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.

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