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RobertP 02-15-2004 03:17 PM

Building a Linux Terminal Server Saved Me!
I have been using many kinds of computers for more than thirty years and have been using Linux for a few years now. I am a teacher, but for the first time in my life I was unexpectedly assigned to be the computer guy at a high school. I checked out my lab and found it running the '98 version of that other OS on machines that were near-doorstops. I could not do anything without crashing a system except browse with Opera. IE or Word brought down the house within hours for one insignificant user, me. I was terrified what would happen if a class full of teenagers or a room full of teachers should be disappointed and send any of the blame my way.

Within two weeks I had a plan. I had not been drawn and quartered (a terrible means of execution) because the locals were used to this level of performance. I could get buy until I could install a new server with Linux Terminal Server and run stuff on the server, and display the results on X-clients on the boxes. The boss said there was a little cash so I drew up a proposal for $1250 for a server that could run K12LTSP and serve 30 clients. It took a couple of months for the request to go through channels but the pieces came on a Wednesday and the server was running on Friday. I had to re-install once and solve a problem with a DHCP conflict with another server but the system was fully functional Monday. Monday night I fixed a final problem with DHCP and the thing ran and ran giving modern performance to a whole class on nearly obsolete equipment.

My students and I set up a web server, a bulletin board, and an online library. Recently I increased the total books online to more than 10000 with a search engine.... It is a tremendous resource. Linux saved me. I went from fear and loathing to shear joy for the expenditure of $1250 and we had fun doing it.

You may read a .pdf document on the whole installation at (link near the bottom of the page)

utopicdog 02-15-2004 03:59 PM

fond as I am of linux, and aware of the shortcomings of W98 explorer et al., I would have done a clean install of a working disk image each morning on a timer, letting the little darlings wreak havoc as they will until the next morning W98 reappeared working perfectly, whilst having pretended to install a linux server and drunk and whored away the cash.

I can't help but think you were determined to fail with windoze.


RobertP 02-15-2004 04:14 PM

We did better than that. The systems were Ghosted so each re-boot put the C: drive back together. The problem was that other OS squandering its resources. It never ran low on memory but it was fragmented. We had only 64mB. To upgrade the RAM on each machine would have cost about as much as the server solution. I am glad we took that option.

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