Linux goes to school with NethServer

I’d start from CentOS manuals, NethServer do not change CentOS.

NethServer network configuration is stored in a text-only database called networks, so to store/change a value the command is something like:
db networks setprop eth0 macaddr 11:22:33:44:55:66.
But I usually work/test the CentOS way and only when everything works I change the db if needed.



I’ve a dream…

My target are small classrooms (max 20 students).

The dream is based on:

  • 1 Nethserserv (minimal) which play the rule of: gateway, account manager, and roaming files (means he has the homes of the students into itself)
  • a client based on Edubuntu iso (remastered and customized to perfectly fit with the previous server)

installation scenario:

install the Netherserv vanilla, adds the necessary modules and replace a backup file (which has all the configurations necessary); on the other part, starts to install the various PC clients using the customized Edubuntu… you may have a classroom ready in half day…

…but I’m newbie and probably this request tons of work.

This could be a “Nethserver starter kit” to the schools…


Ok, our solution is not so minimal, but it is modular, so you may disable/remove parts of the system you would not need.

Check, check, check.

Not an ISO, but we boot and install from scratch the clients using PXE booting. Your installation is limited by media on which you may have the ISO: we are using the LAN for the lab and installing 25+ clients all at once.

Yep, we do that :wink: except we are doing it from scratch instead of having already a backup configuration to restore.[quote=“yakman000, post:81, topic:2132”]
This could be a “Nethserver starter kit” to the schools…
That’s what we are trying to make with our project. Again, for the sake of completeness, you may find here all the stuff needed in GNU GPL v3.0.


@apradoc maybe here is the answer to your prayers.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Web filtering on https connections ( Google searches and Youtube )

The classroom project could be solved by using LTSP, but I think there isn’t a package out yet for NS to use. The homes are stored on a server. You only need to setup your ns server as an dhcp server or backup server. This is something that should or must be included into a school-package. The OS is compiled on the main server and can be edited over a chroot.

Hi Mika,
LTSP can be a sollution in a classroom (together with something like [epoptes]( linux only) or iTalc ( both Windows and Linux)
However, do realize that LTSP needs a lot of resources. Especially RAM. This isn’t a feature that should be glued upon NS just because it looks cool. Although I do like LTSP a LOT, imo running LTSP on an SBS-like server is asking for problems.

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You probably know that you can also create fat-clients, where all the stuff runs on the client itself :slight_smile: . Or you can use Raspberry Pis and combine them with pinet (LTSP with Raspis, can be found on the Raspberry Pi download page).

Finally CentOS 6.7 with proxmox VE 4.1. I download the dvd version and when I installed have everything I need to config the proxy. Now I only need to change CentOS in NethServer.

It’s an excellent news for intranets school of Venezuela

I feel identified with this scene

You are a brain, @josean7link :laughing:

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Set up a local repository for NethServer

A post was merged into an existing topic: Web filtering on https connections ( Google searches and Youtube )

This would be a realy nice enhancement for the educational section of the available applications:
Could this be a NethServer package?

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At the end of the month, I’ll meet up @syntaxerrormmm to talk about NethServer with @giacomo and BGLug guys
In the meantime, can we move forward and kick off the Linux School project? What do you need? I’d like to have some hot topic to discuss with him and his crew. @apradoc @robb
BTW @syntaxerrormmm he has arranged a talk about NethServer on the 22 June , inviting several people to attend. I’ll let you how it goes soon.


I think we can share and collect here some objectives for the project. What should be the main goal? Can we formalize the goal in a single sentence? What tasks should we address in short, mid and long terms to get the project going? Is the project going just to detect, report and pack softwares needed for Education purposes inside NethServer? @alefattorini and other NethServer developers, how do you feel about it (yes, the project would probably be community-driven, though I would like some feedbacks from NethServer insiders)?

Again, I feel repetitive and pedantic, I really do not have any estimation for how much time I may help and support the project. But I want to help, for sure.

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Just a few thoughts

Main goal

  • Having a solution for schools and Educational environments
  • Provide it packaged in RPMs and provide its configuration via NethServer web gui if needed.

##First step

  • Moodle can be made available as a module (then Chamilo)

Technical steps

  • Clarification on what type of ibay configuration to implement (web server root/folder/what else);
  • Definition of parameters to implement in the web configuration interface for Moodle (from zero parameters to full configuration within interface. I would like the first one best );
  • On the previous two points, build up a basic interface for Moodle configuration;
  • Creation of the RPM including dependencies (mysql, for example), Moodle base files and NethServer configuration pages.

moodle 3.0.3 requires PHP 5.4.4, MariaDB 5.5.31 or MySQL 5.5.31 or Postgres 9.1 or MSSQL 2008 or Oracle 10.2
@stephdl is working on mysql


Said that, currently school project isn’t not a priority for the main developers who are heavily focused on NethServer 7 but efforts on Samba4 and AD integration can contribute to the cause anyway.


I’d like to move forward on this, I know that @syntaxerrormmm has some news about his project.
Emiliano, can you share with us?

Sorry for the belated answer guys, I was enjoying last days of holidays :slight_smile:

Last months have been quite fruitful for our Linux goes to school project:

  • We finally redacted a “memorandum of understanding”, which is going to be offered to the schools, to formalize BgLUG’s collaboration with them;
  • We started and we are going to finish the installation of our fourth laboratory next Monday. This time, it is in an high school inside the Episcopal Seminary in Bergamo (again, about 25 clients). Also, another school is in queue (we are waiting for some network upgrades and construction works to be completed);
  • In the next 3/4 months we are going to be busy training teachers from our previous 3 laboratories on Linux and LibreOffice; also, we have to train someone from each of the schools to be able to interact with NethServer to manage the laboratory and maintain it (changes to web filtering policies, installation of new software on clients, creation/deletion of users, etc.);
  • Since we were asked to install our solution also on some laboratories at a school in Milan (about 40-50 km away from Bergamo), we asked around and other FOSS organizations have answered: OpenLabs (one of the LUG from Milan) and LibreItalia (italian association for the support and diffusion of LibreOffice). We are trying to “open” up the project with the creation of a new mailing list (italian only, sorry) and we are trying to manage the project on Taiga (again, mainly in italian);
  • Speaking of knowledge and idea sharing, we were recently in Magione (PG, Italy) with our friends of GNU/LUG Perugia. Had a good day and discussed about how improve our project and the whole LUG situation in Italy. Someone has also said that he’s interested in installing our solution near there, so we are very proud and look forward to maybe be able to go there again;
  • We are working on documentation. We are ready with an Italian guide on virtualizing our solution, I just have to translate it in English to be able to share it with all of you;
  • My colleague @paspo is working on a rewrite of a core functionality of our solution, doraemon. We are in the testing phase right now, and the rewrite had many goals:
  • Convert daemon language from python to perl;
  • Use standard NethGui web interfaces in PHP, thus adding some new functionalities (such as wake up/shutdown/reboot the single client, or the whole laboratory, from the webserver interface);
  • Use e-smith internal database to store information instead of sqlite3 one.

We have some missing/new functionalities we want to have included in short times, like (in strict priority order):

  • The ability to build and join to domain also clients which aren’t inside the laboratory (e.g. laptops inside each classroom);
  • The ability to rebuild/recreate the “teacher” client. If the teacher’s machine break, we have to reinstall the machine (easy), but we also have to change the SSL certificate for the Epoptes service to be changed within each client. We want to have a quick and simple procedure to be able to do also that;
  • Migrate the client OS from Edubuntu 14.04 with edu-* packages to Ubuntu 16.04 with a selection of packages (selection has to be done yet, according to teachers’ needs);
  • The ability to share a single server between multiple laboratories inside the same building (as of now, we are bound to have a single server/LAN within each laboratory, which is too expensive and not at all flexible).

So as it seems it is not a dead project yet :wink:

I hope to be able to provide tangible results to the community as soon as possible.


Hi @syntaxerrormmm.
Great points you bring up! I absolutely like them. Unfortunately my knowledge of Italian is absolutely zero, so it is no point of joining an italian mailinglist. But I would like to be updated on how your project is evolving. Do you have any documentation of your project in English?

Could you share this document? I could get it through Google translate so I can understand the broader meaning of it.

Superb! Can you point out how a ‘lab’ is configured? Maybe a diagram and a (brief) description?

Is there any documentation of training that you can/want to share? Even in Italian. Again, a translation through google translate will give the broader intention of it.

Looking forward to that!

With NS7 this shouldn’t be a problem I guess? Or is kerberos not implemented in NS7? Or do you use another distro in your project?[quote=“syntaxerrormmm, post:98, topic:2132”]
The ability to rebuild/recreate the “teacher” client. If the teacher’s machine break, we have to reinstall the machine (easy), but we also have to change the SSL certificate for the Epoptes service to be changed within each client. We want to have a quick and simple procedure to be able to do also that;

Absolutely love Epoptes! In a full Linux environment this is the best you can have for client/class management.