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Re: thin-client options for sarge

On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 05:05:13PM -0700, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
> just joined this list recently, figured i'd get in on this conversation,
> since my name was mentioned a few times... :)

Good, The more the merier :) (or something)

> >> lessdisks - Looks like a newer initiative, with Jonas Smedgaard as
> >> debian maintainer. This also lacks the easyness of ltsp.org setup.
> >> Version accepted into Testing 2004-05-25
> > I have currently a load of work (I need to get good understanding of
> > OpenAFS and Kerberos5 to fix a school network before school starts in
> > august), but the upstream author of lessdisks, Vagrant, claims most
> > current problems of the current package is fixed in a newer release
> > waiting for me.
> indeed.  many of the bugs for lessdisks don't appear to be present in
> the newer upstream versions(see links below).

And they will work without problem with sarge, and if so, what is
stopping them from entering sarge ? 

> just fixed some bugs in the official packages recently, too.  of course,
> as upstream, i'm always begging to get the newer release into debian :)
> > Here's some differences between ltsp3 and lessdisks (from the top of
> > my head):
> >* Lessdisks supports both SSH-tunneled XDMCP traffic (the
> > Debian-packages sdm and sdm-terminal) and the simpler insecure traffic
> > used by ltsp3 (which requires less CPU on both client and server).
> sdm actually uses ssh X11Forwarding instead of XDMCP used by xdm, kdm,
> gdm... still more secure, though :)

Is it possible to use both ? 

> >* Lessdisks ties terminal configuration to MAC address instead of IP
> > number.
> the goal of which is so that you don't have to edit and restart your
> dhcp server for each new terminal- you just configure DHCP to give out
> dynamic ip addresses and a terminal figures out it's configuration on
> boot.  the only time you'd have to reconfigure a terminal is when you
> swap out a network card.
> i believe LTSP can be configured to use mac address, hostname or ip
> address in recent versions.

Yes, that's the case with LTSP4

> >* Lessdisks by default (when properly implemented - Vagrant claims it
> > works now) uses plain vanilla default Debian Linux kernels, so
> > security updates is swift! (hey, I added that part! ;-))
> not only kernels, but any package available for debian is available for
> lessdisks, generally without modification.

That will be my main goal

> it uses debootstrap to create a standard debian read-only root
> filesystem for the terminals, with as few modifications as possible.
> this is probably it's main strength.

It's not easy to install, and get up running, at least not the packages
in sarge. I'll try to use the ones from sid, and see what the status

> lessdisks is just a few realitvely simple shell scripts on top of
> debian, really :)
> > In the close future is also Vagrant working on compatibility for
> > ltsp-like configuration in order to make it easier to switch
> well, i've incorporated and/or re-written some of the ltsp code for use
> with lessdisks, mainly x configuration.
> i haven't really put much time into converting from an existing ltsp
> installation since i'd have to learn LTSP to do it.  though there's at
> least one person quite familiar with LTSP that might be able to do
> something to that effect.
> > What is currently seen as easier with ltsp3 than lessdisks? Please
> > feed the Debian Bug Tracking System with your wishes and bugreports.

Actually, the setup we uses in Skolelinux today (ltsp3 on woody), we
have 3 debian packages

TO get this thing easily set up, we need those 3 packages. And another
point. We need to have this working cross platform, so that we might
use an i386 Server to server Sparc, PowerPC, i386 thin or diskless

So baiscally we need the same thing that we get with System Imager,
which you actually build on the platform you want to work with , and
install the package on any server you want to choose. 
(not sure if that was easy understandable) 

> i pay close attention to the debian bugs for lessdisks (i am probably
> the main submitter of bugs reports and fixes, actually :)
> if there are any questions that folks need to know to consider lessdisks
> as a thin-client option for skolelinux, i'd be quite happy to assist
> folks in any way i can.

Is it easy to create those 3 packages.
>From there, there must be an option to install additional packages, to
convert the thin client into a diskless client. I'm thinking something
 - Create some thin-client core packages, kernel, core, and X.
 - Open up for installing some additional packages on the distributed
   filesystem, to allow "thicker clients". 

> main weaknesses of lessdisks right now:
> * access to local devices (printer, sound, floppy, cdrom, etc)

That should be managable, as long as the solution runs on a thick
client (but as a diskless)

> * debconf is not my forte
> * no man pages
> * better documentation in general (imagine that)
> there has been some recent improvements with most of these issues, but
> help is always needed...
> mailing list:
> http://lists.freegeek.org/listinfo/lessdisks

Just Subscribed

> package archive:
> http://lessdisks.sourceforge.net/debian/current

We need them in the main debian archives. 

> cvs:
> http://cvs.freegeek.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/lessdisks/
> cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.freegeek.org:/var/lib/cvs co lessdisks
> live well,
>   vagrant

Finn-Arne Johansen 

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