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Re: Holiday Project for my job

On 09/04/2011 07:48 AM, Rob Owens wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 03, 2011 at 10:35:12AM -0500, ZephyrQ wrote:
>> I am trying to set up several Linux desktops for a secure (locked)
>> facility for troubled teenagers.  I brought one home to set up (so I can
>> have unfettered internet access) but then I need to be able to 'clone'
>> it to others without internet access (so package retrieval is impossible
>> unless I bring home every single desktop; and we are talking about up to
>> 50).  So I need advice on the following:
>> 1.  Which distro to use?  I've used Mint before in a similar setting
>> (and was pleased) but I'm now stuck with 6 year old Dells with almost no
>> video acceleration and .5 G memory each.  I'm thinking XFCE with Mint or
>> Xbuntu, but am open to others (even a stock debian install which I use
>> on my home machine) but I will not be able to update unless I do so
>> manually (which a CD or thumbdrive).
>> 2.  How do I 'clone' the machine to a CD or, preferably, a thumb drive
>> so I can install the same configuration to all machines (limiting menu
>> options, put in educational games, add openoffice or libreoffice, etc.)?
> Both of these will allow you to keep a pristine image that only you
> update (and you only have to update it on a single machine).  When a
> client boots, it gets its OS over the network.  It always gets a
> pristine copy of the image on each boot.

Thanks for the advice from all of you.  I decided upon a stock Debian
(stable) box which I will reproduce with Clonezilla.  It is going to
take longer than I thought (I still have to modify the menu and retool
the partitions a bit--seems the netinstall gave only 9 G to the root
partition but 27 G to /home which caused it to overfill when I did the
first big download of educational packages).

The basic Gnome desktop seems snappy enough on the machine, but I'll be
playing with both LXDE and XFCE--I'm running up against common
perceptions with both the students and the teachers who have never seen
a Linux desktop and I have to keep it as easy for them as possible.

Unfortunately, this set of installs will NOT be networked--they are
meant to be stand-alones in various classrooms around the building.
However, I will be needing the additional advice when I get to actually
re-doing the lab I'm in charge of (with a 500 G 3GHz server that has
never been used) that I will want to perform some nifty-ness with.

Again, thanks for all the advice...and I would appreciate any other
wisdom y'all might throw my way...I ran into another snag where I wanted
to remove some software but synaptic insists that it will remove
Gnome-core (like Evolution and Epiphany...these machines will never be
connected to the internet) and while I vaguely remember this issue on
the list, I don't remember the fix.

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