Friday, December 22, 2006

Images, cont.

My Image Definition Documentation

I'm making my notes available here publically in case anyone is interested, I exported it to HTML from Tomboy Notes.

Another issue creeps up

So, now I've noticed another quirky aberration in the laptop image. All the laptop clients that get imaged are using "eth2" and "wlan0" as their wired and wireless network interfaces when they were "eth0" and "eth1" on the original. I don't think this will actually affect their functionality, but it's kind of weird.

Looking to the future

As I look towards what I should do next on the images, I'm faced with what looks like a pretty open-ended roadless landscape. There are a few things that I can think of off the top of my head that would really improve our image:

  • I need a way to make a change to an image and have that change pushed out to the clients that use that image. This is ESSENTIAL to being able to steer the development of the workstations. Without a good method for deploying my work, I'll be using a good chunk of time running around and Ghosting the clients. I believe that if I can get the SystemImager Suite up and running, it should fit this need well.
  • Very closely linked to being able to update the clients easily and simply is the ability to manage the various configuration DIFFERENCES between the clients. For example, their hostnames, any printer configurations by class, etc.
  • Getting the iTALC classroom management suite up and running is definately the highest priority next step for the image. I have 4 classrooms where the teachers have decided that if the new image doesn't have iTALC, they want nothing to do with it. Luckily, iTALC development has picked back up (There's a release candidate for version out!), and it's actually now for both Linux AND Windows. I've subscribed to the iTALC mailing lists in order to get the support I'll need to get the most out of it.
  • Microsoft Active Directory Integration is something I think needs to happen. It's not a particularly high priority yet, though. I'll be working with the ubuntu-directory team on this one. We hope to have this sort of thing automated into Ubuntu by Feisty's release. One new issue with implementing this will be figuring out how to get the laptops to authenticate to the network; the current default behavior is to connect to the network AFTER logging in.
  • A better "Locker" system is a must, though again not a particularly high-priority need. I'd like the locker to map onto the local filesystem automatically on login the way it works on our Windows workstations so the students don't have to give it a second thought.

There's a lot of work still ahead.

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Blogger Jeff said...

Why use system images? This is really easy with debian based distributions...

Get a copy of falcon and set up an apt repository. Then you can install some custom debs via apt that run gconftool-2 to set up gnome settings via gconf and change whatever else you need.

It even lets you create iso images of your repositories!

11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Simón A. Ruiz said...

I'm sorry, I don't see how this package would help me reach my goals.

I'm not looking to make a local repository of debs, I'm looking to be able to manage the setup of almost 300 workstations without having to go out and touch them.

Maybe I'm missing something?

10:41:00 AM  

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