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Graduation Day for Linux - page 5

The First Day of School

  • May 22, 2002
  • By Brian Proffitt

Building labs has been a huge success for K12LTSP. The Portland Public Schools (PPS), which have had two of the labs and are activating two more this week, are certainly impressed with the technology. According to one representative of PPS, 16-17 more labs will be installed system-wide by this coming Fall.

In Riverdale, Nelson and his students have been working to take the lab network scenario to a new level.

"My high school class just built our first cluster this spring. We're experimenting with it to see how it works," he explained. "Our goal is to explore a cluster-based pool of application servers for a new high school we'll open in September. We'll be installing 65 new K12LTSP thin-clients for that building. "

The cluster work was developed with the K12LTSP+ OpenMosix HOWTO posted out on k12os.org, he added.

Nelson was also very quick to add that much of the success of K12LTSP has come from having a very strong local support net.

"All of the training we've done has been with the help of volunteers. No one ever has to pay for anything. It helps when you have the best Linux User Group in the country. That's how I feel about our group, PLUG," Nelson stated.

The open-source nature of K12LTSP has also been a reall boon for the project, as constant user feedback has only served to improve the project more rapidly.

"Many of these [improvements] are showing up in our newest K12LTSP 2.1 version that will be released next week. The final release candidate is out right now," Nelson said.

As for the future? Nelson and Harrison have no plans to remain focused on just the Portland area.

"We've had enough success with Linux that other school business managers are asking twice about paying for licensing," Nelson said. "We've moved beyond simple awareness in many circles and we're now laying down the road map for migration. We're working on a Software Freedom Day on July 4th that will pair local Linux User Groups with schools around the country for software demonstrations. We're also working with Red Hat to further the support program they've started in NC.

"We are close to the point where it is politically incorrect to use proprietary software in a public school, at least in the server rooms," he added.

And perhaps on clients as well, if the success of K12LTSP is any indication.

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