IRC chat logs for #ltsp on irc.freenode.net (webchat)


Channel log from 5 January 2012   (all times are UTC)

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01:00
<sndwrx>
alkisg: Specs are 3.4GHz dual core, 512MB to 1GB RAM. Ram can be upgraded, no problem. They all have 300W-350W PSUs, though, and compared to the 15W of draw from the thin clients, that's still a savings in energy consumption. Albeit not a great difference, there would be less usage. Either way, I may have a dual Xeon server headed my way that would more easily bear the weight of such a configuration.
01:00
alkisg: I know having to run so many virtual machines must be ridiculous (at least for a low-budget library), but how beefy do you expect a server should be?
01:01
Sorry for my ignorance. I've been lurking the channel so I can pick up on things before I actually have to put it to use. I've already implemented an LTSP server for the public catalog computers, but that was ridiculously simple and had no real special needs.
01:02
<vagrantc>
sndwrx: you're looking at fat clients or thin clients?
01:03
if it's fat clients, the specs on the server would be absurdly small
01:03
<sndwrx>
Thin clients.
01:03
Working with WYSE V10, 800MHz VIA / 128MB flash / 256MB RAM.
01:04
<vagrantc>
it really depends on what you're going to do with them...
01:04
<sndwrx>
The intent is to be rid of some 40 computers with 300W-350W PSUs and reduce the library's electrical footprint with these 15 watters we have available.
01:05
In addition to the obvious advantages of having a centralized point of management, as opposed to individually updating a jillion Windows machines that are all in varying states of disarray.
01:07
If need be, we can upgrade the RAM on the clients. I'm not certain but I thought it would accept up to 1GB.
01:08
<vagrantc>
for thin clients, .5-1GB should be enough
01:08* sndwrx nods.
01:20
<alkisg>
sndwrx: if you can upgrade the RAM on your clients to 1 Gb, then you don't have a need for a beefy server, you can use them as fat clients, i.e. serve the VM locally
01:21
<sndwrx>
cool
01:21
They just use standard DDR2 laptop RAM.
01:21
<alkisg>
You may use any one of your desktop PCs as the server then
01:21
<sndwrx>
Again, forgive my ignorance; how much CPU overhead am I looking at?
01:21
<alkisg>
Let's separate the two options
01:22
<sndwrx>
ok
01:22
<alkisg>
Fat clients for you means "serve the VM locally"
01:22
<sndwrx>
You guys are the pros, that's why I'm here. :)
01:22
<alkisg>
Thin clients for you means "have 13 VMs on the server, and the clients would rdesktop to them"
01:22
<sndwrx>
right.
01:22
<alkisg>
So, for fat clients, you can use any of your existing desktop PCs, with about 10% CPU usage
01:22
2 Gb RAM would help, to cache the VM disk,
01:23
and a gigabit NIC, or even two of them, would also help
01:23
<sndwrx>
2GB on the server?
01:23
<alkisg>
Yes
01:23
<sndwrx>
Yes, they have gigabit NICs.
01:23
<alkisg>
And 1 Gb on the clients
01:23
<sndwrx>
And 2GB won't be a problem for the server.
01:23
<alkisg>
For thin clients, let's say you put 8 Gb RAM to the server, and keep your 128 MB RAM on your clients
01:23
<sndwrx>
(256MB) :)
01:23
<alkisg>
But you'll need some more CPU on the server then
01:23
Right, 256
01:23* sndwrx nods.
01:23
<alkisg>
(no difference)
01:24
<sndwrx>
Right, I figured.
01:24
<alkisg>
I don't know how much CPU you'll need, as it depends on how much your XP apps use your CPU
01:24
<sndwrx>
The only things running on XP is the time management software, web browser and an office suite.
01:25
Currently they're using MS Office.
01:25
<alkisg>
The web browsing would be the most demanding part, I imagine... e.g. watching youtube is one of the most demanding tasks
01:26
<sndwrx>
I thought the same; most patrons play a lot of flash Facebook games.
01:26
There is some YouTube streaming, but not a great deal.
01:27
Most of the machines run very well with only 512MB of RAM. I had hoped to allocate 512MB to each VM.
01:27
1GB if absolutely necessary.
01:27
<alkisg>
512 is what I suggested, yup, but increase that a bit for the VM needs
01:28
<sndwrx>
I'm still working on stripping the XP installs down, some of the machines actually run pretty well with only 256MB RAM.
01:28
<alkisg>
That's why we said 13*768
01:28
<sndwrx>
Ok, that's what I had thought.
01:28
<alkisg>
So anyway 8 Gb should do it
01:28
Would it be an option to run the browser natively in linux, and not in a vm?
01:29
(mostly asking about users saving data locally etc)
01:29
<sndwrx>
hmm.
01:29
Possibly. But with the time and print management software, I don't think so.
01:30
And unfortunately I had forgotten about another application, OverDrive. OverDrive allows patrons to download audiobooks and e-books to their portable devices.
01:31
But OverDrive is basically just a middleman that takes a proprietary file format which links to the actual content. The content is then downloaded and transferred to their device.
01:32
It's not a media player or anything, although it does rely on WMP for DRM functions.
01:32
<alkisg>
I think I'd go for the fat clients solution, I think it has more chances to run fast enough to satisfy your users
01:33
<sndwrx>
That sounds good to me.
01:33
Especially if it will reduce the need for multiple servers.
01:33
<alkisg>
Try it without LTSP first, with 1 thin client
01:33
<sndwrx>
And you think the 800MHz VIA will be okay, too?
01:33
<alkisg>
Install linux in an external disk, or even a usb stick,
01:33
then a windows vm on top of it
01:33
(with 1 Gb on that client),
01:34
and see if it runs well enough for you
01:34* sndwrx nods.
01:34
<alkisg>
If it does, keep that VM, you'll need it,
01:34
<sndwrx>
okay
01:34
<alkisg>
and you just start hacking the "vbox screen script", as it'll be called
01:35
<sndwrx>
Earlier you had mentioned a script to feed MAC IDs to the vbox instances?
01:36
<alkisg>
Yes, that would be part of the vbox screen script
01:36
<sndwrx>
got it. That's something I'll have to research.
01:37
<alkisg>
VBoxManage modifyvm --macaddress <mac>
01:37
That's the part about the MAC address, but of course more commands will be needed for the dynamic VM creation
01:37* sndwrx nods.
01:38
<sndwrx>
Initially I had set up a multiseat configuration, in hopes to reduce the number of machines by half.
01:38
It worked really well for some of the terminals that didn't need audio or personalized USB support.
01:39
But I didn't have a chance to get multiple sound cards to get that aspect working.
01:39
<alkisg>
sndwrx: do you have 13 thin clients with the same specs? (wyse what was it?)
01:39
<sndwrx>
But I found that VMware Player had less resource overhead than VirtualBox did, at least in that environment.
01:39
Yes.
01:40
I can't guarantee that the next batch of thin clients will be the same specs, however.
01:40
<alkisg>
You could probably even skip linux altogether then and use AoE to boot them, with some sysprep magic, but it's windows-only then, not related to this irc channel...
01:40
(sysprep magic == to only have 1 disk)
01:42
<sndwrx>
hmm. That's not something I'm at all familiar with.
01:42
And the idea of linux-based servers and LTSP makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
01:42
I'm working slowly to get them away from Windows entirely.
01:42
<alkisg>
That's a good plan :)
01:43
I bet the end result will be much more satisfying than all the inbetween solutions....
01:44* sndwrx nods.
01:46
<sndwrx>
So I'll need 12 VMs for the public machines and one VM for the children's machines if I can't get the games to run happily in Wine.
01:47
So far the two that I've had time to try, have. They're older, like, circa Win98 era children's games.
01:47
<alkisg>
No, for the fat client solution you'll need 1 VM for the 12 public machines, and 1 for the games
01:47
<sndwrx>
And I hope to actually get away from those useless things and use more educational Linux games.
01:48
Oh that's right, if I can feed the MAC and hostname info through to it.
01:48
<alkisg>
If they like older games, put them mame, it runs natively :)
01:49
<sndwrx>
I hadn't even thought about mame!
01:49
Very cool.
01:50
<alkisg>
'night all
01:50
<sndwrx>
g'night. Thanks for the info. :)
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13:01
<andygraybeal>
hiu
13:01
hi as well
13:12
<_UsUrPeR_>
hiu
13:12
also, hello
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13:20
<wizzy>
any useful resources on the 'net re printing from fat clients ?
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13:32
<mrcarrot>
is there a way to disable ldm temporary? i have a few computers i need to run X -configure on and if i am killing X, everything hangs.
13:35
<muppis>
mrcarrot, does it hang before or after log in?
13:37
<knipwim>
mrcarrot: you can probably set SCREEN_07="shell" instead of ldm to disable it
13:39
<mrcarrot>
knipwim: thanks, will try
13:40
muppis: is hanging when i am killing the X server. i can not do ctrl-alt-f1 or anything after
13:41
<muppis>
mrcarrot, ok.
14:04
<alkisg>
wizzy: same as standalone clients, you just need to enable printer sharing on your server
14:11
<andygraybeal>
_UsUrPeR_, :!!! :)
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14:31
<mgariepy>
good morning everyone
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16:08
<rwmarch>
On a two NIC system, login fails at the thin client if there is no internet connection. How is this behaviour to be avoided?
16:13
<mgariepy>
rwmarch, it fails or it timeout ?
16:15
<rwmarch>
LDM disappears as expected, an X session appears to be starting, then drops back to LDM. Re-establish an Internet connection for the server and login becomes normal.
16:18
<mgariepy>
rwmarch, try to add "UseDNS no" in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
16:18
<rwmarch>
OK, I will try that. Thank you.
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19:09
<Q-FUNK>
re
19:09
is there any particular why the ubuntu port wants to install hpa-tftpd?
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19:22
<alkisg>
It's just a dependency, you can disable it if you prefer dnsmasq... I think there was a bug report/request for that also
19:24
<Q-FUNK>
the report I filed was to ADD dnsmasq as an alternative dependency, to avoid pulling hpa-tftpd if dnsmasq is already installed.
19:24
e.g. Recommends: hpa--tftpd | dnsmasq
19:24
<alkisg>
Yup, a good request
19:25
<Q-FUNK>
lp Bug #906324
19:27
is anyone else than stgraber packaging LTSP at ubuntu, these days?
19:28
I would have added the alterantive myself, but the package is in main, so I cannot.
19:31
<stgraber>
yeah, I know that bug exists, one thing that needs checking before the recommends is changed is ensuring that no task in Ubuntu installs dnsmasq
19:31
otherwise if you select that task (thinking of libvirt, orchestra or similar) and LTSP, you'll end up with a non working ltsp server
19:31
as the LTSP package only configured isc-dhcp-server
19:33
<Q-FUNK>
apt-cache rdepends dnsmasq
19:34
http://paste.ubuntu.com/794102/
19:36
alternately, if TFTP has become optional since NBD, downgrading tftpd-hpa to Suggests would work for me, too.
19:37
<stgraber>
right, so that's indeed a no go because of orchestra which is part of a task available on our medias
19:37
<Q-FUNK>
what about downgrading it to Suggests?
19:37
<stgraber>
tftpd isn't optional at all
19:37
you still need it to grab the kernel and initrd
19:38
and lts.conf
19:38
nbd just replaces nfs
19:38
<Q-FUNK>
why is it only a recommends then?
19:39
besides, I'd be curious to know whether orchestra alters the config or not. if it doesn't play with dnsmasq config, I don't see why you'd declar it a no-go.
19:40
<alkisg>
dnsmasq has a configuration directory, we could easily drop a file there if we want
19:40
<Q-FUNK>
that's what I use here, too.
19:41
basically, nothing in the rdepends tells us why orchestra pulls dnsmasq.
19:41
<stgraber>
stgraber@castiana:~$ apt-cache rdepends dnsmasq | grep orchestra ubuntu-orchestra-provisioning-server
19:41
stgraber@castiana:~$ apt-cache show ubuntu-orchestra-provisioning-server | grep dnsmasq
19:42
Recommends: dnsmasq, ccze
19:44
anyway, I know the dependencies in ltsp needs to be revisited, hopefully that'll be done for 12.04 depending on how much time I can find for it (at least for now it works for the cases we support in the LTS)
19:46
<Q-FUNK>
I'd like it done before LTS is released. right now, my LTSP host runs LTS and it keeps on trying to pull all Recommends. this constantly creates conflicts with my existing dnsmasq config.
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20:00
<Q-FUNK>
orchestra seems to have really messy maintainer scripts.
20:01
mind you, couldn't ltsp-server simply be made to Conflicts with ubuntu-orchestra-provisioning-server ?
20:05
and with cobbler. b
20:06
<matrix3000>
sup guys
20:06
I have bad news
20:06
my management after finally stabilizing our LTSP server and everything
20:06
decided they want windows
20:06
:((((((((((((
20:07
<alkisg>
Q-FUNK: why would it need to conflict? One can use both ltsp and orchestra if he lets tftpd-hpa to be installed, right?
20:12
<Q-FUNK>
alkisg: because it seems that orchestra messes with the config of just about everthing it pulls vis postinst.
20:12
not just with dnsmasq.conf
20:14
it uses extensive search/replace magic in postinst to alter other software's configs.
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20:59
<Q-FUNK>
stgraber: upon closer inspection, it seems that what orchsetra modifies is a dnsmasq template used by cobbler. it doesn't seem to hack dnsmasq itself.
21:01
stgraber: it still does a messy job of directly altering someone else's configs, but indirectly via cobbler.
21:01
stgraber: but otherwise, it seems that the Recommends for dnsmasq can be safely added.
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23:04
<rwmarch__>
mgariepy: "UseDNS no" fixed it. Thank you. Now what are the unintended implications of this change? I notice that my Ubuntu 10.10 system does not use this setting and it does not have the issue .
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