[K12OSN] Plans for K12Linux EL6 and Future Fedora

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Mon May 16 13:07:27 UTC 2011

On 5/16/11 2:31 AM, Warren Togami Jr. wrote:
>>> But I think Warren's suggestions of simply making a Debian chroot on a
>>> Fedora/RHEL/CentOS machine makes more sense. Am I wrong, or would you
>>> just need to get Debian's ltsp-build-client to work on Fedora/RHEL?
>> You need this step to be able to find the debian kernel (etc.) to
>> include, then save the results where the fedora/RHEL (etc.) host can use
>> it as the boot image and nfs export to the client. I think there should
>> be some way to use a foreign-OS liveCD or image as the source so you
>> could update without needing a fully installed copy, but don't know
>> exactly what LTSP5 needs there. If it includes everything the client
>> side executes, you'd be able to run a 64-bit host OS and support 32-bit
>> clients. Maybe if the debian/ubuntu/fedora packager were the same, the
>> client chroot could be packaged individually and the debian/ubuntu
>> flavors included for fedora, but you need some sort of update plan to
>> handle security fixes, support for new hardware, etc.
> Any machine that can handle the extra overhead (mainly memory) of running a
> foreign LiveCD wouldn't have the problem of being unsupported by an EL6-based
> /opt/ltsp/i386. So this isn't a viable solution.

I didn't mean to run the livecd on the client - or at least every client.  I 
meant to use it as the source of the kernel and the contents of files in the 
chroot area by running a script on the server.  I suppose you could also do it 
client-side by using a suitable PC for the job - not necessarily one of the 
usual thin clients.  Once the files are extracted, they could be 
packaged/redistributed if the license of the source distribution permits and the 
hosting repository wants them but those are big ifs.  Pulling them from directly 
from the alternate distribution's iso avoids those issues and lets the end user 
choose between debian and ubuntu (and maybe others) depending on which supports 
your hardware better.  I don't know enough about ltsp5 to know if it is supposed 
to have enough of the system in the chroot to be able to do updates from its 
distribution from a client, but this approach would avoid the need for that by 
repeating the process as new isos are available and would let you completely 
replace the client base distro with one that isn't a direct update.

An alternative might be to use a distro built for easy remastering like puppy 
and maintain your own client-optimized version for the chroot (perhaps with 
usb/cd versions as well) but that seems like extra work that would have to be 
repeated over the life of the server - but perhaps with some advantages.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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