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*nix Thread, Linux desktops in Technical; Does anyone have any linux desktops being used by students? We plan to rollout 16 desktops this summer for our ...
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    Linux desktops

    Does anyone have any linux desktops being used by students? We plan to rollout 16 desktops this summer for our maths department. They only require Internet access to mymaths.co.uk and our VLE so I figured why not try it out. The maths department also want to use wireless to save on the coppers, it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Look at Edubuntu. Im sure it has some maths software bundled in too so bonus!

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Take a seat and help yourself to some twiglets. LinuxGirlie will be here shortly.

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    Re: Linux desktops

    I've used a copy of Edubuntu @ school with a special needs child. He has loved it...

    He has broken it twice during upgrades...
    He liked using the add programs bit to get more games...

    I would consider how you are going to stop the children accessing the windows network - Even using our copy Edubuntu it was very easy to access other children's work on our server (Fixed this issue!) :?:

    Also how are you going to stop the children loading new software... :?:

    Please don't get me wrong - I love Edubuntu and my Dell Laptop boots to Feisty!

    J

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    Re: Linux desktops

    I have a Middle school running 160 thin clients to a KDE desktop. Works a treat.

    Give me a shout if you need more info

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglo_Jaxon
    Also how are you going to stop the children loading new software... :?:
    J

    Same as in Windows, don't give them admin rights over the machine.

    Even then should be get practised in reimaging. Not sure if Linux does DeepFreeze style roll backs.

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    Re: Linux desktops

    I figured I use Edubuntu since I'm familiar with Ubuntu and I think the kids will like the pre-installed theme which will save me some time from having to modify the theme. Also I figured I can hide items in the Apps / System menu using alacarte and then only allowing root to execute alacarte. I'd be happy for our students to use the console and obviously they can't install software without root access.

    I plan to join them to my Windows domain for authentication and hopefully can use pam_mount to mount their home folders. For Internet I can lock down Firefox proxy settings in the mozilla.cfg file.

    I think my two stumbling blocks will be:

    1. Wireless and WPA, obviously wireless needs to be connected at boot up before students login.

    2. Firefox, we use Frog Teacher VLE which does not like any browser other than IE

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    Re: Linux desktops

    I recommend a thin client solution such as LTSP rather than stand alone machines. It is far easier to administer one or two servers than a bunch of boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan.lees
    I plan to join them to my Windows domain for authentication and hopefully can use pam_mount to mount their home folders. For Internet I can lock down Firefox proxy settings in the mozilla.cfg file.

    I think my two stumbling blocks will be:

    1. Wireless and WPA, obviously wireless needs to be connected at boot up before students login.

    2. Firefox, we use Frog Teacher VLE which does not like any browser other than IE
    Authentication to a window domain is very easy.
    Wireless is not so easy but possible. In my experience getting the wireless card itself working is the biggest problem, especially in laptops. www.linuxmint.com might be a quick solution in this regard.
    You can run IE under Wine or Cross-Over without any problems, although personally I would ditch anything that is browser centric.

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    Re: Linux desktops

    I prefer not go down the thin client route since I don't have the server hardware and the network performance over wireless might be an issue. :?: I also figured I could do all updates using a script over ssh.

    I did already try our VLE on IE6 using wine but couldn't get it to work perhaps due to Active X or vbscript or whatever frog uses not installed under wine?

    I'm I right in thinking that if I can get the wireless cards working I can configure them to do wpa authentication at bootup perhaps using wpa_supplicant or something?

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner
    I have a Middle school running 160 thin clients to a KDE desktop. Works a treat.

    Give me a shout if you need more info
    sorry to Hijack..
    @linescanner - why KDE? wouldn't a lightweight Desktop Manager be more appropriate for thin client, just curious.

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Can someone talk to me about the use of Linux as thin clients in schools??

    Ive spent a while before making a computer authenticate against AD. but then its hard to make a policy for them, you can edit the skel folder to put things on there desktop and in the KDE auto run folder,
    I made a script which asks them there domain username and password once they have logged in and mounts a folder on the desktop to there work area...
    Maybe im going about this in a very stupid way but up here its VERY hard to find a linux boffin, so most of the things i end up reading how-to's, putting ! commands into the debian bot on the irc room or reading my debian bible book. (its not very detailed)

    If anyone could give me a hand or perhaps let me visit a school where you use thin clients or desktop linux machines that happily authenticate against AD and allow students access to there workarea's, while still being secure enough for them not to break everything. PLease let me know

    Thanks
    -Tony

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner
    I have a Middle school running 160 thin clients to a KDE desktop. Works a treat.

    Give me a shout if you need more info
    sorry to Hijack..
    @linescanner - why KDE? wouldn't a lightweight Desktop Manager be more appropriate for thin client, just curious.
    Ideally yes. The kiosk framework in KDE allows desktops to be locked down properly

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Take a seat and help yourself to some twiglets. LinuxGirlie will be here shortly.
    rofl!

    We have 2/3 linux clients, all of them are fat clients, and we are thinking of putting in thin clients soon. Ours are running pclinuxos, this has a KDE desktop, it took me a good couple of months to get totally locked down to my specification. This is now kept on the server and is 'dragged down' when the clients boot up.

    Jo

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Forgot to say the clients are joined to the domain, and use winbind and pammount to get the users home areas.

    Jo

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    Re: Linux desktops

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfieldsupport
    Can someone talk to me about the use of Linux as thin clients in schools??
    You can come and see our LTSP solution if you want.

    Ask yourself a question. Do you really need to authenticate against AD? We used to authenticate against PDC but there was no real reason to do so, other than having existing users. All new users were being created on and authenticating against the Linux NIS/NFS server. Originally, we were going to let the PDC users die as they left the school. A couple of years ago we decided to convert all existing Windows users to Linux, so we copied all their files over, setup identical user ids and ran a password cracker to preserve their passwords. Of the 600 odd users involved, there were 10 we couldn't crack. It was a very happy day when we disconnected PDC. It was also quite fortuitous as a few weeks after we completed the conversion it blew up.

    The KDE kiosk lets you lock down the users very tightly and quickly.

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