[K12OSN] Plans for K12Linux EL6 and Future Fedora

Jan Middelkoop jan at recreatie-zorg.nl
Fri May 13 14:06:45 UTC 2011

Dear list,

Gavin attended me to this mailing list in #ltsp.  I didn't know of it's 
existance before.  For the past few days I've been eargerly following 
the discussion going on here about the future of LTSP in RHEL and (more 
importantly, to me) Fedora.

Eagerly, because I've recently deployed Fedora-powered LTSP terminal 
server and clients in our company and I would be very, very sad if it 
were discontinued so soon.  It's more than that though.  I also firmly 
believe that a project like LTSP is a wonderful piece of software and 
deserves to be a part of Fedora.

For lack of knowledge I cannot join in on the debate about if LTSP and 
remote X is technically a good solution and if there couldn't be better 
ones.  I do however think it seems premature to drop LTSP support in 
Fedora.  I don't think Fedora currently contains a piece of software 
that provides the same ease of use and functionality as LTSP (correct me 
if I'm wrong).

I believe LTSP brings unique functionality to Fedora.  One thing I 
haven't heard an alternative for in the debate going on now, is running 
applications locally on the clients, yet integrating them nicely into 
the desktop environment.  Something LTSP does, with remote X.  This 
functionality is vital for our company.  We use VoIP softphones for our 
telephony needs.  When I run a softphone on the LTSP server, it simply 
doesn't work flawless (I've tried most, if not all).  There are too many 
problems with the audio.  When I run the softphone locally on the 
clients (cutting out the middle man), most work flawless.  I cannot see 
softphones performing well in a virtualized environment.

I am not one to stand in the way of forward thinking and/or new 
technological endeavours.  I think the idea put forth by Warren could 
have merit.  I think running every client inside a virtualized 
environment will use a lot of extra resources, but this should not be a 
problem with the next generation of hardware.  However I don't believe 
we are there yet.  I think LTSP is still a great solution for creating 
centralized management and centralized resources for all client 
computers in a company.

I would also like to give a short response to Warren's point about the 
lack of people who contribute to this project.

I try to spend around ten hours per week supporting open source 
development, in one way or another.  I have written documentation, 
translated packages to Dutch (including LDM at one point), submitted 
bugs and bugfixes, and yet... somehow I've never gotten involved with 
K12Linux.  Why?  Because K12Linux seems distanced from Fedora.  In fact, 
for a long time I've had the impression that K12Linux was a Linux 
distribution by itself, having LTSP readily configured for Fedora.  As I 
have no interest in that, and just want LTSP in regular Fedora, I've 
never gotten involved.  I think this project could be presented better 
and explained better to Fedora LTSP users.  This could lead to more 
people getting involved.

As another example I would like to point out that Gavin has had working 
RPM's of a recent LTSP version for Fedora 13 and Fedora 14 for over half 
a year now.  They've been tested by many people and the results were 
very promising.  Yet they still aren't distributed with those Fedora 
releases.  Why?  These seem like the contributions from the community 
you have been looking for, and they're left 'out in the rain', so to speak.

These are my $0,02 on the whole situation.  I really hope Gavin will 
find the time and inspiration to continue building LTSP for Fedora, and 
that he will be supported by everyone in doing so.  I know I will 
support LTSP under Fedora in any way that I can.

Kindest regards,
Jan Middelkoop

Op 12-5-2011 17:36, Gavin Spurgeon schreef:
> The work that I did to make the packages work on F13 was minimal, All I
> did was to take to current upstream code and package it with some very
> very small changes to one or 2 txt conf files.
> I am sure that I/we/others could do the same with the current upstream
> code on F14, F15 or even EL6/CentOS/SL6.
> I have a week of down time from my day-2-day job coming very soon, so
> would have no issue trying get a very basic current upstream version
> built and packaged (.rpm) ready for people to test, I had loads of
> people contact me about testing the .rpm's I built for F13 and loads of
> feedback for users who did play with the packages on both F13&  F14.
> I was in the process of trying to work out how on earth to get my .spec
> files uploaded to the Fedora Build system so that KoJi could auto built
> them, but never worked it out in the end.
> @ Warren, If you could help by pointing me to some instructions on how
> you got LTSP in there in the 1st place, I could then move thing forward
> a little bit more with the new builds if needs be and try to get the
> ball rolling again.
> When it comes to your comment about "how thankless this work is" Your
> time @ Red Hat should have made you well used to that by now ;-)
> I also know that not a lot of people are on this mailing list that use
> the LTSP packages on Fedora anyway, I was talking to a lot of people
> over on the #ltsp irc channel that had no idea this mailing list even
> exists or that K12LTSP for that matter, they just know LTSP and do 'yum
> install ltsp' on Fedora.
> They have now be educated :-)
> - -- 
> Gavin Spurgeon.
> AKA Da Geek

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