[nSLUG] classroom PC setup - looking for your thoughts

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 14:36:03 AST 2010


On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM, Pat Gagnon <patgagnon at gmail.com> wrote:

>  Hello group, I’m hoping someone has already done this and can point me in
> the right direction.
>
> What I’m trying to do is setup PCs and laptops in the school where I
> volunteer so that they are back to original configuration after reboot.
>
Michael Rayment of MUN gave a talk about this at CANHEIT 2006 in Halifax.

Some of the details are in this Gentoo User Story:
http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20040209-newsletter.xml#doc_chap3<%20%20http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20040209-newsletter.xml#doc_chap3>

To get the best performance out of this, you trade the cost
of disk for more memory on the clients.  If you need network boot,
check that your network cards will support PXE or etherboot.  Not
all network host adapters contain a network booting BIOS.  Of course
it is most simple if they are all the same or at least you have
only one protocol to configure with DHCP and tftpboot.

Another way to go for more restricted clients is booting rdesktop
to a Windows terminal server.  PXES used to do this, but is now
commercialized.  LTSP might work for you.

The other approach is to use disks on the clients.  The problem is
you don't want to wipe and reimage the disk every time someone
new is going to use the workstation.  It would typically take
one hour to reimage the boot disk.  Labs using this approach are
more likely to reimage once per day.  Some places use a central image
and send it to multiple hosts simultaneously using udpcast.

Lots of options, happily.
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