[K12OSN] Centos7 : some ( official )help wanted

johan.vermeulen7 at telenet.be johan.vermeulen7 at telenet.be
Thu Jul 2 18:26:02 UTC 2015

----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----

Van: "Warren Togami Jr." <warren at togami.com> 
Aan: "Support list for open source software in schools." <k12osn at redhat.com> 
Verzonden: Donderdag 2 juli 2015 18:07:01 
Onderwerp: Re: [K12OSN] Centos7 : some ( official )help wanted 

On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 12:10 PM, Jim Kinney < jim.kinney at gmail.com > wrote: 



Then it should say on the site " no developer wants to do the work". 
Now it says K12Linux is legacy. 

And Warren, I am grateful for the work that you put in for K12Linux. 

What I'm saying here, and I think what Radek is saying, is it's not legacy, It works. 

Legacy doesn't mean it doesn't work. It simply means no further development will be done for that particular setup. Sometimes a program becomes legacy because no one is working on it. Sometimes because it get superseded by newer projects. 

K12Linux on CentOS 6 is a great tool. But porting it to be fully CentOS 7 ready will require development from people other than Warren. K12Linux will be around for many more years since CentOS 6 will be around as well. 


Thank you. You understand the situation exactly. 

CentOS 7 actually contains all the same components as CentOS 6 but in a different form. It would be theoretically possible to adapt those pieces to work in the same manner as CentOS 6. There would be drawbacks though ... like CentOS 7 is x86_64 only, so the client OS would no longer be able to be built from the same OS as the server. 


I think it's time to look at alternate methods of achieving a similar result. The PXE boot aspect will need to stay but the server platform needs to be revisited. The IT world has embraced virtual machines. Maybe a thin client should be running a VM client that provides console to a remote VM running on a server farm. The spice client is remarkably light and can push screen bits as well if not better than NX and RDP (and way faster than X over SSH or VNC). Using a management tool like Ovirt would allow tech support to build and maintain student machines as pool devices and thus only require updates to a single machine. Some coding is required to provide a single sign on screen that would connect to the next available VM console (which then auto-mounts the students home directory). The VM client (spice) can be 32 bit as well as 64 so it will run on older client hardware and it supports USB pass through for thumb drives. Sound also works. 

3 years ago I was doing a demo talk of Ovirt and connected through 2 layers of VPNs back to my work lab to show both windows and Linux desktops. I started a browser and went to YouTube and the flash video played smoothly and with sound synched to the video. 

As KVM, the technology behind Ovirt virtual machines, supports "memory ballooning", different VMs that need to use the same block of memory can share the block (read only - best for OS and application memory) and thus can perform similar types of resource sharing that K12Linux provided. Best of all, each user is truly isolated from all the others so an application crash (ahem - flash) will only affect the single user even with shared memory. 


KVM would be quite nice as the SPICE remote desktop protocol is significantly better than X. SPICE would handle remote USB, full screen video and sound in a better way than X/ltspfs/pulseaudio had done in the past. It however has major drawbacks in memory overhead compared to the old LTSP model, existing servers would be able to handle far fewer clients. 

Warren Togami 


thanks for taking the time for the detailed and very helpful answers. 
I now understand the situation much better. 
No matter how this continues, with K12Linux or Spice, I have nothing but respect for the developers. 

Greetings, Johan 

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