Thursday, September 25, 2008

Linux in the Real World - Schools

Cost savings, flexibility, and a huge pool of applications have made Linux a wonderful alternative to proprietary systems for many schools. One project has been particularly successful in schools: the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (

K12LTSP is based on the Linux Terminal Service Project ( and Fedora
(, but is tuned to work particularly in schools. With K12LTSP, you centralize all your school’s applications on one or more server machines. Then you can use lowend PCs (old Pentiums or thin clients) as workstations. With thin clients starting under $200 or old PCs already hanging around your school, you can service a whole class or even a whole school for little more than the cost of the servers and some networking hardware.

By centralizing all the school’s software on a limited number of servers, K12LTSP can offer both security (only a few servers to watch over) and convenience (no need to reinstall hundreds of Windows machines to upgrade or enhance the software). Each client machine controls the display, mouse, and keyboard, while all of the user’s applications and files are stored on and run from the server.

The K12LTSP distribution contains many battle-tested open source applications, including full GNOME and KDE desktops, Evolution e-mail, Firefox browser, office suite, and the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) image application. It also adds DansGuardian (open source Web content filtering) and educational software (such as Gcompris). Applications that are not available in Linux can often be replaced with similar Linux applications or may be run from a Web browser.

Many schools in Oregon have adopted K12LTSP, including those attended by Linus Torvalds’ children in Portland, Oregon. Adoption of K12LTSP has also begun in Atlanta, Georgia and many other cities across the United States.

Source of Information : Linux Bible 2008 Edition

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