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


Channel log from 21 July 2016   (all times are UTC)

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07:48
<marc__>
Hi, I have something strange happening with our pinet lab. When I reach the login page, keyboard and mouse are not working...
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08:49
<tarzeau>
if people use 16.04 ltsp server. which xsessions do you use?
08:49
ubuntu (unity) won't work remotely. and mate hanged for me logging in. amiwm and window maker just work, but nobody except me wants to use them
08:49
<alkisg>
tarzeau: mate, gnome-flashback, lxde, xfce, kde, in that order for me :)
08:50
Mate doesn't hang for me in dozens of installations
08:50
<tarzeau>
nis/ldap/nfs homes?
08:50
<alkisg>
No, the default sshfs
08:51
Also, unity should work fine remotely, although quite slow
08:52
<tarzeau>
very slow. it did actually. no NV-GLX stuff?
08:52
are you using directx or via ssh?
08:52
<alkisg>
directx
08:53
I've no idea what "nv-glx" is
08:55
There's indirect glx, but it's not well maintained upstream in xorg, so I haven't seen it working in years. And furthermore, thin clients are usually ancient clients that don't support 3d even locally.
08:55
More recent clients are better of working as ltsp fat clients instead
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08:56
<tarzeau>
fat client being?
08:56
having local storage?
08:56
or also nbd, but running stuff locally? not remote x
09:01
<alkisg>
ltsp fat clients don't have local storage, they just execute the nbd image locally, i.e. with their own cpu/ram instead of using the server's
09:01
LTSP automatically detects when clients are good enough to make them fat
09:01
!ltsp-pnp
09:01
<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
09:02
<alkisg>
What are your client specs? CPU/RAM?
09:02
tarzeau: ^
09:04
<tarzeau>
i see, thanks for the explanation
09:05
we used to have alix hardware, which is Geode(TM) Integrated Processor by AMD PCS / 128 mb memory
09:05
meanwhile it's zotac machines (64-bit capable gbit ethernet 256 machines)
09:06
<alkisg>
With ltsp-pnp, the zotac machines will automatically function as fat clients, while the geode ones as thin clients
09:06
Although you'll have a hard time to boot clients with 128 mb ram under 16.04
09:06
It's possible, but not with the default settings
09:07
<tarzeau>
so you think we should use ltsp-pnp (no more changeroots)?
09:07
pnp doesn't use nbd?
09:07
<alkisg>
I think that everyone that ltsp-pnp fits his needs, should use it
09:07
<tarzeau>
we're using two ltsp servers
09:07
<alkisg>
I don't know all your needs though
09:07
pnp uses nbd
09:08
<tarzeau>
and building the nbd from a 30 gb system will be fast?
09:08
<alkisg>
Why would you need a 30 gb system? (of course not counting /home)
09:08
<tarzeau>
we've got a 20 gb /opt/commercial-software thing, and about 4000 software packages
09:08
because we have so many different users needing so many different software
09:08
of course, /home is separate, not counted
09:09
it's only software
09:09
<alkisg>
You can omit that from the published image, and export it with either nfs or sshfs=localapps_extra_mounts
09:09
<tarzeau>
but that'll become more complicated than just sticking to the changeroots
09:10
currently we have two ltsp servers 12.04, and we want to upgrade them to 16.04, one 16.04 works fine, however the collegue wants to put glusterfs on it for
09:10
the kiosk users we have (user creation, info displays, shop order machines)
09:10
<alkisg>
Or you can just wait 40 minutes until ltsp-update-image finishes :)
09:10
<tarzeau>
we've got fullscreen web browser machines displaying:
09:11
<alkisg>
Complicated ==> it's 2 lines, one in ltsp-update-image.excludes and one in lts.conf
09:12
I don't understand where glusterfs would help for the kiosks
09:12
How many chroots do you currently have?
09:12
<tarzeau>
http://events.phys.ethz.ch/event/screen
09:12
https://admin.phys.ethz.ch/newaccount/
09:12
https://lager.phys.ethz.ch
09:13
also some library and lab kiosks we have
09:13
for the kiosk user, we have 3 of them, one is generic, like having a .xsession file like this:
09:14
<alkisg>
It's not difficult to have either a kiosk SCREEN or a kiosk session with ltsp-pnp, you don't need additional chroots for kiosks
09:15
And with fat clients you usually don't need multiple servers, one is enough
09:15
<tarzeau>
i know we have one chroot on one ltsp server, and another on the other
09:15
but we have two, and it's not my decision to just have one
09:15
and the kiosks can also login to an rdp server (windows)
09:15
<alkisg>
You can keep two, it's not a problem
09:16
rdp also works fine with ltsp-pnp
09:16
<tarzeau>
alkisg: https://people.phys.ethz.ch/~myczko/dotxsession.txt
09:16
<alkisg>
You just avoid having chroots, you don't lose functionality
09:16
<tarzeau>
i see
09:16
but what's wrong with the chroots?
09:17
this pnp, is just the wrong name to sell it
09:17
<alkisg>
When you have both thin and fat clients, you install 30 gb of software in both the server and the fat chroot
09:17
<tarzeau>
pnp was used for plug n play (or pray), and it never freaking worked
09:17
so marketing wise you should've used another name for it
09:17
<alkisg>
With ltsp-pnp, you only install them on the server and run ltsp-update-image
09:18
<tarzeau>
but we don't have fat clients :)
09:18
<alkisg>
And chroots break many times, with dbus, grub, kernel updates etc
09:18
That's the main motivation, because fat clients will work 1000 times better
09:18
<tarzeau>
we've been running chroot ltsp servers since over 5 or 6 years
09:18
<alkisg>
Have you seen any difference between thin clients and local ubuntu installations?
09:18
<tarzeau>
of course, many!
09:19
<alkisg>
Do you feel that thin clients go slower, have lags, can't watch video etc?
09:19
So, fat clients perform the same as local ubuntu installations, while not needing hard disks
09:19
<tarzeau>
so i'll stuff another installation of the system into the chroot, and make the machines fat clients :)
09:20
<alkisg>
Yup. You'll have the first implementation of fat clients, in which you install things twice
09:20
That's fine for performance, but it's a bit bad for sysadmins
09:20
<tarzeau>
i'll mount the system into the chroot
09:21
<alkisg>
Well feel free to implement it however you like; I'm just proposing the best way we've found after exploring the options for years
09:21
If you feel you can find a better way, go for it, and then share it with us
09:21
<tarzeau>
i'll think about the pnp stuff
09:22
<alkisg>
The main thing to think of, is fat clients
09:22
<tarzeau>
it's probably the better way. i'll just have to find out how to activate pnp instead of chroot
09:22
<alkisg>
You don't need to start with pnp, start with fat clients first
09:22
Just add all the software to your chroot
09:22
<tarzeau>
we've switched to /opt/ltsp/amd64 (only) with 16.04, and there's about 10-15 alix hw still around
09:23
<alkisg>
i386 is still good enough when you have mixed clients
09:23
No need to use amd64 imho
09:23
But you can have an i386 thin chroot just for alix if you prefer it, even an older 12.04 one that needs less ram
09:23
<tarzeau>
fat clients with only 256 mb sounds just wrong
09:23
i mean our users run mathematica, matlab, maple
09:23
<alkisg>
They're automatically thin
09:23
They're not fat
09:24
<tarzeau>
their machines usually have 4-256 gb memory
09:24
<alkisg>
The clients select to become fat only when they have > 400 mb ram
09:24
<tarzeau>
so that's never :)
09:24
our zotacs diskless machines are only bought for running X11
09:24
<alkisg>
Didn't you say you also have newer zotac clients?
09:24
64bit capable?
09:24
How much ram do those have?
09:24
<tarzeau>
yes, but without memory we bought them, yes 64bit capable
09:24
256
09:25
mb
09:25
<alkisg>
If they're 64bit capable, then buy ram for those
09:25
It's a pity to use them as thins
09:25
<tarzeau>
it's a pity to not use our really fat workstations
09:25
<alkisg>
Workstations can also work as ltsp fat clients
09:26
<tarzeau>
i wonder if anyone has setup a room with student machines like workstation=ltspserver, and they allow cross logins with get_hosts listing all of them
09:27
<alkisg>
You mean where all workstations are also LDM servers and allow client logins? Why would you do that , for load balancing?
09:27
<tarzeau>
yes
09:28
to distribute the load , when not all machines are equal
09:28
<alkisg>
I don't think anyone has done it, but I've thought about it for some labs that we have here with e.g. 7 good (fat) clients and 7 bad (thin) clients
09:28
It shouldn't be hard to do, just 10 lines of code or so
09:29
<tarzeau>
how long does it take to install a good fat client for you? (non ltsp)
09:30
<alkisg>
Do you mean "standalone" client there? I.e. with a disk?
09:30
<tarzeau>
yes
09:30
<alkisg>
All ubuntu installations take the same time for me, either ltsp servers or standalone clients. That's about 1 hour.
09:31
(depending on the network speed for downloading the packages after installation)
09:31
<tarzeau>
we also had about 1-2 hours. and (we're using dphys-config and aptitude-robot packages to configure and install all debian packages)
09:31
we've imrpoved the install time by 60% adding:
09:32
eatmydata aptitude-robot (disabling all sync calls during package installation of 4000 pkgs)
09:32
and parallelizing the installation of the 15-20 gb /opt directory
09:32
so it's now 15-40 minutes
09:33* tarzeau lunch..
09:33
<alkisg>
We have custom .deb metapackages that pull all the packages that we need, e.g. "apt install high-school"
09:33
And apt repositories to host all of them
09:33
So we basically only run 1 command after base install
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11:02
<tarzeau>
same here, it's just that we do it in another way
11:03
for hosting, we run mirrors of debian and ubuntu, and our own repository for some things
11:03
then dphys-config installs the configuration files the software needs first, then the command aptitude-robot-session (installs 4000 packages in one command)
11:04
to prevent users thinking the machine is dead and re-powering it (black screen , and or login: text in prompt) we even got this now:
11:07
C=`stty -F /dev/tty1 size | awk '{print $2}'`;L=`stty -F /dev/tty1 size | awk '{print $1}'`;img2txt -f utf8 -d fstein -W $C -H $L /tmp/progress/progress${n}.png >/tmp/p.txt
11:07
https://people.phys.ethz.ch/~myczko/progress100.tar.gz
11:08
the pngs autogenerated using inkscape and a svg (and the helvetica font :)
11:09
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aiei/shares/o27528 (screenshot)
11:12
and the /tmp/p.txt is being cat /tmp/p.txt > /dev/tty1
11:12
no double buffering yet, but would be possible with tty1+tty2 using chvt 1/2 :)
11:17
do you have ltsp clients with more than 1 screen?
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12:45
<alkisg>
tarzeau: yes, we have with 2 screens or even multiseat with 2 seats
12:52
<tarzeau>
ok
12:52
did you ever understand ltsp-update-sshkeys or are you also using stricthostkeychecking no?
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13:10
<alkisg>
tarzeau: I'm an ltsp developer, of course I know how ltsp-update-sshkeys works...
13:10
<tarzeau>
alkisg: ok, what and where and how am i supposed to run it?
13:11
<alkisg>
There are many cases on how this works, for example in ltsp-pnp it just works, you don't need to run it
13:11
<tarzeau>
if i run it without parameters, or a host as parameter it overwrites /etc/ltsp/ssh_known_hosts.auto
13:12
an EXAMPLES section listing a few of them in the manual page would be helpful, no?
13:12
<alkisg>
Documentation authors are always welcome :)
13:12
In general, it's just "ltsp-update-sshkeys"
13:12
<tarzeau>
with 2 ltsp servers?
13:13
<alkisg>
If you run `ltsp-update-sshkeys server2`, then you get its keys to /etc/ltsp/ssh_known_hosts.auto
13:14
So then when you run ltsp-update-sshkeys with no parameters again in server1, both the server1 and server2 keys get in the chroot
13:14
The end result should be that the chroot should contain all keys with the appropriate host names
13:16
<tarzeau>
aha
13:17
wow these 3 lines in the man page would save so much headache
13:17
FAQ section
13:17
what about the ldm...
13:17
it supports ssh and rdesktop right?
13:18
lts.conf with SCREEN_08=rdesktop
13:18
could i just write about anything in there, i mean can i also use xfree-rdp instead of rdesktop?
13:19
because rdesktop only supports 2color mouse cursors, so running adobe software on an rdp server makes the mouse cursor go berzerk like unusable
13:30
<alkisg>
Those lines are there in ltsp-update-sshkeys --help
13:30
rdesktop doesn't have ssh keys
13:30
<tarzeau>
rdesktop thing was not related to ssh
13:30
it was just about rdesktop vs xfree-rdp
13:31
<alkisg>
Only those 2 are supported
13:31
For others, you'd need to create your own screen script
13:32
<tarzeau>
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ldm/ there?
13:34
<alkisg>
$CHROOT/usr/share/ltsp/screen.d
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14:05
<tarzeau>
thanks
14:34
<ben_nabiy>
!ppa
14:34
<ltsp>
I do not know about 'ppa', but I do know about these similar topics: 'sbalneav-ppa', 'greek-schools-ppa'
14:34
<ben_nabiy>
!greek-schools-ppa
14:34
<ltsp>
greek-schools-ppa: https://launchpad.net/~ts.sch.gr/+archive/ppa/ supports LTS Ubuntu releases with newer LTSP versions, bug fixes etc
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