Saturday, March 30, 2013

LTSP On Fedora 18 using client created on Ubuntu 12.10

Exploration of LTSP turned out to be a very interesting challenge. My motivation was to write a monthly column for Linux For You.

My primary system runs Fedora 18. I thought that I would be able to get the scripts to run on Fedora 18 in spite of the explicit caution that Fedora 15 onward is not supported. I haven't succeeded so far but I did succeed in getting an client image created on Ubuntu 12.10 to run on Fedora 18.

I installed the server scripts from the repository for experimental version of LTSP 5 for Fedora 18. This ensured that that the ldminfod version was compatible with the ldm version on Ubuntu 12.10 client.

Ubuntu uses nbd by default. Unionfs root was not working with NFS root on Ubuntu as well. So, nbd version 3.1.1 needed to be installed on Fedora. The version in Fedora repository is 2.9.20.

LTSP scripts run nbd server using xinetd while Ubuntu 12.10 runs nbd-server as a system service. Since the xinetd option did not work, nbd-server was started using a system service script. The key extract from nbd-server script is:

test -x $DAEMON || exit 0
case "$1" in
    daemon $DAEMON 10809 -C /etc/nbd-server/config
The port has to be 10809 to be compatible with the -N option used by ndb-client on Ubuntu client.

/opt/ltsp/amd64, /etc/nbd-server and  /var/lib/tftpboot/ltsp/amd64 directories was copied from Ubuntu to Fedora. The following were the final steps:

  1. Run ltsp-update-sshkeys
  2. Run ltsp-update-kernels
  3. Run ltsp-update-image amd64 -f
  4. Change the dhcpd configuration files to use the amd64 directory in tftpboot instead of i386. I modified the /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf file and did not use the ltsp-dhcpd script.
If all has gone well, you will get a LDM login screen with Ubuntu theme. The sessions available will be the ones on Fedora 18 and you should be able to login to a session using your Fedora 18 credentials!

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