Monthly Archives: February 2010

LTSP 5.2 is out !

After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, I’m proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February.

LTSP 5.2 is released

As we wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP’s history, we also released LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 on the same day.

Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available in my PPA.
For other distributions, I’m expecting packages to be available very soon. If you want to check out the code, it’s on Launchpad.

It would take a lot of pages to describe all that was changed during these two years so I won’t even try to do that 🙂

Instead, I’ll simply give you a short overview of what one can do with LTSP nowadays:

  • Boot a Debian/Fedora/Gentoo/Ubuntu environment using PXE (dhcp + tftp) and connect to an application server using SSH and X11.
  • Either run the whole session remotely or run select applications locally to use specific hardware or advance 3D capabilities
  • If running Ubuntu, run everything locally and only select applications remotely (that’s called Fat Client)
  • Support for RDP sessions using rdesktop
  • Working local block devices like harddisks, floppy disks and cd-rom drives (thanks to ltspfs)
  • Easily extensible thanks to an amazing plugin infrastructure, providing hooks pretty much everywhere
  • Multi-lingual support in LDM and most of our scripts
  • Scalable to thousands of thin clients, at least on Ubuntu, thanks to LTSP-Cluster
  • Complete documentation, in the LTSP handbook
  • Active and supporting community, mostly on the various mailing-lists and #ltsp (freenode)

Now, to quickly summarize what changed between 5.1.99 and 5.2, here’s the changelog I used in the Ubuntu package:

  • Improve fat client support (a lot faster)
  • Update nbd-proxy for stability
  • Rewrite of ltsp-update-image
  • Updated sound configuration
  • Lots of optimizations
  • Added ssh and whiptail screen script

LDM was made a bit faster in 2.1 and a few ltspfs bugs have been fixed as well as lot of optimization and code cleanup (in both cdpinger and ltspfsd).

Measure boot time on Ubuntu Lucid is under 10s on an Atom-based thin client (1.6Ghz, Hyper-Threated with 512MB of DDR2). That’s just blazing fast !!

Once again, thanks to everyone who made that possible. I’m really impressed by all the changes made to LTSP over the past few years and I really love being a part of it.

No releases are perfect, so if you find bugs, please report them here (for LTSP), here (for LTSP in Ubuntu) or here (for LTSP-Cluster).

Posted in LTSP, Planet Revolution-Linux, Planet Ubuntu | 27 Comments

Say Hi to the Edubuntu Menu Editor

Back at UDS in Dallas, TX we decided that one of the focus for Edubuntu in Lucid would be to to make menu customization a lot easier.

So we wrote a specification covering most use cases for menu customization, editing and sharing.

After a few months of work, mostly done by my colleague at Revolution Linux, Marc Gariepy, we now have a working tool, that’s in Edubuntu’s default installation.

You can install it on a regular Lucid desktop by doing: sudo apt-get install edubuntu-menueditor
A PPA is also available here (Lucid and Karmic).

Or download Edubuntu’s latest daily build here.

It’ll install you two different tools:

  • The menu editor itself in Applications => System Tools => Menueditor
  • The Profile manager in System => Administration => Profile manager

The first can be run by any user, it shows you a window like this one:


There you can create new sub-menus, copy items in them and hide items from the existing menu. Then save it (as a .tar.gz archive).

With this archive, you can either share it with your friends/colleagues/general community or directly start the Profile manager to import it and assign it to a group.
On login, all users in that group will see that new menu you assigned them.


As every new open source projects, it’s not bug free, so if you find a bug or have suggestions, please go to Launchpad and report them here.

Now it’s your turn to start creating and sharing your menus for your region/country/school system or for your company.
And if you aren’t using Ubuntu in English, you can go on Launchpad and help us by translating it to your language !

NOTE: It’s currently “branded” as Edubuntu-specific, that’s done because it’s initially an Edubuntu project but it’ll work with every xdg-based menu (that’s why the Lauchpad project is called “menueditor”).

Posted in Edubuntu, Planet Revolution-Linux, Planet Ubuntu | 3 Comments