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Re: looking for net image success stories



Greetings,

On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 7:21 PM, Rob Owens <rowens@ptd.net> wrote:
> I'd like to hear how folks on this list are using net images of Debian
> Live.
>

I use Debian Live to netboot a few hundred Linux _thick_ clients. The
users get a full desktop session. I have been using this model for
almost 5 years.

> I'm a longtime user of LTSP, which boots thin clients over the network
> which then run applications remotely on the LTSP server.  This is great
> for low power clients, but for newer clients I'd like to move some of
> that processing power off of the central server and onto the client.
>

I was once a user of LTSP for a few hundred clients, but there were
some limitations that were found to be clumsy to work around.  I found
that shipping out a full Debian desktop to each client was the easiest
way to go.

> The options I've come up with so far are LTSP "fat client mode" (still
> researching this one), DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux), and Debian
> Live net images.
>

I use stock netboot with plainfs so the image can be chrooted to and
tuned in for quick fixes for the fleet. I would never go back to LTSP
if my clients had sufficient processing and ram.

> Does anyone out there use persistence with a net image?  How about NFS
> mounting /home?  I'll be using LDAP for authentication.  Any tips for
> adding LDAP users to local groups (audio, plugdev, etc)?

What was done at the site is netboot right to the live user desktop
and any user can use the station and save work to jump drive or
external media, but no printing or home directories (and you could
also exclude internet access) until user is authenticated and we map
in a cups server and mount the users home folder to a folder on their
desktop. This model ensures that when we do a support call that every
user has the identical setup and no overhead of trying to kiosk or
policy down the operations.

As for back end authentication and storage you can use what you want,
the site is a mixed environment with Windows clients also so we just
use Samba+Cups for back end authentication, storage and printer
access.

All I can say is Debian Live has been a work horse at many locations for me.
>
> I'd appreciate any advice, anecdotes, warnings, etc.

Proper planing with sufficient testing never hurts.


>
> -Rob
>
>
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