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


Channel log from 11 September 2018   (all times are UTC)

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15:11
<mwalters>
I know I'll get some bias in asking this crowd, but what's everyone's opinion of chromeos vs a "real" desktop (e.g., ltsp). We're already heavily invested in the big G, and don't have (many) dependencies on local applications. Has anyone else considered ditching their thick/thin clients in favor of being spied on... erm, I mean... using chromeos?
15:13
(Let me know if OT/this kind of discussion isn't OK here)
15:15
<||cw>
it's not exactly apples to apples.
15:15
<mwalters>
surely not
15:15
<||cw>
and technically you could run chromeos via ltsp
15:16
<mwalters>
Most of our "native" application dependencies are windows based (darn you, quickbooks), whereas most of our ltsp/linux use is browser anyways
15:16
<||cw>
the advantage to ltsp is there is no hard drive. a PC walks and they just get a PC with no disk, no data, no login association, no cache or logs.
15:16
<mwalters>
Whereas, chomeos always has some cache sitting on it, I'm assuming
15:17
(assuming a "normal" chromebook/box)
15:17
<||cw>
I use ltsp exclusively to run a local xfreerdp to connect to VDI
15:18
<mwalters>
yeah, once I figure out our ltsp situation, the windows clients are next on my list. Haven't seen much in regard to a positive ROI with VDI. More about information security than money, I guess.
15:19
<||cw>
I don't have many, it's literally just a windows desktop that gets RDP's into, no extra VDI software costs. I just let the ltsp mac address based config point the right client to the right desktop
15:20
<mwalters>
Oh, so just a bunch of RDP licenses?
15:20
<||cw>
the ROI comes in using PCs that would otherwise be tossed, and that it takes 30 seconds to update a mac address when a PC fails
15:20
<mwalters>
Fair
15:36
<alkisg>
The main advantage of ltsp is maintaining a single installation
15:36
I wouldn't want to manage thousands of installations, whatever they might be, android, chrome, windows, etc
15:36
If there are kiosks with some form of automated deployment and upgrades, np then
15:37
But if they require even 1 minute of administration time , times 1000, that's too much
15:37
<mwalters>
For sure. I'm talking about less than a hundred, though
15:37
<alkisg>
E.g. installing and configuring windows for 10 users takes a week
15:37
10 users on the same pc
15:38
...i wouldn't want that even for a classroom of just 12 pcs
15:42
<mwalters>
I did wds/deployment toolkit way back when win7 first came out. It was a huge time investment upfront, but thin imaging and driver injection saved me a bunch of time when it came to deployment
15:42
I haven't had to do anything like that since, so I'm not sure what the current ecosystem looks like
15:44
But, I think my current train of thought was about replacing our LTSP client hardware with chromebooks/boxes. There's definitely a significant cost involved. However, deployment is as simple as pointing it to our organization, from my understanding.
15:44
(for an additional cost per device)
15:45
That gets us control over what extensions/apps can be used on the device, remote wipe, etc etc
15:45
But we may have an increasing demand to be mobile, vs your use case
15:46
(And I'm just talking outloud for the most part and curious of other's experiences)
15:46
As far as my "it dude" experiences, it's all been in windows shops with typical AD/Desktop/Laptop environments.
15:53
<||cw>
if you need laptops and need it to work out of the building, there are ways to do it via ltsp, but the chromeos tools are pretty good
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16:21
<alkisg>
If you do have google accounts etc for all your users, that's an additional benefit for you to select chromebooks
16:21
Here for schools we can't give google accounts to students without parent concensus
16:24
<mwalters>
Yeah, we already have gapps organizationally
16:24
everything is pretty much already gmail/drive/web-based
16:25
<alkisg>
I don't know the chromebook costs involved; ltsp can surely run a browser for you; can't help you decide there ...
16:25
Here the fight is between windows and linux, noone yet uses chromebooks. I haven't even see one.
16:26
<mwalters>
You're in greece, right?
16:26
<alkisg>
Where are you, in the US?
16:26
<mwalters>
yeah
16:26
<alkisg>
Yeah
16:26
I think you do have a large chromebook user base there...
16:26
<mwalters>
I have one sitting here on my desk, have trialed it with a couple of users with different workloads/workflows, acceptance has been pretty good.
16:26
Hell, I even used it for a couple of days and didn't *really* miss the "full desktop" experience
16:26
<alkisg>
What's their cpu like? Do you have a model too see it in cpubenchmark.net?
16:27
<mwalters>
lemme see if I can figure it out
16:27
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Celeron+N3160+%40+1.60GHz&id=2812
16:28
https://us-store.acer.com/chromebook-14-cb3-431-c5fm
16:28
under $300 USD
16:28
(on sale ;) )
16:29
it's not the most... ahem... performant CPU, but all it really needs to do is run chrome (for us)
16:29
I did not check out HD youtube/streaming or anything like that... but my workload is all chrome/ssh
16:30
it seemed to handle my bazillion open tabs without much trouble
16:31
I think the biggest "issue" is that even if we get books for some folks, they're still going to want the "desktop" experience of a larger monitor, proper mouse & keyboard when at their desk.
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16:32
<mwalters>
I think some of the annoyance of that could be solved with a USB-c docking station, but this doesn't have one ;)
16:35
<||cw>
does it have usb3?
16:36
<mwalters>
yes, so that's also an option probably
16:36
<||cw>
usb-c ones are really only better of the laptop supports being powered by usb-c
16:36
<vagrantc>
seems like adding a bunch of adapters and peripherals would increase the maintenance costs
16:36
<mwalters>
yeah, my main thought was "one cable to rule them all"
16:37
<||cw>
so few laptop support it yet anyway
16:37
<mwalters>
yeah, cursory search only showed a few results for chromebooks w/ usb-c
16:37
one of them being the $1k google pixelbook ;)
16:46
<alkisg>
Eeesh, 1690 benchmark, that's like my 15 year old laptop
16:47
I couldn't run my apps there... only for basic surfing, I guess
16:47
Recent clients here have 7500 score
16:47
<mwalters>
Yeah, not much horsepower. All it really needs to do is run chrome and compile/execute javascript, though
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16:48
<alkisg>
I guess it'll go slow with more than a couple of pages...
16:49
Running javascript is so much slower than running compiled languages like c...
16:49
<vagrantc>
the arbitrary random javascript from a modern website i wouldn't call lightweight
16:49
<mwalters>
I had gmail/drive/bunch of other tabs open + the SSH app, seemed responsive enough
16:49
For sure (I'm a recovering javascript/node developer)
16:50
<alkisg>
Anyway if 1690 benchmark covers your needs for a few years, sure, go for it
16:50
<mwalters>
Chrome/google's compiler is actually pretty, good, though. I did end up using golang for a number of processes that took forever in node, though
16:51
Usually traversing large time-series datastructures
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18:11
<quinox>
I used a chromebook for about a year
18:11
it was a good experience, except that it only had 2GB of ram so I couldn't open 10 tabs
18:12
as long as a webbrowser suits all your needs of course
18:12
<mwalters>
I wonder if the number of usable tabs scales linearly with ram
18:12
;)
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18:14
<vagrantc>
it obviously depends on the contents of the tabs :)
18:15
<quinox>
most of the settings are stored on Google servers, so it didn't matter which chromebook I used
18:16
i have no idea how it is to manage a swarm of them
18:17
I'm quite underwhelmed with the Google Suite admin UI
18:17
but I only use it for user management / GMail, not managing hardware
18:18
<mwalters>
It leaves a lot to be desired. All of my users are adults, though... I expect them to act like adults. All I really care about is the ability to remote wipe them.
18:18
<vagrantc>
at a school i briefly consulted for, the main problem wasn't software so much as people dropping them and breaking them in various ways that just doesn't tend to happen with desktops
18:18
<quinox>
ha
18:18
yeah
18:19
<vagrantc>
or if it does,you can replace the individual parts more easily (e.g. keyboard/mouse)
18:19
oh, and nobody ever remembering to charge them
18:19
<alkisg>
Some primary schools here have laptops; teachers buy keyboards/mice so that the laptops are 1m away from the children :D
18:19
<mwalters>
absolutely. My wife does technology training for a school system here in the US. They recently rolled out chromebooks for all the secondary students. She said the rollout went fine. (insurance was purchased for the duration of the student's remaining time at the school)
18:20
<vagrantc>
there may have also been issues with inconsistancies with the admin software across multiple versions of chromeos with different models
18:21
this was about 3 years ago, so approximately 3 billion years on the google scale
18:22
<mwalters>
yeah, last time I seriously tried one was soon after they were first released. It seems way better these days
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