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Old 04-28-2004, 04:32 PM   #1
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Question what is the best distro for a 30 computers school network?

HI, I am new to linux and to LQ. Today, I have a simple question. I am now in charge of a pilot project at my high school. about 65 computers are being tossed out because they are not performant enough. they are all under 250mhz with less than 2 MB of HD space and with about 32-64 mb of ram. Now the idea of the project is to make a linux network with these computers(since linux is less ressource consuming than M$ windows).
Our needs are that each student must have their own username and password. Also, we must be able to ONLY use a word prossecor, internet browser, and a few "educational games" for kids. Also, each user must have a 30MB account to put their work on and they must be able to get access to that easily on any linux computer on the network.
now my questions are:
1.)what would be the best distro?
2.)Would I need a server? If yes, how powerful?
3.)Is it worth it?
Old 04-28-2004, 04:33 PM   #2
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Correction, that is 2GB of HD space and not 2 MB, sorry
Old 04-28-2004, 05:05 PM   #3
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Back in college, all of 1 year ago, we had a Linux lab and was the setup your looking for. The PCs where just slightly more powerful then the ones you mentioned and they ran Debian for stability reasons. You would need a server to store the 30MB of account space for all the users. You might want to checkout roaming profiles. When the user logs in their work, up to 30MB, is pulled to the local machine even if they did the work on a different machine.

Last edited by JoshFed; 04-28-2004 at 05:06 PM.
Old 04-28-2004, 05:08 PM   #4
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Have a look at and see if its something you'd like to try.
Old 04-28-2004, 05:08 PM   #5
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well this is for a high school context.
Old 04-28-2004, 05:14 PM   #6
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If you don't want to spend money on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and that may be the case for you!), you could look into Whitebox Linux - it is RedHat Enterprise Linux rebranded.
Old 04-28-2004, 05:17 PM   #7
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well I think if I use redhat, I wont need the enterprise version. this is a pilot project. now i'd really want to know what would the best(and not very ressource consuming distro.) and by the way, it will need to use x-window
Old 04-28-2004, 08:01 PM   #8
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the server version of debian would be fine, it's scalable and less resource consuming than fedora, for a server any old p2 box with a 100-1000mg ethernt card would do, about 512 ram and a 40 gig hard drive, wouldn't cost you more than $400 us
Old 04-28-2004, 08:22 PM   #9
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if you know a little bit linux any distro which is not rpm should do it(with RPM nightmare even if there is apt or yum and distro bugs...)
*graphical environment can be installed on any
*servers can be installed on any

slackware,debian,and other distros will take less memory
a light graphical environment wouldn't heart but if you need one for winsucks users kde should do it
Old 04-28-2004, 08:50 PM   #10
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i think the link to k12* was to show you the possibilities of ltsp.

if you could get one power machine running, you could then use the old pc's as "thin clients".
this may not be an easy option, but could be a good learning experience.

otherwise i'd say have one machine serve up everyones /home dir's and login.
on the others, make a minimal 2.6 kernel (the scheduling upgrades from 2.4 will help speed up the older machines), and run something like fluxbox or a stripped down kde.

i think gentoo would work great, but you might experiment with a few new distros to see what installer will work with your hardware. (gentoo has no installer, but you learn a lot installing it)
Old 04-28-2004, 11:43 PM   #11
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Linux Terminal Server Project
Old 06-16-2004, 10:19 AM   #12
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We have k12ltsp running 40 clients in a middle school and it is working great. Went the entire school year last year with no problems. I just took it down to upgrade it during the summer but before that it had a 310 day uptime. The kids were using it before windows machines, they said it was faster. I am using old P133 dells as clients that we recieved as a free donation.

Just my thoughts,


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