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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
How to set up a Puppy Linux Cybercafe
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sun 22 Mar 2009, 09:32    Post subject:  

Quote:
Just thought I'd mention something regarding the whole copy/don't copy sfs into ram part:
Since the move from an initrd to an initramfs (initrd.gz which is a CPIO archive, like you made), the initial ramdisk does not stay in ram after the switch_root, which means you can't have a humungus initrd and mount the sfs directly from it.


I feel as if this is something I should understand Embarassed

Would you know of any links where I might read up Dougal, thanks.

@Tronkel

I have had the pleasure recently of introducing a quite highly skilled windows engineer to puppy linux. He now wonders why he ever went to the trouble of Pirating windoze. Wink

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sun 22 Mar 2009, 19:40    Post subject:  

Rob

More info on Hotmail/MSNMessenger in browser options

See my post, here

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=39679

HTH

Aitch Smile
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 23 Mar 2009, 01:53    Post subject:  

Thanks Aitch. It seems that the only way round the problem is to get seamonkey to "lie" about the type of browser it is. Its a shame that there isnt an browser extension to just lie when on Microsoft sites, fight fire with fire thats what I say Wink

Its these types of things that are show-stoppers when people are trying to switch to linux. Changing the browser "useragent" across all of the internet will stop other sites realizing a lot more people are using linux!

From the specs...

Quote:
Linux distro needs Skype, aMSN and Gyache Improved (that gives us audio/video chat for MSN and Yahoo).


Webcam support for the messenger clients is going to be pretty important. Children, relatives and friends will be a lot more re-assured by being able to actually see their missing parent/relative/friend, rather than just type to them.

I know Skype 2 (which is available for puppy I believe) handles video chat now. Gyachi seems to handle video for yahoo clients. For Msn it seems that the latest aMSN beta will handle video, and its a very useable chat client for new linux users too (very similar in layout and operation to MSN for windows) so new users will not find it unfamiliar.

The only other issue is openoffice support. While Im writing this im downloading the latest version of Oxygenoffice. This has got docx support by default. Im hoping to use MU's script to create an .sfs extention of this from the .rpm download. How this is going to be implemented Im not sure as its huge.

It may be possible to use rootz to load this separately from the central server when required (which will be rarely, but it would be nice to have when required). I would hate to think that the cybercafes computers would be unable to open whatever (possibly very important) document that was sent to them. They dont have access to any other computers and are usually hundreds of miles from home.

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ypup

Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar 2009, 23:41    Post subject: Cybercafe Comparison
Subject description: DRBL vs Custom Smoothwall
 

My interests is the use of the customized smoothwall in a Cybercafe in contrast to a DBRL server appliance that would be configured to boot several version of puppy linux.

Diskless Remote Boot Linux DRBL
How would an inexpensive computer in a CyberCafe's, setup to use Diskless Remote Boot Linux configured to boot Puppy versions 4.X, 3.X and 2.X, Compare with the customized smoothwall network boot that is being developed?.

This is a brief description of DBRL:

DBRL Description
================
DRBL is an open source solution to managing the deployment of the GNU/Linux operating system across many clients. Imagine the time required to install GNU/Linux on 40, 30, or even 10 client machines individually! DRBL allows for the configuration all of your client computers by installing just one server machine.

Diskless Remote Boot in Linux (DRBL) provides a diskless or systemless environment for client machines. It works on Debian, Puppy Linux, Ubuntu, Mandriva, Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS and SuSE. DRBL uses distributed hardware resources and makes it possible for clients to fully access local hardware.
*(Replace the other versions of Linux with the different versions of Puppy. Developers could work on special versions of Puppy to perform maintenance of the DRBP server appliance and workstations in the Cybercafe configuration. This could be added as a boot option .)

DRBL uses PXE/etherboot, NFS, and NIS to provide services to client machines so that it is not necessary to install GNU/Linux on the client hard drives individually. Once the server is ready to be a DRBL server, the client machines can boot via PXE/etherboot (diskless). "DRBL" does NOT touch the client hard drives, therefore, other Operating Systems (i.e. M$ Windows) installed on the client machines will be unaffected. This could be useful in, for example, during a phased deployment of GNU/Linux where users still want to have the option of booting to Windows and running Office. DRBL allows great flexibility in the deployment of GNU/Linux.
========================================================
This is a Link:
http://drbl.sourceforge.net/

These are the instructions for configuring small GNU/Linux distributions. The DBRP could be setup to exclusively use the different versions of Puppy linux.

drbl-SL.sh can load some small GNU/Linux, like DamnSmall Linux (DSL), Puppylinux, INSERT Linux, PLD rescue linux, Debian Live, GeeXbox or PUD-Linux into DRBL environment.
** By doing this, the client can use that Small GNU/Linu after booting via PXE. The client still can work even if the network cable is unplugged. It's fire and forget. In this mode, all the programs are loaded into client's memory. Therefore, the memory of client should be large enough. For DSL, PuppyLinux, INSERT, the memory requirement of client is 192 MB. For PLD Rescue Linux, since it will only run in rescue mode without graphic, the memory requirement for client is 25 MB.
Syntax:

Usage: /opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh [OPTION] [SL-ISO|SL-INDEX]

OPTION:
-i, --install: Load Small Linux into DRBL environment.
-u, --uninstall: Uninstall Small Linux.
-v, --verbose: Verbose mode.
SL-ISO is one of DSL PuppyLinux INSERT PLD ISO file, used with installation.
S-L-INDEX is one of DSL PuppyLinux INSERT PLD, used with uninstallation.
Ex: To load DSL Linux, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -i dsl-3.0.1.iso'
To load PuppyLinux, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -i puppy-2.12-seamonkey.iso'
To load INSERT Linux, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -i INSERT-1.3.8_en.iso' To load PLD Rescue CD, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -i rescue.iso'
To remove DSL, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -u DSL'
To remove PuppyLinux, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -u PuppyLinux'
To remove INSERT, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -u INSERT'
To remove PLD, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -u PLD'
To remove all Small Linux, run '/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -u all'


Has this been considered for use in the Cybercafe?

A comparison of the tradeoffs in the Cybercafe would be appreciated, as well as links to more information on the customized smoothwall configuration.

Was DBRL eliminated from consideration in being used in the Cybercafe?
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4764
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 01:16    Post subject: drbl  

DRBL can handle both large and small Linuxes. With small Linux, it's "fire and forget" as you said, meaning, that a continuous connection with the server is not required. This is not so with large Linux.

The net-booting setup here is for small Linux ("fire and forget"). However, the issue of maintaining some form of connection with the server will still be necessary, like when bigger programs such as OpenOffice would be needed.

In that regard, someone has suggested rootz:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=26218

It would be good if someone can implement DRBL in Puppy to net-boot the basic OS and then to make available bigger programs from a central server.

Will you be able to help implement this? Thanks in advance!

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ypup

Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 08:38    Post subject: Cybercafe Comparison
Subject description: Configuration Options
 

Thanks for the clarification Raffy.

Let me follow-up with more questions.

1. In the Cybercafe configuration is the "Fire & Forget" configuration that does NOT require a continuous connection far more efficient to operate?
ie o. Lower hardware requirements for the workstation
o. Lower hardware requirement for the server
o. Can support more con-current users

2. Would the DRBL sever with several Puppies in the Boot configuration be able to support the needs of over 70 percent of the Cybercafe users?

3. Could the Custom Smoothwall or rootz be integrated into the boot menu for the Cybercafe user that required a continuous connection?

4. Is the advantage of rootz over Smoothwall is that it has lower network bandwidth requirements on the server?

Was Planning on implementing a DRBL Puppy based server configuration in Computer Laboratory/Cybercafe configuration. Would appreciate links that provide information on design options in this configuration.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 13:27    Post subject:  

Hiya ypup. Welcome to the thread.

I havnt time at the moment to review your netboot appliance. The reason Ive decided (tentatively) gone for smoothwall is

-It has a large active community of developers that constantly update its security.

-It has a whole load of addons that can quickly add new functionality when needed

- It runs on really old computers

- Ive used it already, so I know a bit about it

- It has filters to filter more "exclusive" content that people that have been at sea a long time may be tempted to view (frees cleaning budget for better kit) Shocked Laughing

The documentation for netbooting puppy is sparse. The best stuff is probably on the thread above (thanks guys). This goes for the smoothwall as well as puppy Wink

I would be happy to help you with netbooting puppy (as far as I know it) as an option on your DBRL server. You may want to wait for the customized puppy setup that we will be using at the Seafarers cybercafe. This will be available for free download.

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 13:35    Post subject:  

Have just had a text message through from an old friend. One of the schools we collect from where he works has donated an (soon to be ex) Windows NT server with twin 30gb SCSI RAID, 1.5gb RAM and a single 1.5mhz processor, expandable to dual processors (for possible future upgrades!).

This will free up the Single SCSI PII 450mhz/256mb server I had for the smaller of the two cybercafes.

This should be fun, Ive never [url=http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:vXN_lJxL0mwJ:www.dban.org/+dban&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a] dban'ed Windows NT before Cool

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ypup

Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 17:16    Post subject: Cybercafe
Subject description: Configuration Options
 

To improve my understanding of the Cybercafe Server Configuration, a hypothetical configuration to get comments from the experienced users.

Ecomoney hardware:
Cyber Cafe Server Appliance
twin 30gb SCSI RAID,
1.5gb RAM and a single 1.5mhz processor,
expandable to dual processors (future upgrades!).

DRBL installed and configured on the Server Appliance
o Several versions of Puppy configured for net boot.
o Puppy in the Fire & Forget configuration is preconfigured with an NFS connections to the server Appliance.
o Network Menu on the Puppy Workstation uses the login to define the space that is available on the Server Appliance that defines the user's work space that has been allocated for that login.

When the NFS connection is established between the Puppy Workstation on the Server Appliance, would this be considered a continuous connection?

Can Smoothwall be installed on the Server Appliance for security purpose and to intergrate the Seafarers Puppy configuration, for workstations that require the continuous connection?
Can DRBL and Seafarrers Smoothwall coexist?

Are there any statics that identify applications used and the time period spent working on these applications?

With this hardware, how many concurrent users would this support?

There is such an emphasis on replacing windows applications, there is a danger of not configuring the server optiminally for linux applications. The expereince of people that are using linux in a working Cybercafe is highly valued

Thanks in advance
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4764
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 19:24    Post subject: seafarer netboot pup  

The seafarer netboot pup can simply be added to the Puppy builds available in DRBL.

From here, NFS is described thus:
Quote:
NFS (Network File System) exists to allow remote hosts to mount partitions on a particular system and use them as though they were local filesystems.
and this is needed only for users to access large and infrequently used programs not available in the fire-n-forgotten puppy.

As far as I understand, smoothwall adds firewall protection to the running PC, and if you will use a router to act as firewall, your DRBL server should cover only puppy-booting and NFS service.

There must be network monitoring tools available to gather stats, but the beauty of using Puppy is that the basic build shall be sufficient for most tasks (browsing and word processing). Even if network monitoring is not there, I guess the in-house personnel would be receiving queries from users about the availability of certain programs (thus, notes can be made on how many users ask about/intend to use certain applications).

The server load (mainly due to running NFS) would be dependent on this last consideration.

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linuxcbon

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 754

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 19:30    Post subject:  

You could make a full install in each of the hard disks : they will keep all the datas and puppy will run faster.
Ok it is longer to install but simpler than the other solutions.

For the network, you can set iptables to allow only dns, http and https, nothing else just surfing. Example : http://linuxcbon.over-blog.com/article-2653925-6.html
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4764
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 20:55    Post subject: rc.local  

Is that for rc.local? A setup for every client PC to protect itself? What about FTP and chat?

heh heh, we're trying to do economics here (be lazy and you become efficient) LOL

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linuxcbon

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 754

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 23:17    Post subject: Re: rc.local  

raffy wrote:
Is that for rc.local? A setup for every client PC to protect itself? What about FTP and chat?

heh heh, we're trying to do economics here (be lazy and you become efficient) LOL

yes for rc.local.
for ftp add tcp ports 20 and 21
for chat, it depends on which protocol...but yahoo and msn can chat with http too.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar 2009, 04:01    Post subject:  

Quote:
You could make a full install in each of the hard disks : they will keep all the datas and puppy will run faster.
Ok it is longer to install but simpler than the other solutions.


There is only going to be one hard disk in each of the two cafe's...(or maybe two if were using RAID).

Quote:
heh heh, we're trying to do economics here (be lazy and you become efficient) LOL


Smoothwall can do all sorts of jobs as well as netbooting. Its possible to log in remotely and set ports, add "mods", and update puppy files. A simple reboot on each of the netbooting clients is all that is needed to implement any of the changes in the new puppy files. I can do this from anywhere in the world I happen to be, including in bed! Very Happy

Ive been doing some experiments with Oxygenoffice, this is basically openoffice with Office 2007 Docx support and a few other tweaks. Its a pretty hefty 350mb, but would be ideal as an application that was based on the smoothwall for occasional use, linked in with rootz.

Ive also been doing some experiments with firefox/java/flash10 as an sfs package. This is only 50mb big, so its probably ok to put into the main pup_420.sfs and should only add about 25 seconds to the netbooting time. This would make a boot time of an acceptable 1minute 32 seconds. I have a set of mods/tweaks/skin/bookmarks for firefox version 2 that I used for my previous work in the Riddings drop in cybercafe. I would like to transfer them over to the 3-based package as I know a lot of work went into getting them just right. The web browser is obviously going to be the "hotspot" that people use the most, so Im glad the research into this work is done already.

It would also be nice to have a graphical screen during the loading process...which would mean implementing pebble over netboot. Ive read through the extensive notes Pizzasgood has very responsibly made about it, and come to the conclusion its possible....though very very difficult!

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr 2009, 06:49    Post subject:  

Well, today the project manager is coming to see me at my house...hes due in an hour. Ive re set up the smoothwall server with the same settings as before, and Ive created a new initrd.gz with 4.2 final with the "ecofox" browser from my previous cybercafe.

Guess what? IT WONT BOOT!!!!

It loads the initrd.gz across the network, gets to the "booting the kernel" line and hangs. On my compaq Desktop it doesnt give an error message, just locks up, On my laptop its a different story, it says

Code:
Kernel Panic - Not synching: VFS : Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (22,1)


I even tried it with the previous set of beta files I had working...no joy. Mad

Any ideas anyone?

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