Linux LTSP and Perl

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Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by fashizzlepop on Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:37 pm
([msg=37456]see Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

Alright, so next year I am going to teach the Linux class at my school for a senior project. I was hoping to start out with turning the lab into a nice LTSP run lab preferably with Arch Linux but if not arch I don't care. I was also hoping to incorporate Perl into this.

Basically what I am looking for is a book that talks about LTSP servers in basic Linux terms that preferably covers Arch Linux and maybe Perl. If anyone knows of any books that they have heard good things about regarding this I would greatly appreciate some names.

I plan on physically buying this book at a store.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: After some feedback from other sites, here are some clarifications:
"
To begin:
1. The book was meant more for me. Using Perl to help admin the LTSP I set up for the lab. The LTSP and Perl wasn't meant for the class unless we get around to it at the end of the year.

I was thinking to hopefully do it in Arch because I am most familiar with Arch, I will probably go ahead and use Ubuntu although because it may be easier (and more stable?).

I guess now, all I want is a good book for a Linux Sys Admin. And if it incorporates Perl that's a plus. I did find one book Linux System Administration Recipes that uses Perl, but the book is for more advanced admins. If you have any more questions or suggestions feel free to respond.

PS. Bash scripting is also a plus. "

-- Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:08 pm --

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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by thetan on Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:39 pm
([msg=37626]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

:), PXE booting over the LAN is easy.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Nodes that have NIC's with PXE boot roms (you might have to either enable the PXE boot rom in the BIOS or on the card directly)
  • A server
  • Wired network media is preferred.

Software Requirements:
  • DCHP (to initiate the PXE boot sequence) TFTP (to actually send the kernel and initrd (also the filesystem in this case) over the lan) both preferably (not required) on the same server.
  • *optional* a NFS server on the server box and clients within the initrd's so students can actually save their work.

I suppose you can use just about anything as a boot loader but i've done all my pxebooting using gPXE. As for the perl stuff, it really doesn't have all that much of a place in the actual process of booting/running thin clients. Perhaps if you ask more specific questions i'll be able to provide more help, as i've setup many thin client and terminal systems before.
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by fashizzlepop on Sun May 30, 2010 6:13 pm
([msg=39308]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

Thanks thetan,
I forgot about this thread because it seemed like no one was going to answer me.

I know it's actually quite simple as I have done it before but wasn't very successful at finishing it up.

My main reason was I'm looking for a good Sys Admin Book. What would you suggest?
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by thetan on Sun May 30, 2010 7:59 pm
([msg=39311]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

Oh yeah, i don't really know how to answer that question for you. I'm a FreeBSD and Debian Sysadmin by career. The only "book" i can ever recommend is the FreeBSD Handbook http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO885 ... /handbook/ . For me all other questions could be answered in the #freebsd and #debian irc channels.
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by fashizzlepop on Mon May 31, 2010 1:44 am
([msg=39323]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

What would you say the benefits of FreeBSD or Debian to be over Arch? From what you know. I will be teaching a generalized Linux class so I would dabble in those probably.
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by thetan on Mon May 31, 2010 2:25 am
([msg=39326]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

The main advantage/reason to use FreeBSD is it's solid design philosophy, no bullshit experienced community, active development, it's license is focused on protecting your rights (unlike the GPL which some would go as far as calling it a virus) instead of the sources and like Arch this a strong division between a 'base system' and 3rd party apps. Not to mention FreeBSD is a performer and i believe they've really earned the slogan "the power to serve". They've always led the way in networking and the continue to do so. FreeBSD maintains an active port of the OpenBSD firewall PF which is phenomenal and leaves iptables in the dust in terms of features, configuration and performance. Not to mention CARP is practically the only alternative to proprietary Cisco VRRP for gateway load balancing. Other then Solaris/OpenSolaris FreeBSD is the only other OS to port ZFS into the kernel (Linux can only port ZFS to FUSE because the CDDL isn't compatible with the GPL).

Besides if you've ever ran OpenSSH you're essentially running a project designed, created and maintained by an OpenBSD team. I really do like OpenBSD as a project and what they stand for (code correctness, stability and security). They have a lot of really advanced developers and as a byproduct of that really great products come from OpenBSD. However, OpenBSDs downfall is it's community size. As a direct result, they don't have as many features and their not actively as developed as FreeBSD. While FreeBSD tends to be the more bleeding edge of the BSD family, OpenBSD is slower moving (for example, it's 2010 and they still have shaky 802.11g support while FreeBSD on the other hand has full support for 802.11/a/b/g/n/s)

Now debian is more or less something that i've just stuck with over time. In general they don't tend to be as up to date as most modern *nix OSs but this is largely due to the stringent stability testing everything must go through in order to make it into "current". This is very contradictory to where Canonical has taken Ubunutu and as a result Ubuntu has received some flak from the debian community for putting things they haven't dubbed stable into the Ubuntu repostories. Really though linux is linux in my eyes now which is one of the main reasons i'm such a FreeBSD head now. I know how FreeBSD works and i can make it pur and the same goes for Debian.

I'm not a die hard fan boy and i'm not going to sit here and say this OS is better then that OS because thats all non sense to me. As you go on you learn it's less about the OS and more about the people running them.
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by FunctionCreep on Mon May 31, 2010 12:44 pm
([msg=39344]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

thetan wrote:As you go on you learn it's less about the OS and more about the people running them.


Exactly this. Although you can go on and argue on specific tools and implementations it pretty much boils down to the user/sys-admin. The first contact I had with linux was with SuSE & Red-Hat and I detested the RPM's. I don't know why but I always found it to be the most clunky way to install a package and preferred to compile whatever I needed. But then I fell in love with APT. To this day I believe it's the best package manager around.

Now on to serving stuff, I think that it makes little difference to what you'll be installing. The most important factor here is that you are experienced to configure & secure the system. FreeBSD had a pretty good advantage with jails for quite some time but with virtualization available to pretty much every distro I think it makes no difference (although I still consider it's easier to secure jails).

I must say though that the freebsd documentation is probably one of the best out there.

Will it be a basic course of using linux or configuring and maintaining a server the one you'll be teaching?
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by fashizzlepop on Mon May 31, 2010 1:02 pm
([msg=39346]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

Thanks for all the info guys.

And yes, very basic stuff. I hope to go past the basic but in the past years the teacher didn't, so I will try myself.
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Re: Linux LTSP and Perl

Post by thetan on Mon May 31, 2010 10:15 pm
([msg=39369]see Re: Linux LTSP and Perl[/msg])

fashizzlepop wrote:And yes, very basic stuff. I hope to go past the basic but in the past years the teacher didn't, so I will try myself.

That sucks, because all the actual fun and interesting stuff is beyond the "basics".

@FunctionCreep, funny you should bring up jails because i completely left them out of my "things that make FreeBSD rock" statement earlier for a reason :). Their was a time when i was a big jail user (before the recent jumps in virtualization). I used to <3 jails because that was back in a time were virtualization was far from where it is at the current state of things and chrooting was the only other viable solution to me. However, with the recent jumps in virtualization technology (hardware and software) their are some pretty awesome hypervisors out. KVM being one of my favorites. Debian is always the "host" OS for my virtual configurations for the sole purpose of using KVM.

PF, CARP and ZFS are the main bread winners in FreeBSD for me at the moment. Like i said earlier, i won't sit around and say this OS is better then that. However, i will stand on a stage with a megaphone and preach the benefits and advantages ZFS has over just about any other modern filesystem :)

The only decent competitor to ZFS at the moment is BtrFS + LVM running on linux. However, BtrFS is still experimental and the irony of the situation is BtrFS was Oracle's Linux competitor to Sun Microsystems ZFS (on Solaris/OpenSolaris) and with the recent events of Sun Microsystem becoming a subsidiary of Oracle ....... it kind of makes you wonder ..... why would they bother dev work on BtrFS anymore since they own their competition that has a better non experimental project. If you're wondering why Oracle would be interested in FSs in the first place, you should study up on the innerworkings on DBs. DBs are HEAVILY dependent on the FS and thus the performance of an FS

Check out this article on running the InnoDB engine in MySQL ontop of ZFS vs the same system on UFS:
http://dev.mysql.com/tech-resources/art ... l-zfs.html

and here: http://cmynhier.blogspot.com/2006/05/zf ... rking.html

ZFS blows it out of the water

These benchmarks are old though and ZFS remains under active development and porting in both the OpenSolaris and FreeBSD community. When i navigate to /usr/src and run `svn update` theirs almost always been at least 2 updates to ZFS committed to the stable branch every month

However, when BtrFS finally comes out of experimental, i'll be singing a different tune: http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7308
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