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Great to know someone is listening!

A big thanks to Joseph Hartman, San Diego, California for making me aware of his blog. He's trying hard to accomplish a similar project to myself using Ubuntu and LTSP. Just like me he's coming across many obstacles and one by one he's managed to overcome them.

He recently posted a great metaphor for his reasoning in using FOSS:

Understanding Operating Systems through the metaphor of automobiles

His full blog can be found here:

Hartman's Blogtastic Blog

I'd sure like to hear from anybody else who's doing a similar thing to our two primary schools, as they say - many hands make lighter work!


At 22 October 2007 at 00:02 Joseph Hartman said...

Thanks for the shoutout Stephen. By the way your tip on the cmos worked brilliantly. Did you get my email? I was asking about Core 2 Duo processors with Ubuntu and your experience with them. It looks like they work fine with Gutsy but what about Core2Q? I really need to get a new server for my inside lab and I can't afford to screw up. Glad you liked the entry, I hope someone else in our shoes contacts you. It would be great to get an Edubuntu LTSP community going. Cheers -joe

At 22 October 2007 at 19:27 Stephen Walder said...

So does that mean that you've managed to revive those old macs? I Hope so, shame to let them go to waste.

We're using AMD64 X2 5600 (dual core) in our server, but this is only running with 1 core because it's using a single core kernel (standard in Edubuntu 6.10) I'm also keeping things 32 bit and not taking advantage of the 64 bit. Documentation and support for apps is scarce using 64bit and just adds to the headaches! Maybe one for the future!

As yet we've never maxed this out, but we've not created a situation in which to do this. The most simultaneous users we've had on the system has been about 10, there is however 30+ clients hard wired at this stage.

As far as I know it's just a case of using a specific kernel to utilise the 2 or 4 cores. So any distro. can be used & the kernel changed appropriately.

Initially I was using Edubuntu 7.04 for a very short time, but found the documentation was slightly better with 6.10, so decided to stick with that. Had I have gone with 7.04 then the 2 cores would have been utilized as standard. I did notice that when 7.04 was installed and the 2 cores were been utilized, they balanced the load out evenly. Processor usage was around 10-20% when just one client was been used - the other 16 were booted up to desktop sitting idle. Quite impressive I thought.

In terms of buying a server, dual and quad cores are more than adequate for up to 40 clients. Just buy what your budget will allow – quad cores can be picked up for $200 now here in the UK. How many clients do you plan on using with the server?

One more thing - I found that all the documentation that told us how to set-up LTSP never mentioned dual or quad core – I think this is because they weren't available then, or were highly priced. All documentation actually referred to specific server CPUs, similar results can definitely be achieved with dual/quad cores.

I'll know more regarding this in a couple of weeks when I eventually get to stress test the system, so if you can wait until then, I'll be able to tell you more. I'll be sure to post some more figures and charts and stuff to the blog then.

At 28 October 2007 at 09:12 Rob Beard said...

Hi Stephen,

This has given me hope for the future. I'm currently involved with installing an LTSP server and a couple of clients in a local community centre. I'm hoping that if the project goes well we'll be able to offer LTSP servers and clients to other community centres around Devon & Cornwall.

I actually found your blog when I was looking for details on how to install the PPC LTSP packages on Edubuntu so I could netboot my iMac G3.

I've posted a link to your blog in our local LUG mailing list. There are a few of us in our local LUG who are really wanting to spread the word about the benefits of Open Source software and how LTSP can benefit organisations which don't have funds to buy lots of new machines. In fact one of the guys in our local LUG has provided LTSP servers and clients which have been sent Cameroon.

Anyway, just wanted to drop by and say hi, your blog is really inspiring.



At 30 October 2007 at 13:12 Stephen Walder said...

I hope your community centre projects go well Rob. Thanks for promoting this blog and I hope any future information I post here will be a real benefit to your LTSP & Edubuntu efforts.

At 11 December 2007 at 22:21 LNS said...

Hey, thanks for posting this. I ran across this blog via Google, and now I see that there is a niche I fit into. =) I am currently deploying new Linux (Ubuntu Gutsy) LTSP servers to 6 elementary schools in California, USA. I'm looking for others to team up with so we have a solid foundation for idea-exchange and troubleshooting. Looks like I found one! =) Check out my blog and shoot me an e-mail and maybe we can collaborate on building a community based on Ubuntu LTSP in schools (or find one that's already established).

- Jordan

At 12 December 2007 at 19:13 Stephen Walder said...

Hi Jordan,
Thanks for your posts. Joseph Hartman actually mentioned creating some sort of community not too long ago, maybe you guys could collaborate together and push things forward in this department. Hope things go okay for you anyhow!


At 12 December 2007 at 19:14 Stephen Walder said...

BTW, what's the link to your blog? I'll put it in a post (i'm way overdue a post!)

At 25 February 2008 at 14:35 Greg said...

Hi, just found this site today. I have implemented Edubuntu 7.04 in my computer lab here in Jamaica. I built a "server" using an Intel quad core processor, WD "Raptor" hard drive, Nvidia 8800 graphics, Abit IP35 Pro mother board (dual gig ethernet) and 2 sticks = 4 gig of OCZ ram.
Running 64 bit Edubuntu...running just fine, all 4 cores sharing the small load. Sorry, but I'm using only 5 clients (big overkill with the server) but am using it as a demo lab for larger schools in the area so they can see the power of LTSP.
Also using Netgear gigabit switches.
Any questions please email me gvigliar at gmail dot com.
Using Fl TeacherTool after much googling for configuration of same.

At 2 November 2008 at 02:51 Daniel Wong said...

Hi Stephen

Great site. Greetings from Malaysia . Just discovered Ubuntu lately myself . I'm not a technical person .

Actually, how do thin clients work? How different is it from a normal computer ? The main thing's cost savings right?

I will try to setup a blog like yours to document my IT work in the non-profit i'm working in . It's a dominantly Windows environment .



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