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Thread: Linux in the school and classroom

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  1. #1

    Linux in the school and classroom


    I don't mind starting this area, it is of a major concern to me. What is going to happen? How many schools use Novell / Windows out there and what are you going to do with the recent changes?

    A little background first : I teach Tech Prep - ISS in Ohio / USA.

    It contains Programming - HTML, JAVA,, C / C++; CAD / 3D Studio ( MAX 4.2 ); basic web design; basic electronics / electricity - into PLC; A+ cert primer; networking basics.

    It became needed to set-up the network in my lab because the tech coordinator was tring to install Novell and take over the lab. I need my students to maintain ( and screw up the systems so they can fix them ) the lab themselves. I felt Linux to be the answer there partly because of all the licensing issues with MS. Suse was in big with AMD and that seemed like a stable type of connection.

    My few problems are having a CAD and MAX software set that is industry standard compatible for instruction.

    We set up our NAT, DNS, Web server and such and are working on mail, samba, and MRTG. ( come visit us, just starting the page so very little contect as yet and soon will be moved in on virtual server - both are active now )

    I find Linux to be rather exciting in that I am able to do things on the machine. Windows has taken over too much and there is no room to experiment or build. I like the power in the CLI and that I stand less of a chance crashing Linux than I do MS.

    This begins it for me, What say you all?

  2. #2
    Administrator Moderator
    starfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Though not in an educational environment, we recently had to install a new data center for my organization on an extremely low budget.

    We chose Linux for our initial DMZ firewall, and for our web and DNS servers. Like you, software cost was a deciding factor, but using Linux allowed us to scrape up a number of old and second hand PCs that couldn’t even be considered as Windows 2000 Server candidates.

    So far it has been successful. Updates have been automatic, the machines though old, are running reliably. We use not only MRTG for traffic graphing but also Nagios for server monitoring.

    People often talk about the Open Source benefits of Linux, which is certainly true, but there is another factor that we often overlook. I think that a key advantage of Linux over Windows is that you can turn the GUI interface totally off. This allows the CPU to dedicate its time to the main functions of the server. The lower overhead means older, cheaper systems can be used and in some cases with better performance than a newer Windows system.

    This may be a major consideration in a school where funds are either tight, or the approval process to purchase new equipment is long.

    We’re using RedHat 9 even though we knew it was near the end of its support life as Fedora Core seemed to have been a little too unstable at the time. I’ve since installed Fedora and used the most recent updates using “yum” and it seems to work well.

    I’m sure other distributions would have worked well, but we stuck with the evil we knew.

    Linux Kickstart may be something you may want to consider using if you need your students to install Linux quickly or on many machines.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    My campus uses Windows and Novell, we're trying to migrate to Linux slowly ................
    but the students find it hard to use Linux as their working environment.......
    they're really accustomed to use windows.....................
    I hope your students won't have that.........

  4. #4
    We have every reasons why we need migrate to linux. On my opinion, it would be helpful to explain to students that Linux could do what Windows can.. This might help..
    Last edited by elizalde; 03-09-2008 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Added context

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