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Greetings, I am a freshman at college currently working on my associates degree. Due to the apparent lack of appropriate curriculum for CS majors, I decided to form a school association to push for Linux courses, perhaps hold classes, to inform students of alternative solutions to propitiatory software requirements, and to somehow contribute to the open source community. There are ZERO Linux courses at my school. Everything seems orchestrated by Microsoft, so the purpose of my association is to change that.
I will be mailing off letters asking for computer donations to the school, giving talks, and generally collaborating with members to accomplish its goals.
I have some basic question for the Linux community. Hopefully someone with a lot of Linux experience will have some advice for CLASS (Coastal Linux Association).
Priority one: Since I am new to Linux, I am not sure where to get some of this information. That is where you guys come in. I feel CLASS will need the capability of remote access to a terminal on campus. Students can login with their user name and password and be given a terminal window to play around with the commands and store files on the server.
I am assuming I'll have to do some research on Samba, but how to work out user accounts, and all that stuff? It would be cool if they could access the terminal independent of the OS, like in a browser window, but it isn't essential. The only thing that comes to my mind is to study network administration. Hopefully I don't have to be a network administration genius to set this up.
Also, what about setting up a projector to work on Linux? Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
One way is to setup ssh on the server. This will allow students to login remotely. But this will be on terminal. I do not know how to do it through web browser or even if it is possible. But you will need to be careful with permissions and will need to allow only those machines that you really want to and deny all others. Also instead of allowing root access, giving individuals their own user name and password would be good. Let them practice some basics before you allow them admin tasks.
Setting up a projector should not be a problem. Connect it to the system with a video cable and it will take up.
Just one question though? Which distribution are you planning to use and what will be the purpose of the server other than what you mention?
It would have been nice in the following to have addressed your technical needs but that is beyond my knowledge. In rereading your original post I now see that you are looking to create a classroom like setting while I wrote what's below as if you were in the early stages of organizing a group that would have technical as well as social dynamics to it. Nevertheless, I hope you're able to use something of what follows.
A student's time on campus is predominantly occupied by fulfillment of the curriculum. Since you yourself are a student I would have to imagine that your time for Association related activities would be limited. An obligation, such as you are planning to take on, can have many unforeseen responsibility that can take away time from other activities of yours and leave you feeling spread too thin, if mismanaged. I would think that some of your first priorities might be to seek assistance from fellow students as early as possible, speak with campus representatives and use the support of Linux User Groups.
In seeking assistance from fellow students draw from your strength. As you said the campus already has computer science facilities, many of the students who are taking computer courses have likely heard of GNU/Linux even if they haven't personally used it before. Gaining the aid of a core few who are dedicated and have the time would then elevate some of the pressure from you. You do not however want to bring in too large a group of casually interested people at first because any perceived lack of preparation and structure might cause those individuals to leave and the group to not be sustainable, or would cause recruitment from that same pool of students to be compromised.
I don't know what your goals for size or duration are but, one option to consider is to go through official channels speaking with campus staff. Inquiring about the ways in which students can organize on campus. This could be the best way of ensuring permanence in CLASS that would last beyond your personal involvement. You might need to come prepared to show and demonstrate Linux to not only GNU/Linux lay persons but folks who are simply not computer savvy, having a campus computer science staff member at this same meeting could benefit you.
Linux User Groups or LUGs, are, in one understanding, regional computer clubs that focus on Linux where age and experience of members may vary. Drawing from such a group's preexisting establishment could bring you a variety of resources including ideas, speakers, off campus meeting locations, LUG vs. CLASS LAN parties and personal support so that you don't feel like you're doing this alone.
Be they operated by Mac power users, BSD gurus or GNU/Linux enthusiasts, *nix operating systems can have an allure of their own for those who naturally might feel a bit stifled by the closed manner of competing operating systems. So, I'm sure that with an entire campus to draw from, given time and nurturing Coastal Linux Association will have a good opportunity of becoming successful! Good luck with it Sanoski!