Houseband at Large

Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) and Ubuntu MATE

A few years back, I have installed an Edubuntu Server in our school that allowed me to put up a thin client computer laboratory, with this deployment it gave our institution an effective way of reducing the cost of maintaining a computer lab that is used to teach Office Productivity Application Software, since most of the units that were deployed were thin clients instead of the regular PC that can cost more.

For more than three years we were able to utilize this type of deployment in one of our computer laboratories, until all support were no longer available for its last version release of 14.0 forcing me to abandon the project and revert to the regular computer laboratory set up.

Then came the necessity for me to deploy a new LTSP based system for our old computers that we have already upgraded to a newer model.

Edibuntu, and LTSP a briefer

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"Edubuntu, was an official flavor [derivative] of the Ubuntu Operating System, (OS) it was a collaborative project that was built on top of an Ubuntu OS which incorporates the Linux Terminal Server Project, (LTSP) thin client architecture and was designed for use in classrooms." ¹

Sad to say however, that due to lack of contributors, the last known released was Edubuntu 14.04 which was based on Ubuntu 14.04. ² Despite of this however, the LTSP being a separate architecture remained to be available, and was redesigned in 2019, less the Edubuntu packages.

The Linux Terminal Server Project as previously mentioned was originally developed as a thin client architecture that can also be used for, as a thick client (diskless) deployment. It helps in booting PC clients using iPXE from a single template installation that resides in a virtual machine image on the LTSP server. ³

In early 2023 however, it was reported that Edubuntu was making a comeback, and it did, and again became as one of the official flavors of Ubuntu with its latest release under Edubuntu 23.10 codenamed Manic Minotaur. 

Despite of this return, given that what we need at the moment is a very lightweight deployment where we can still use old lower end PCs that were replaced but still usable, I have decided to use the LTSP instead, based on an Ubuntu MATE Client with the intention of trying the latest release of Edubuntu at a later date.

The Installation process that I followed for this new LTSP deployment will be my topic in my next article for these three (3) parts series.

Till then.

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