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


Channel log from 23 May 2014   (all times are UTC)

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07:50
<bucko>
anybody here to help? :)
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08:06
<monkwitdafunk>
Hi bucko
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14:11
<dowobeha>
Hi, I'm new here. I'm considering setting up a new classroom of 30-40 seats with LTSP. I was wondering if there might be any good resources for helping me estimate the server needs for that size classroom.
14:11
<alkisg>
dowobeha: first question is, thin or fat clients?
14:11
I.e. what cpu/ram on the clients?
14:11
!fatclients
14:11
<ltsp>
fatclients: You may find some info about the Ubuntu/LTSP implementation of fat clients at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/FatClients
14:11
<alkisg>
!ltsp-pnp
14:11
<ltsp>
ltsp-pnp: ltsp-pnp is an alternative (upstream) method to maintain LTSP installations for thin and fat clients that doesn't involve chroots: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/ltsp-pnp
14:11
<dowobeha>
I haven't purchased the clients yet
14:12
But I was looking at the LTSP Term 1620 or LTSP Term 1720 terminals
14:13
<||cw>
dowobeha: you don't currently have PCs?
14:13
<dowobeha>
correct. this is for a brand new classroom
14:13
I could simply purchase new PCs for each seat. I'm investigating the feasability of LTSP as an alternative to that.
14:14
<||cw>
what's the workload? LTSP Term's should be able to handle most fat client worlkloads
14:15
<dowobeha>
This will be a classroom for computational linguistics. So mostly programming assignments.
14:15
<alkisg>
dowobeha: if you buy new PCs or thin clients, that are good enough to run linux locally, then your server can be very modest
14:15
<||cw>
also consider off-lease refurb desktops, you should be able to get core duo, or even core2's, with no-os install, for about $100
14:16
<alkisg>
You don't need local disks, you netboot them, and the benefit is central management
14:16
<||cw>
and they would be great fat clients
14:16
<alkisg>
Centralized disk, authentication etc
14:16
<dowobeha>
So what sort of server specs would be needed to support 40 LTSP Terms?
14:17
<alkisg>
Fat clients or thin clients?
14:17
For fat clients, any modern pc with gigabit networking will do
14:17
<||cw>
as fat clients, just fast disks, especially if you'll be doing program compiling
14:17
<dowobeha>
||cw: you mean, just make sure that the server has fast disks?
14:18
<alkisg>
No need for fast disk, just gigabit networking
14:18
<||cw>
yes, because fat client's won't have disks
14:18
<dowobeha>
what about for thin clients?
14:18
<||cw>
alkisg: even if the clients are compiling programs?
14:18
<alkisg>
||cw: the whole nbd image is cached on the server
14:18
<||cw>
dowobeha: depends on the workload.
14:18
alkisg: ok, but compiling...
14:18
<alkisg>
So the fast/slow disk only matters for /home, not for root
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14:18
<||cw>
creating lots of new files...
14:19
right, I mean for /home
14:19
<alkisg>
Classroom workloads don't have such file patterns...
14:19
Any recent disk is ok for 40 fat clients
14:19
<||cw>
I think we're defining "classroom" differently
14:20
and maybe I'm misunderstanding that's needed for the class
14:20
<alkisg>
A server for 40 (true) thin clients, would need 2-3 gigabit network cards bonded, and 4-8 cores...
14:20
<dowobeha>
So in terms of spec'ing out the server, does the bottleneck tend to be memory? CPU?
14:20
<alkisg>
Here they mostly need office, internet and multimedia
14:20
dowobeha: server for thin or fat clients? It makes a huge difference...
14:20
<||cw>
alkisg: right, but this is "computational linguistics. So mostly programming assignments"
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14:21
<alkisg>
||cw: running eclipse and compiling "my-first-program.java" is the same as any other app.. :)
14:21
<||cw>
dowobeha: it also depends on the class's usage patterns. if everyone is going to be compiling at the same time or not
14:21
<alkisg>
But sure yeah it depends on the usage
14:21
<dowobeha>
Let's assume thin clients (or whatever would require the most server capabilities). I'm trying to get a feel for worst-case scenario in terms of server requirements
14:21
<alkisg>
!flash
14:21
<ltsp>
flash: Yes, flash sucks. An HD full screen 30 fps video needs 2.5 Gbps bandwidth (1920×1080×4×30)! Make sure you have LDM_DIRECTX=True in your lts.conf file, or if it's just youtube you're after, try some flash replacing plugin like http://linterna-magica.nongnu.org
14:21
<alkisg>
The worst case scenario, is 100 gbps server speed
14:21
<||cw>
alkisg: yeah, but 30 people on thin clients compiling at once...
14:22
<alkisg>
I.e. you can never fully satisfy 40 thin clients
14:22
But you can easily satisfy 40 fat clients...
14:22
||cw: compiling firstprogram.java doesn't require much disk access on the server
14:23
Headers are in the squashfs image
14:23
<dowobeha>
alkisg: And the difference is that on a fat client, most or all programs execute on the client instead of the server?
14:23
<alkisg>
Right. Both are diskless.
14:23
<||cw>
I'm not familiar without how java compiles
14:23
I am familiar with C++, and it makes a load of object files
14:26
<dowobeha>
So if each client is just running a terminal and running commands on the terminal (compiling and running code) is there any difference in terms of server load compared with a scenario where everybody has a stand-alone PC and has ssh'd in to the server and is doing the same task there?
14:27
<alkisg>
Yes, graphical terminal output needs CPU
14:27
Thin clients need CPU to have the screens over the network
14:27
!directx
14:27
<ltsp>
directx: If you want to turn off encryption to the workstation, which will speed up performance at the cost of security, you need to specify LDM_DIRECTX=True in your lts.conf file. Type !docs in IRC to get a link to the current documentation
14:28
<alkisg>
If you turn off directx, then ok it's about similar to what you described
14:28
*turn on
14:28
<dowobeha>
OK
14:29
So the reason that 40 thin clients isn't practical is what? Lack of CPU? Lack of memory? Lack of network bandwidth?
14:29
<alkisg>
Usually, lack of network bandwidth AND cpu
14:30
<dowobeha>
OK
14:30
So it seems that running programs locally on the client would alleviate the CPU issue
14:30
<alkisg>
And the network bandwidth issue
14:30
<dowobeha>
How does it alleviate bandwidth issues?
14:31
<alkisg>
E.g. youtube needs 2 Gbps on thin clients, 2 Mbps on fat
14:31
1000 times less
14:31
Only disk is accessed over the network, screens aren't...
14:32
<dowobeha>
I don't follow why youtube needs less bandwidth on the fat client. The same amount of content needs to be streamed over the network
14:32
<alkisg>
No
14:32
For fat clients, you get compressed video, like if it was read from a file
14:32
E.g. 1 hour of video = 500 MB, a divx or mp4 file
14:33
For thin clients, the uncompressed screens of the video go through the network
14:33
<dowobeha>
ooh
14:33
<alkisg>
It's like a .dv file from a camera, and actually worse
14:33
<dowobeha>
I see
14:33
<alkisg>
So, 1 hour of video, 500 GB or so...
14:34
<dowobeha>
Got it
14:36
<alkisg>
So in that classroom, the students will use shell and vi and compile programs via the console?
14:36
Or they'll use graphical applications and multimedia, and compile things from e.g. eclipse?
14:36
<dowobeha>
Not sure yet. Either is possible
14:37
I'm thinking about both scenarios
14:37
<alkisg>
You can switch that very easily, LTSP_FATCLIENT=True/False in lts.conf
14:38
<dowobeha>
so in either case, if the programs are run on the client, then when files are accessed, how are the served to the clients? NFS?
14:38
<alkisg>
For thin clients, the programs run on the server
14:38
<||cw>
nfs or nbd (network block device)
14:38
<alkisg>
^ for root (/), and sshfs or nfs for /home
14:39
<dowobeha>
what is ^
14:39
<alkisg>
What ||cw said above :)
14:39
^ = above
14:39
<dowobeha>
thanks
14:39
<alkisg>
Buy i3 with 4 gb ram for clients
14:39
Then make one of them the "server"
14:40
<dowobeha>
oh
14:40
<alkisg>
Run that for 1 year, and if you think you still need a server, buy one
14:40* alkisg is guessing you won't need one :)
14:40
<dowobeha>
I was expecting the need for a multicore with 32-128 GB of RAM for the server
14:40
<||cw>
I'd still be worried about compiling, but nfs with async would probably do OK
14:40
<alkisg>
That ^ above with fat clients will work much better than the server you say, with thin clients
14:41
<||cw>
dowobeha: have you profiled the software they will use yet?
14:42
<dowobeha>
||cw: No, I haven't had the chance to do that yet.
14:42
<||cw>
and just to be clear, it does run in lunux right?
14:42
linux
14:42
<dowobeha>
||cw: yes
14:43
alkisg: Do you have a recommendation for client hardware? As I said, so far all I've looked at are the LTSP terms
14:43
<alkisg>
dowobeha: we're buying desktop pcs here, but diskless
14:44
Any recent i3 is more than enough for whatever we throw at it
14:44
And we usually buy i5's for the servers, and if they have enough money, i7 with ssd for /home
14:44
For 40 clients I'd also use 2 gigabit nics on the server, bonded
14:44
But it's not strictly necessary, I have schools with 50 fat clients and 1 nic
14:45
<dowobeha>
alksig: Are you talking i5/i7 for the server or the clients?
14:45
<alkisg>
i3 = clients, i5/i7 = server
14:46
<||cw>
alkisg: have you used an intel NUC yet?
14:46
<alkisg>
||cw: I'd love to, but they're a bit more expensive
14:46
<||cw>
they have a dual core celeron for about $140 USD
14:47
N2820 cpu
14:47
<alkisg>
I'm using cpubenchmark.net to compare cpus
14:47
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Celeron+N2820+%40+2.13GHz
14:47
1046 mark
14:48
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i3-3220+@+3.30GHz
14:48
4228
14:48
4 times faster...
14:48
<||cw>
yeah, 7W tdp limits it a lot
14:48
<alkisg>
For clients, 1000 is ok for today's needs. Can handle browsing with a couple of ads.
14:48
I think in 2 years it won't be enough
14:48
<dowobeha>
Do either of you have any specific recommendations for client machines?
14:49
<alkisg>
4000 mark => one can run a lot of tabs, a couple of VMs etc, and still feel snappy
14:49
dowobeha: i3 with intel or ati graphics, that's about it
14:49
No need to be more specific...
14:51
<dowobeha>
alkisg: Sure. As I said, I'm a newbie in this area. I was just asking in case you knew offhand any particular manufacturer that would make a system like that.
14:52
<alkisg>
dowobeha: if you're looking for desktop pcs, you can walk into any store and 80% of the PCs you see there will be i*
14:52
For small factor... dunno, check ZOTAC ZBOX ID88, it ships with i3
14:54
It even has dual nic, making it fine for server too :D
14:54
Of course it costs twice as much as the respective desktop pc...
14:55
This also ships with i3: INTEL NUC (NEXT UNIT OF COMPUTING) KIT DC3217IYE
14:55
250€ here
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14:56
<alkisg>
2302 cpubenchmark mark
14:57
While the zotac with i3-3220T has 3728 mark
14:59
<dowobeha>
OK. So it sounds like you'd recommend something more powerful than the LTSP Terms I had been looking at
15:01
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Atom+N270+%40+1.60GHz&id=614
15:01
282 cpubenchmank
15:01
<championofcyrodi>
I'm using the Intel NUC D34010WYK, and it's amazing as a thick client.
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15:01
<championofcyrodi>
I hardly ever have to wait for anything to load. (1Gbps Ether of course)
15:02
<alkisg>
dowobeha: 300 cpubenchmark is the same as 4-year old netbooks
15:02
I.e. they cannot play youtube without dropped frames
15:03
<dowobeha>
championofcyrodi: Thanks for the data point
15:03
<alkisg>
I wouldn't recomment anything with less than 1000 mark for a fat or standalone client
15:04
<dowobeha>
ok
15:04
Looks like the Intel NUCs are kits that don't come with any RAM, if I'm reading newegg correctly...
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15:04
<alkisg>
The NUC that championofcyrodi mentioned has 2508 mark
15:04
<||cw>
yeah, barebones
15:04
<championofcyrodi>
dowobeha: Currently I have 7 NUCs being used by developers running chrome w/ ~20 tabs, intelliJ, thunderbird, terminal, pidgin, maven, ant, ... doing builds.. etc.
15:05
with the NUC, make sure you get the Low Voltage RAM (DDR3L, 3.5v)
15:05
<ogra_>
now you just need the matching server http://www.zdnet.com/canonicals-cloud-in-a-box-the-ubuntu-orange-box-7000029575/
15:05
;)
15:05
<championofcyrodi>
thats 3.5 volts
15:06
<||cw>
the hell is that thing
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15:06
<||cw>
looks like a jobsite radio
15:06* ogra_ would love only the case for a power amp in the living room
15:07
<||cw>
ok that thing is kinda hilarious. I seen lugable clusters before, but not as a finished commercial product
15:08
<championofcyrodi>
ogra_: Our biggest issue right now with LTSP thick clients, are that the developer IDE trying to sync Home folder files which are network mounted. IntelliJ cannot 'watch' the files. I've been given direction to look into using VMs with intelliJ and all developer tools with NX client/server for remote desktop.
15:09
so the NUCs will be used for pandora, browsing, research, etc... while the VM will be used for actual development
15:09
<||cw>
championofcyrodi: sshfs or nfs?
15:09
<championofcyrodi>
sshfs
15:09
<||cw>
tried nfs?
15:09
<ogra_>
just because of missing inotify ?
15:10
yeah, try nfs instead
15:10
<championofcyrodi>
Some of the senior engineers around here said NFS has the same issue.
15:10
Maven repositories get quite large and have a lot of small jar files.
15:11
apparently it get slow over time. Which is why my initial testing was 'OK', but feedback from people who used network mounted home folders for developer tools was poor.
15:12
<||cw>
is it that another user is changing the files?
15:12
linux nfs is kinda weak unless you use async, especially for small files ad high IOPS
15:12
<championofcyrodi>
http://www.jayway.com/2011/09/26/intellij-idea-performance-improvement/ <-nutshell
15:13
(First quote) "In some environments user’s home directory is located on the mapped network drive which in unacceptable for IntelliJ IDEA. You’ll notice the huge performance degradation."
15:13
<alkisg>
If really needed, you can use block devices for /home/username
15:13
<||cw>
other options would be a cluster filesystem
15:13
<alkisg>
E.g. one nbd block device per user...
15:14
Mount on login, unmount on logout
15:16
<championofcyrodi>
I'm still new to LTSP, so I'll have to do some reading and investigating before tackling that.
15:18
and unfortunately, like everything else... they want all the bells and whistles yesterday
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18:17
<Tony>
Does anybody know of a similar project for vmware horizon view?
18:17
<vagrantc>
what does it do?
18:18
<Tony>
i want to repurpose hardware for vmware view
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18:19
<vagrantc>
i don't know anything about vmware view, but if you described the features you want, maybe i know of something similar...
18:19
or someone else...
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18:35
<championofcyrodi>
just looked at a promo video for vmware view (was curious)
18:35
sounds a lot like citrix, nomachineNX, etc...
18:35
VMs with remote desktop that doesnt lag
18:36
we're using KVM (centos) with opennx
18:36
and opennx client on the LTSP thick client image.
18:37
correction... freenx on the VMs with KVM, opennx on the ltsp images.
18:37
so i can watch youtube videos on the VMs OS with sound and no lag
18:37
(not that i normally would, but as a test)
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18:59
<||cw>
championofcyrodi: the difference is that the target isn't a shared terminal server, but a virtual machine, one for each user
18:59
and it can dynamically spool up and down VMs from templates as user load needs
18:59
and all the vmware HA and DRS stuff is available too
19:04
<championofcyrodi>
IIcw: right. Thats what we are using for developers (because of the sshfs/nfs home folder issue earlier)
19:05
each developer has a client PC (thick/actual desktop), and their own VM they connect with via NX
19:05
I'm trying to replace all the actual desktops with LTSP Thick Clients
19:05
to reduce cost and power consumption
19:08
||cw: i'm familiar with the HA features... but not DRS
19:09
ahh... like the fair share scheduler in solaris zones. (resource pools)
19:09
well.. the fair share scheduler is specific to CPU... but i get the idea
19:16
<||cw>
yeah, makes sure a host doens't get overloaded
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20:17
<bennabiy>
alkisg, vagrantc: I am about halfway done with a test version involving a hash, but did not have as much time this week as I thought. We are building a Hempcrete house and needed to spend a few days working on that.
20:17
I will be back after the weekend and probably have something for you next week
20:26
<vagrantc>
bennabiy: it's a better offer than anyone else has made :)
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