[K12OSN] Where is K12LTSP at?

R. Scott Belford scott at hosef.org
Wed Mar 4 13:21:24 UTC 2009

2009/3/2 Moon <moon at smbis.com>:
> What has been your experience with DRBL for the following:
> 1. Boot time

As fast as the network - pretty much the same booting experience as
the k12ltsp/k12linux, etc.

> 2. Reliability

DRBL is just a project that pre-scripts some really cool behavior from
standard packages.  So, since you can install DRBL (diskless remote
booting linux) on pretty much any distro, reliability is a function of
the team behind the distro.

> 3. Scalability - as in how many TCs have you seen running simultaneously one
> one server? Server specs.?

I have multicast imaged 25 clients at once using Clonezilla on DRBL.
Kristian just spoke at SCALE about DRBL in 'pod' settings of 4 or 5
clients.  You have to consider this - you can, by default, configure
DRBL to be a fat and a thin client server.  The client's behavior can
be pre-determined by MAC address, it can be determined by the user's
interaction, or it can be determined by setting the default boot

If you are booting fat clients, then you need very little CPU
horsepower, but you need bandwidth and disk i/o.  I have noticed, when
running Top with a 1s refresh, that NFSD is barely hit when I boot a
fat client.  I have not tested this in scale beyond 5 clients.  It is
scary impressive, but it is also just NFS/NIS/DHCP/TFTP, etc.

If you are booting thin clients, then you need the horsepower on the
server.  I have not tested this in scale, but I do know that you have
to enable XDMCP in order for the thin-client element to work.  I
imagine the same scalability as the K12LTSP, but, I really don't know.

> 4. TC performance compared to LTSP and stand-alone workstation

For me, it seems that modern thin clients are well served with
K12Linux.  I hope that some of this makes its way into an EL release.
For older clients, as has been stated, the K12LTSP el is still so very
good.  Of course we are now learning about how to run both, as in
LTSP5 and LTSP4.2, on the same server.

However, I am discovering just how good the fat client world can be,
and 'older' hardware for us is a PII and PIII nowadays.  For this, I
am in love with DRBL on any distro, including redhat or centos or
fedora.  I am intrigued by the default NFS/NIS integration in DRBL
since, aside from security concerns, this is a great, out-of-the-box,
central authentication and roaming profile solution.

I shared this photo in another post, but, this is the CPU load on a
fat client.  There is nearly no load on the server.



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