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


I think the idea of getting LTSP into Debian is an excellent idea.

I've worked with Matt a little bit on this. I helped do the Ubuntu
specification, but I've not been as involved in the actual coding
as I would like to be.Unfortunately, I've got a million different
things competing for my time.

I will try to help out wherever I can though.

One of my biggest concerns with the current integration of LTSP into
Ubuntu is that it will be too slow at booting.  There's an awful lot of
ubuntu auto-detection going on, that requires Python and alot of other
stuff.  Whereas, the LTSP auto-detection is rather primitive, but very
light-weight. I suspect the best methods lie somewhere in between what
Ubuntu does, and what LTSP does, and it's going to take some time to
sort that all out.

The other concern that I have is that we really need to make sure that
LTSP on Ubuntu can still work on fairly low-end machines.  I think it's
still pretty common to find old Pentium-I 90 Mhz machines with only 32mb
of ram, and they make excellent thin clients using the current LTSP.
I hope they continue to work fine on Ubuntu-LTSP.

It's been a few weeks since I've seen Matt's work and even at that time,
I was absolutely amazed at how far Matt had gotten with it.  Based on
what I've seen of Matt, I'm guessing he's got things working pretty well
by now.

Jim McQuillan

On Sat, 2 Jul 2005, Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:

> 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
> <URL:http://udu.wiki.ubuntu.com/ThinClientIntegration>.
> 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
> lessdisk.
> CC to the Ubuntu integrator and the LTSP lead developer.

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