I finally got around to trying out Edubuntu with LTSP the other day. I downloaded the Feisty Server CD and put it in one of the usually functioning computers I have around. I was surprised to find that it used the debian-installer and not the live CD. The install was very simple, and once I hooked up an old router to use for a switch and turned off DHCP on it, I had an LTSP server ready to go. The hard part was finding a computer that would boot off the network. Instead of using something that really should be made into a thin client, I ended up using a perfectly good 700mhz laptop. I plugged it in to the router, boot it up, hit F12 for network boot, and Edubuntu started loading. Soon it was up and running as a terminal. It works very nicely and the client works about as fast as the server. I also hadn’t tried Ubuntu/GNOME in a while, and the polish is very impressive.
The thin client manager is nice. I was disappointed to find the screen viewer doesn’t work out of the box. I needed to follow instructions here to install x11vnc on the client. That didn’t quite work, and I still need to log in and launch it manually. But when it’s working it’s pretty neat. After reading the bzr introductory documentation, I checked out the code for thin-client-manager from bzr to start working on a qt4 port.
Hopefully, soon I can get a hold of some bootable NICs so that I can make a more sensible set up using old computers. So far this is all for fun anyways, but maybe I’ll find the cluster a good home.