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  1. 1. Linux Terminal Server Project How to re-use outdated equipment and give it new life Mark Elliott Sharbot Lake High School / CFSO
  2. 2. Why we did it… <ul><li>Asked by Industry Canada and CFS National to assist the 150 schools to which we’re providing labs of computers in Kenya and schools in other developing countries – software was a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Great project for my ICE 3M/4M classes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking – DHCP, switch/hub topologies, IP addressing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternate Operating Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Because we could… </li></ul>
  3. 3. Possibilities for Thin Client <ul><li>Microsoft – NT4, 2000 and 2003 server with terminal services. (needs a powerful server – 256 Mb per client recommended) </li></ul><ul><li>Citrix – same as Microsoft (needs MS server) with a very efficient overlay – still needs a fair bit of hardware for your server </li></ul><ul><li>Linux – runs on a very small server (Pentium 3) and needs <50 Mb per client </li></ul>
  4. 4. What we did… <ul><li>Developed an MS 2000 server with terminal services (CALs and TS very expensive) </li></ul><ul><li>Citrix server was more expensive since we needed the MS server also </li></ul><ul><li>Developed LTSP with Mandrake 9.1 but it wasn’t stable enough for shipping abroad </li></ul><ul><li>Developed LTSP with RedHat 8.0. This was very good but now costs $179 per server (too much) </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted in the development of K12LTSP using Fedora core (a hybrid of RedHat and free ). This package now installs well and has many educational programs included, along with a complete Office Suite (all free) </li></ul>
  5. 5. How to set up K12LTSP -Hardware- <ul><li>Prepare a Pentium 3 server with a larger (10+ Gig) Hard Drive and as much RAM as you can install </li></ul><ul><li>Install 2 network cards (different if possible to determine which services the clients and which provides the Internet connection) </li></ul><ul><li>Set your server BIOS to boot from CD </li></ul><ul><li>Take out the hard drive from the client (not needed) and make sure it boots from the floppy drive </li></ul><ul><li>Install a network card into the client </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare a network switch/hub (switch preferred) and Ethernet cabling </li></ul>
  6. 6. How to set up K12LTSP -Software- <ul><li>Download the 1 st 3 disks images (iso) from </li></ul><ul><li>Burn the iso images on a CD (I use Nero 6.0 or Alcohol 120%) </li></ul><ul><li>Boot from the 1 st CD </li></ul><ul><li>Answer all default settings as “OK” except the IP range for the DHCP server as instead of so that you can use default IP addressing for your routers/switches that will carry your Internet connection </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll be asked to set up a root account (super user) during setup and one client account after rebooting after setup </li></ul><ul><li>You can set up students’ user spaces in “System Settings” after you reboot and log in as “root” (remember your root username and password) </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your client has a network interface card (3Com905, Intel 100 Pro, Real Tec, etc. -- 28 possibilities from my boot disk) This NIC is what the client will boot from and attach to the server, unless your NIC has an onboard EPROM. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Using K12LTSP <ul><li>Boot your server after connecting all Ethernet cabling to switches, server and Internet connection. You don’t have to log on, just leave the server at the logon screen since all services will be running (DHCP, file server, print server, Internet, etc. ) </li></ul><ul><li>Boot your client from the floppy after connecting the RJ45 cable to the NIC – client boots from the floppy for only 3-5 seconds – the rest is from the server </li></ul><ul><li>Log on using the given username and password </li></ul><ul><li>Each user has their own directory on the server to store files and settings </li></ul><ul><li>TRY IT OUT (p.s. – don’t use “Chromium” or “Tux Racer” since these two programs need a very high-end video card on the client – not possible today) Sound is also possible on the client using K12LTSP 4.1.0 if it is a standard card </li></ul><ul><li>Log on is student01, student02, …, student10 with the same password as logon id </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s next for our project? <ul><li>CLUSTERING – the clients are going for a free ride and we’re going to put them to work. We’ll have the RAM and CPU of the client do some work for the server so that the server looks like it has “unlimited power in an itty bitty space”- takes some of the load off the server. We might even start creating “server farms” for large classes (2 or 3 servers sharing the load) </li></ul><ul><li>JAVA working on the server and running my LEGO robots on the clients via infra-red through the USB port </li></ul><ul><li>Getting our Pringle Can broadband wireless project running from a Linux Thin Client environment (7km range with antennas) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Has it Worked? <ul><li>Labs of 20 clients in Kenya (numerous schools) </li></ul><ul><li>Just shipped labs to 4 schools in Ghana </li></ul><ul><li>2 labs are on their way to Malawi this week </li></ul><ul><li>Tanzania, Mauritius, Uganda, Cameroon and Nigeria are ready to setup schools with thin-client labs in their countries </li></ul><ul><li>Interest from Guatemala, Dominican Republic (as of Nov 12, 2004) and Cuba </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Business is starting to see advantages in the technology (we’ve been approached already) </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Canada and CFS-National are “embracing” the technology to help eliminate the “Digital Divide” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Advantages <ul><li>Server – free (P3) with free software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrades are to the server only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software is loaded on the server once and is “pushed” to the clients </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ clients” can be any PS2-style Pentium 1 machines (even 486s work) – don’t need high-end machines </li></ul><ul><li>Software is free </li></ul><ul><li>Students learn some pretty interesting Networking skills and get to talk on the phone to interesting people from other countries. They also learn about different cultures. (My class, last semester, learned a fair bit of Swahili from a technician from Kenya who worked in our shop for 10 weeks.) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Questions? <ul><li>If you have any problems, contact me at [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>