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


Channel log from 10 September 2017   (all times are UTC)

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04:18
<sutula>
Apologize for using the channel as a man page...somewhere in the past three weeks I ran across a file or documentation stating how to avoid running specific daemons on a fat client, while using manager and current tools. Can anyone point me?
04:25
I think I found it: lts.conf, RM_SYSTEM_SERVICES
04:26* sutula hopes that's correct, and welcomes any guidance
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06:24
<alkisg>
sutula: yup, that's correct
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17:29
<muvlon>
hi, everyone! \o/
17:31
I'm planning a medium-size (~50 clients) ltsp setup and could use some suggestions
17:31
first of all: I read about thin vs. fat clients in the docs
17:31
fat clients apparently cause a lot less load on the server
17:31
so is there any benefit to using thin clients?
17:32
I suppose thin clients can be made out of less powerful hardware
17:33
but the cheapest "dedicated" thin client hardware I could find on the web still costs in excess of 100$
17:33
<alkisg>
muvlon: for any new installations that don't have really weird needs, go with fat clients
17:33
!cheap-client
17:33
<ltsp>
cheap-client: (#1) http://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_343636.html, or (#2) https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/New-arrival-Beelink-Pocket-Z83-Windows-10-Mini-PC-Z8300-64bit-1-84GHz-2GB-RAM-32GB/1871240_32640039781.html
17:34
<alkisg>
Even cheap ones like these ^ are better off working as fat clients
17:34
Then, use either one of these methods:
17:34
!ltsp-manager
17:34
<ltsp>
ltsp-manager: LTSP Manager is a GUI tool that makes LTSP maintenance easy. It's the recommended way to install LTSP in common setups. More info: http://wiki.ltsp.org/wiki/Ltsp-manager
17:34
<alkisg>
!ltsp-pnp
17:34
<ltsp>
ltsp-pnp: ltsp-pnp is the recommented method to install and maintain LTSP for "usual" setups. Since it doesn't involve chroots, it requires little to no command line to maintain it. It automatically supports both thin and fat ltsp clients. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/ltsp-pnp
17:34
<muvlon>
right, a "fat" client with 2GB ram is really cheap today
17:34
<alkisg>
Even with 1 GB RAM it's better as fat
17:34
<muvlon>
that's what I thought too, just wanted to confirm
17:34
<alkisg>
And with 50 clients, thins will have bandwidth issues
17:34
!thin-clients-bandwidth
17:34
<ltsp>
thin-clients-bandwidth: A small explanation why thin clients can't perform well with video, lots of screen updates etc: https://sourceforge.net/p/ltsp/mailman/message/35694699/
17:35
<alkisg>
While with fat clients, you can support all of them with a single server, without load balancing etc
17:35
<muvlon>
the first aliexpress link looks good, but the second is a 404 :/
17:36
<alkisg>
Google the name, beelink z83 etc
17:36
They probably updated it with something newer
17:36
<muvlon>
I had one of those TV boxes at one time
17:36
it ran a crappy vendor android and basically nothing else
17:37
<alkisg>
https://www.amazon.com/DIAOTEC-Z83-Mini-Windows-Box/dp/B01DK2DSQC
17:37
<muvlon>
how can I turn it into an ltsp client?
17:37
<alkisg>
Check that they're intel based
17:37
<muvlon>
oh, that one is x86
17:37
<alkisg>
Not armhf
17:37
Both of them are x86
17:37
<muvlon>
I've seen that raspis work too, but that's probably because somebody made a dedicated firmware image, right?
17:39* vagrantc worked a bit on raspberry pi support in ltsp, but largely gave up as the hardware wasn't very capable
17:39
<vagrantc>
maybe with the rpi2 or rpi3, it might be better, but i wouldn't hold my breath
17:41
<muvlon>
what about other arm dev boards?
17:42
<vagrantc>
at best, i'd say it's a hobby project at the moment
17:43* vagrantc has something like 30 arm boards running, and has mostly given up on reasonable video suppor
17:43
<muvlon>
the server will be x86 anyway
17:43
<vagrantc>
i originally got interested in arm years ago as potential thin clients, and look what happened :)
17:43
<muvlon>
so it'd have to serve non-native binaries to the clients, right?
17:44
<vagrantc>
yes, that part isn't hard, though
17:44
or, well, non-native to the server, native to the clients
17:44
<muvlon>
true, distros handle that pretty well
17:44
hmm, video support is an issue, yes
17:46
vivante GPUs have mainline drivers, and some adrenos
17:46
but those are rare, most boards use mali or powervr
17:46
<vagrantc>
and the mainline support is generally just framebuffer ... or very limited acceleration
17:46
<muvlon>
ah right, fat clients need to render everything themselves...
17:47
<vagrantc>
thin clients too
17:47
<muvlon>
oh
17:48
<vagrantc>
the video hardware is on the client, so it needs to render something client-side
17:48
in theory, the server could preprocess some of it, but in practice that's just not really a thing
17:49
<muvlon>
so what does the server send?
17:49
<vagrantc>
if you want an interesting project to work on, you can try arm, but if you want something that just works, you'd go with x86
17:49
<muvlon>
compressed video? or something like GL instructions?
17:49
<vagrantc>
just X11
17:50
<muvlon>
ah right, X11 has networking support and such
17:50
<vagrantc>
a lot of applications don't really support the network transparency of X11 well anymore, which leads to annoying bugs
17:50
which is why i'd strongly recommend fat clients
17:51
<muvlon>
fat clients basically use the server as a network file system and that's it, right?
17:51
<vagrantc>
basically
17:51
<alkisg>
(08:37:56 PM) muvlon: I've seen that raspis work too, but that's probably because somebody made a dedicated firmware image, right? ==> they're 10+ times slower than the other links above, don't use raspberries for desktops, only for special uses like e.g. weather stations
17:52
<muvlon>
do they need some sort of stub OS or can they boot directly over network?
17:52
<alkisg>
!raspberrypi
17:52
<ltsp>
raspberrypi: (#1) Ubuntu/LTSP on Pi 2: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/RaspberryPi, or (#2) Debian/LTSP (with raspbian chroot) on Pi: http://cascadia.debian.net/trenza/Documentation/raspberrypi-ltsp-howto/, or (#3) unofficial Ubuntu/LTSP (with raspbian chroot) on Pi: http://pinet.org.uk/
17:52
<alkisg>
Read the first page there for instructions
17:52
After reading it, avoid them at all costs :)
17:54
<vagrantc>
in theory, there's a way to configure rpi3 to do real network boot; haven't tried it
17:54
<muvlon>
what about the x86 boxes, can they network boot?
17:55
having stateless clients would be a huge benefit to installation and maintenance
17:55
<alkisg>
Sure
17:55
!local-boot
17:55
<ltsp>
local-boot: If you want LTSP fat clients on a low-speed network, you can put i386.img on e.g. C:\Boot\LTSP\i386.img and use this command line in pxelinux.cfg: APPEND ro initrd=ltsp/i386/initrd.img init=/sbin/init-ltsp root=/dev/sda1 rootflags=ro loop=/Boot/LTSP/i386.img; IPAPPEND 3
17:55
<alkisg>
!kernel
17:55
<ltsp>
I do not know about 'kernel', but I do know about these similar topics: 'ltsp-update-kernels'
17:55
<alkisg>
Hmm no factoid for that
17:55
<vagrantc>
muvlon: most x86 systems can do PXE
17:56
<alkisg>
Anyway, if for some reason some device doesn't netboot, (e.g. uefi only), then you can put the kernel/initrd locally in some sd card, and ltsp automatically updates them when needed
17:56
I implemented that for raspberry 2's, but it's valid for x86 as well
17:56
<muvlon>
nice
17:57
<vagrantc>
really would be good to figure out what we need to get UEFI network booting in working order
17:57
since those are getting more common
18:00
<muvlon>
and for the server the primary thing to look out for would be Gb Ethernet and a fast disk?
18:00
<alkisg>
Better support from upstream packages like dnsmasq proxydhcp mode in uefi
18:01
For 50 clients I would go for 2 gigabit ethernets, and an NFS /home for lower CPU usage on the server
18:01
Disk doesn't matter much, but you can put /home in an SSD if you want.
18:01
<muvlon>
NFS as opposed to NBD?
18:01
<alkisg>
As opposed to the default sshfs which needs a lot of cpu
18:01
<muvlon>
ah
18:01
<alkisg>
NBD serves /, and SSHFS serves /home
18:02
But NBD is read-only and cached a lot, so the disk speed isn't important for that one
18:02
(2 gigabit ethernets in bonded mode, with a single IP)
18:02
!bonding
18:02
<ltsp>
bonding: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/Trunking
18:03
<muvlon>
so I'll need a network card if I want to use the computer I was planning to use
18:04
since it has only 1 NIC
18:04
<alkisg>
You can put it later, it's just for better net speed
18:04
You'll see e.g. a 20% better perfomance overall, but it's not critical
18:05
<muvlon>
alright
18:05
<alkisg>
A nic costs only 10€, certainly worth it for +20% performance
18:06
<muvlon>
I have some fibre channel cards gathering dust, maybe I can find a cheap switch that supports it
18:08
anyway, thank you so much for your support so far :)
18:10
<alkisg>
np
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19:40
<bennabiy>
alkisg: if one is using the ltsp-manager approach, and has two nics, will it be wise enough to detect that and appropriately use them?
19:55
<alkisg>
bennabiy: yes, if you put internal nic ip = 192.168.67.1
19:55
Then it will set up dnsmasq appropriately, it will disable flow control, and it will enable NAT for fat clients
20:03
<bennabiy>
ah
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