of possibly not working with older hardware. The dichotomy is this: 'Bob' has shiny new 2Ghz clients with 2GB RAM that he wants to use to handle some of the software load so he doesn't need as hefty a server; 'Sara' has old 200mhz PIIs with 64MB but has a decent server. The software can't really stretch to fit with well with both scenarios. But being FOSS, the older version(s) will always be available to anyone who wants it. No sales rep has a commission riding on you upgrading to the latest version. If K12LTSP EL5 works with your hardware and does what you need, don't worry about what version it is or how new or old it is; to do so is to buy into the marketing mania that drives many institutions to waste money on things they don't really need. You can, incidently, update individual applications on the server, as some have done, for example, with OpenOffice.org. It's not automatic, but it can be done. Or just setup a separate server to host the new application, using a more modern OS. With LTSP, it's all remote display anyway; users won't know that it's coming from a different server.

A Centos-based K12Linux will come eventually, but because RHEL/Centos 5 don't contain some significant necessary pieces for supporting LTSP 5, I suspect that it won't happen until RHEL/Centos 6 are out (and I've not heard of a timetable for that).

I still deploy K12LTSP EL5 in small offices and schools, using old PCs as clients, and it works just fine thankyouverymuch. The lifespan of Fedora is too short to install K12Linux in these settings. Stability is more important than flashy in these cases. In other cases, K12Linux is more appropriate. I use what fits. Others on this list do likewise.

As for the wiki, it's a community effort, meaning people document problems and solutions as they encounter them. There's no real coordination. If there's something missing that you wish were there, add it. This is a user-based project.

BTW, for anyone having trouble getting K12Linux installed onto a USB stick, consider unetbootin (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/) which will install (almost) any ISO file onto a USB stick.


Marcus Moeller wrote:
Good Evening.

I too had the same frustrating experience of not finding what I needed in
one place. For myself, I worked up a Centos based server which failed to
work in the classroom/lab where I deployed it. I'm now trying a ubuntu based
server, and having a lot of difficulties in getting my t/c to boot. I've
looked at the fedora ltsp server on a usb stick, couldn't get that to write
to a stick - I don't run fedora anywhere here. All of this is to replace our
aging ltsp4.2 server on FC6 which will not run an app we need for testing
(Oaks secure browser). We have (as most of us here do - I presume) a
collection of old technology we use as t/c's that just do not want to work
with the newer implementations of ltsp. Kinda sucks to have to get rid of
that old junk just to run the shiny new server and IMHO, moves us farther
away from the ideals on which ltsp is based.

So, best of luck choosing and let us know how you make out when you do

The question is if it would perhaps make more sense to transfer
l12LTSP into an official 'CentOS project'. Here, the documentation
could be re-organized and some stuff could be re-worked. I am also not
sure if it really make sense to offer install media but a good repo
containing all necessary packages.

Maybe someone who is responsible for the current development could
post a comment, here.

Best Regards

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