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Some notes on the next generation LTSP (getting LTSP into Debian/main)

Call for help to get LTSP into Debian!

I'm currently at an edubuntu conference here in London, and have spent
part of the time learning more about the next generation LTSP.  We
have been told that the next version of LTSP will build on Ubuntu, and
one of the participants at this conference, Matt Zimmerman, is the
person in Ubuntu working on the integration.  These are some random
observation on the topic, and some pointers for more information.

The Ubuntu LTSP package is available from
<URL:ftp://ftp.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/l/ltsp/>.  It is the
extracted boot scripts from LTSP (ltsp-client), and some scripts to
build the client environment (ltsp-server/ltsp-server-standalone).  It
also need some adjustment for the kernel used on the clients, as ut
uses unionfs and also need to handle NFS root file system.

Some notes on the LTSP packages in Ubuntu are available from

I've looked at this package, and note a few changes needed to get it
working on Debian:

 - X configuration need to be adjusted.  The Ubuntu version uses
   'dpkg-reconfigure -fnoninteractive xserver-xorg' to generate X
   configuration.  For Debian/main we need a different method.  I
   suspect we could use xdebconfigurator to do the same, if we enable
   the boot time regeneration feature in it.  It might be better to
   add some hooks into this part, to make it easier for ubuntu and
   debian-edu to insert the feature we want.
   (server/ltsp-build-client, debian/ltsp-client.ltsp-client-setup.init)

 - Debian/sarge is missing the client dependency initramfs-tools.
   This is a variant of the kernel issue.  We need to get the Debian
   kernels to support the features we need, or build our own.

Neither of these issues are big deals.  I suspect a few weeks should
be suffucient to get LTSP into Debian proper.  Matt and Mark in Ubuntu
was not too interested in spending Canonical-time to make this happen,
but would welcome any effort from others to make it happen.  I can
spend some time on it, and would welcome others to help as well.

Getting LTSP into Debian would extend the user base, and also make it
easier for debian-edu to continue using LTSP instead of moving to

CC to the Ubuntu integrator and the LTSP lead developer.

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