[K12OSN] Plans for K12Linux EL6 and Future Fedora

Jeff Siddall news at siddall.name
Mon May 9 14:19:36 UTC 2011

On 05/08/2011 08:50 AM, Warren Togami Jr. wrote:
> Hi folks,
> It has been a LONG while since I've been able to look at k12linux.org,
> but I haven't forgotten about this project.  2007 through 2009 Red Hat
> generously supported my time to work on this project.  In 2010 I've
> since left Red Hat in order to help my parents with the family business
> and prepare for grad school.
> K12Linux LTSP EL6
> =================
> I soon plan on working on a version of LTSP based on EL6.

Thanks Warren, I am eagerly awaiting this as a long term migration
platform for my current K12Linux systems.

> BIGGEST PROBLEM: 32bit EL6 supports a minimum of i686 and they have
> excluded certain kernel modules required by LTSP like nbd.ko.  For this
> reason, we may need clients of EL6 to boot images based on Fedora
> 12/13?/14? that still have userspace capable of running on i586.  I
> would need to see what are the supported archs and kernels in those
> versions of Fedora.

Personally I don't care about this really.  Even the lowly Atom is i686
and as I have argued on this list before the business case for re-using
old fat desktop hardware doesn't exist if you consider the cost of
power.  I am far more concerned with the easy manageability LTSP provides.

> The LTSP based on EL6 would likely be the LAST version of LTSP for a
> RH-derived distribution.  Given the LONG lifespan of EL6 this should
> give the considerable numbers of existing LTSP deployments many years of
> life.  However, since the only maintainable way we can build the client
> images for EL6 is from a particular old Fedora version, this effectively
> means that K12Linux LTSP EL6 will be frozen forever in client hardware
> support.

I am happy with the prospect of 7 more years of LTSP.  I certainly hope
that 7 years from now we have a better solution!

> Next Generation of K12Linux: Desktop Virtualization
> ===================================================
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_virtualization
> I have been thinking about a theoretical next generation technology
> replacement for LTSP.  Fedora contains the remote desktop protocol SPICE
> and kvm, the Open Source core components of a VDI solution.

I already added a GSoC request for someone to implement just that.  I
think this would be a great LTSP replacement.

> I suspect that SPICE will never support compositing.  So a VDI-based
> Fedora 15+ would be using the non-compositing fallback (which I've only
> heard about but never tried).  At least it wont rely on the almost
> untested remote X functionality.

I agree with all this although I can't imagine SPICE going far without
compositing.  We already have that in legacy remote X!

> Youtube sucks much less over the SPICE protocol than with remote X of
> LTSP.  Modern expectations of stuff like video are another nail in the
> coffin for the old LTSP model.

Honestly this is my biggest problem with LTSP right now.  Video in LTSP
just plain sucks.

I for one think LTSP5 on CentOS 6 (or equiv.) would be a great solution
for the foreseeable future and am really hoping you find the
time/encouragement to do it.


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