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The Linux Classroom


I mean, where would you want it to come from? It has to come from either the internet/online or a DVD as @Eden mentioned…


It’s not about the source, it’s about distribution. What I ‘want’ is to be able to open a .deb in a package manager and it install. Period. Most of the time, that simply won’t work due to dependencies. The process for caching all required dependencies, copying them, creating the release file, repacking them, then setting up dpkg to see the archive as a source for dependencies, is a little much. There is no doubt in my or my staff’s mind that this can be made a more seamless process. We’ll publish anything we come up with in the coming months. We have admin tools to build now. And we’re figuring out the best way to create a virtual classroom for deployment testing. We also have curriculum translation to do from a Mac-intended class to Linux environments (really similar, but there are differences).


Why can’t you use something like flatpack or snaps?


I haven’t looked at Flatpak. It looks super promising. Thank you! Snaps require the snap manager be installed, doesn’t it? I like it, but don’t know if it solves our internet-less problem. I’ll have to look at what it takes to install snapcraft on a bare system. I really like the concept. I’ve never seen snaps used for file system services like samba or cifs before. I’ll run a VM up when the class settles down and do some testing!


I want to thank everyone for their input. There are so many options, it’s a great help narrowing what to look at.

Odd question, has anyone ever had problems with libre office saving to an SMB share? The students can’t save directly to their share drive. I’m thinking of introducing them to sync software and telling them to work on their local machines.



Holy shit something I’ve actually done!

Sorry I’m late to your thread, and most of what I would have said has already been mentioned, but I’d like to provide some practical examples for you.

Using MaaS and systemd is how I managed to build out my deployment. You’ll need to use Cubic Configurator: to build your image, and the curtinator to make it MaaS bootable.

Once you make your changes in Cubic, you boot the image using curtinator to build a deployment image, allowing you to build a completely custom lab, and redeploy it at will. If you have questions about images I’d be happy to help.


Woop woop. Thank you @iPat8 ! Can’t wait. Looks like late night remote desktops for me this weekend.


Fun Fact:

You can overcome tether speed limits on Verizon by changing your default TTL to 65 and restarting. Sometimes you need a VPN depending on sites visited.

Unfortunately, when you bridge the wifi connection, like i have to temporarily, the virtual adapter generates a new ttl parameter. However, if (in Windows - yes, windows feeding linux machines…;( if you run:

netsh int ipv4 set glob defaultcurhoplimit=65
netsh int ipv6 set glob defaultcurhoplimit=65

and restart the machine (assuming windows doesn’t f’ up the bridge), bam. 40Mbps sha f’in zam


If you can hold off for a few hours I’ll finish updating the readme so you’re not completely lost if you’d like to deploy an example.


There’s apt-cacher-ng that could be useful if you have a few megabits down, … or you could mirror everything using ftpsync and shuffling the drive around:


Thx @iPat8 That’d be a huge help! One of our developer mentors sat in class with us and took a bunch of notes. He’s testing for us the next couple weeks and it’d be great to send him a guide. If he says a go, we’ll use one of our ‘free’ AWS accounts (oh the abuse) to do some scale testing. Woot.


I am back at my home station next week. I’m passing this to one of our mentors to look at. He’s a windows .net and C# dev so any help is super appreciated! I have some old core-2-duo clients and a server myself to play with when I get back.


For some reason, no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get full speed on the Linux machines. I was able to set time-to-live and pass through a VPN for 40Mbps on my windows laptop, but kept getting throttled to 600Kbps Ookla and ~15-25Kbps in apt-get* commands. I’m not sure why that is…


Finished updating the readme. Sorry that took so long.


Thanks. Prepping environment this week.


I want to thank everyone once again for all their help!

Special thanks to @Bayden , @SesameStreetThug , @Dynamic_Gravity , @reavessm , @iPat8

Our first class is up and running. We have CS students from USC and mentors from Disney and Hulu’s engineering staff offering seminars to the few that stick with the program. We are running in disenfranchised areas, so deploying open-source is the only way we’ll get them the access, performance, and experience, of traditional windows school networks. We have a bitty server I built on the side, a 100MBps switch and router, a horrid AT&T business line, and a lot of core-2-duo prebuilts dug up from a hole in IT, but everything works.

We are still testing cloud deployment. Dunno if you can see in the picture, but the server is running ubuntu 16.04.1 (gnome is a godsend having to do all the config changes and recovering student work quickly). Surprisingly, all the duos can run the latest linux mint 19 (and ubuntu 18.04). We fielded Kubuntu, but KDE Plasma has problems and Dolphin’s samba implementation still has a lot to be desired. We left two machines Kubuntu and are going to do a little survey at the end as well as some HC data analytics on assignment-to-assignment times to assess where the curriculum needs more work, assignments need to be created, more lecture vs. independent study and so on.

Yall helped start a new generation of coders from those that least expected to interface with tech in a real way. Yay.



Do you still want those 6.4K books?



You can send them via email to [email protected]

Or if you have them in a nextcloud, drive, or some such, I can download them from the link. Maybe let me know your favorites :slight_smile: That will make it easier to pick which ones we deploy on our class server.


okay! I’m compressing it right now, but the raw size is about ~17GiB.

I shall PM you a google drive link(s).

I have separated the programming books from the rest of the lineup.


Thanks a ton. When we didn’t have internet (omg running lines in someone else’s building and dealing with AT&T), we had nothing but a few textbooks we’d reviewed and had good examples for the curriculum.

Even after the internet, while some do watch youtube and browse stackoverflow, wc3schools, almost all keep referencing the texts. I think there’s something to be said about the work put into them vs. q&a on forums.