Sunday, August 30, 2009

LTSP Local Apps progress: Firefox AND Flash Success!

Yesterday (Saturday) the schools campus was open until 4pm to give teachers one last shot at preparing for the kids' arrival on Monday. At about 3:50 I finally got my classroom LTSP server running Firefox with Flash as a local app!

It took a few clean installs to get it working and I never could get it to work with XFCE, which may be just as well since their support listserv still hasn't gotten back to me about kiosk mode in XFCE 4.6 and there is still no documentation on their website for 4.6 at all.

In the end I used GNOME, but I was also successful using KDE on one of the computer lab servers a couple of days ago. I plan on sticking with GNOME for the time being mostly because it is a faster desktop environment, but also because kiosktool for KDE appears to be a pain to install AND rarely maintained. I just wasn't willing to muddle my way through another lockdown program so it looks like GConf will be my new best friend for the time being.

I took the time to create a new page on the wiki that describes for beginners the process to getting Firefox and flash working as a local app on an LTSP setup. I haven't run through it myself to make sure every line is accurate, but I plan on doing so this week when I switch the computer lab over to GNOME from KDE.

In summary: it should now be possible for nearly anyone to install an LTSP setup with nothing more than a Pentium 4 as a server and then run Firefox with flash as a local application on the thin clients without too much trouble. LTSP is getting more viable by the day! -joe

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