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Deployment Story: Debian Edu / Skolelinux and X2Go (without TJENER)

Shared by: Mike Gabriel (with my Debian Edu Developer hat on)

In Debian Edu contexts the main criticism since the release of Debian Edu / Skolelinux squeeze is: the whole Debian Edu system has become far to complex (LDAP, Kerberos, GOsa², Samba, LTSP, …). The default Skolelinux system has become more complex, that is true indeed. If it has become too complex is another discussion. From the view point of a Debian Edu developer and IT service provider, the system is just as it has to be. From a teacher's perspective, I deeply get the criticism of to much complexity.

However, those who feel overwhelmed by Debian Edu's grown complexity, please consider the approach described below.

Your Gateway

  • Install ipFire as a Gateway on some minor hardware
    • Red + Green interface (you need two network cards)
    • let the Red interface connect you to the internet
    • Enable DHCP service on the Green interface

Basic Skolelinux Installation

  • Assemble an average server box:
    • 4 or 8 CPU cores
    • 16GiB or 32GiB RAM
    • two fast hard drives (SSD)
    • 2 network cards
  • Install a Debian Edu / Skolelinux Standalone system (no TJENER!) on that server hardware
  • Make sure that your Skolelinux system's hostname can internally be resolved via DNS. Use the ipFire system to configure this.
  • Test local login, test DNS, install required (educational) software
  • Create more users on the Skolelinux system through the normal Posix tools (adduser) or through some fancy user administration GUI (present in KDE / GNOME)

Basic X2Go Installation

  • Then proceed with setting up X2Go Server on the Skolelinux system:
    • Add the X2Go archives for Debian to the Skolelinux system
    • Install the packages x2goserver-xsession and x2goserver-fmbindings on the Skolelinux machine. Optionally, you may want to install the package x2godesktopsharing.
    • Test X2Go access to the Skolelinux system from another client machine that gets hooked up to the Green network interface of the ipFire system

X2Go Thin Client Environment

  • Then proceeed with setting up an X2Go Thin Client Environment on the Skolelinux system:
    • Install the package x2gothinclient-management on the Skolelinux system
    • Follow the X2Go TCE documentation in this wiki to get the TCE up and running
    • During the X2Go TCE installation you will be guided to set up a DHCP+PXE server on the Skolelinux system. Make sure that DHCP serves the X2Go Thin Clients via the second network interface of the Skolelinux system. No DHCP on the first network card (the one that is connected to the Green ipFire interface)
    • Connect minimal, power-saving systems (i.e. thin-client-like hardware) two the Skolelinux system's second network card and configure them boot via PXE

What you have at the end...

… is a Debian Edu / Skolelinux based class room that can be administrated by normal Linux user and group administration tools. No Kerberos, no LDAP, no Samba, no XXX involved.

doc/success-stories/debian-edu.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/16 16:54 by stefanbaur