Friday, December 19, 2008

Using Virtualbox to text LTSP

After the recent training, I am sure many of you want to try out LTSP in your computers, but as I had stressed in the training you atleast need two computers to do the testing and I doubt the availability of two computers for most of you. So to solve this problem and help you practice and understand LTSP better, I am writing this small manual on how to use virtualbox (Open Source Virtualization Software) to practice both client and server. Ok, I am assuming that those wanting to use the manual have idea about creating a guest machine and giving it all the resources needed to boot Linux in it. If any of you have not yet used Virtualbox or for that matter any virtualization software please check out ( it has the manual and the installation file for both Linux and Windows. Please not that the tutorial that i am writing works on Linux and Windows alike.

So starting on the process,

  • assuming that you have completed the normal installation of an Ubuntu Box as a guest OS, mount the ISO or the DVD given to you as the CDROM and open up synaptic.

  • In synaptic go to Setting->Repositories->Third party Software and add CDROM. It will take few seconds and add your CDROM to the repo. Go back to First tab and uncheck all the checkboxes so that you dont end up searching the net for necessary packages. Next close the repositories window, reload and install ltsp-server-standalone and all its dependencies.

  • Assuming that the all the packages are installed nicely, lets set the IP for the server, if you remember it has to be to use the already installed dhcpd.conf file in ubuntu. Now lets open a terminal and first restart the networking, then the dhcp3-server and finally the tftpd-hpa services to verify all the services are working.

  • Now next step is to build the client in your guest OS. As in the training we use the command, ltsp-build-client, the only thing different will be the location of mirror. i.e, the command will be 'sudo ltsp-build-client --mirror file:///cdrom --security-mirror file:///cdrom'. As you all know that this takes sometime to complete.

  • After finishing the command and compressing the image files, please shutdown the server. If you are wondering why, then the reason is to setup a new networking for your virtual systems. Ok when your guest OS shutdowns, open the Network setting for your server and then go to your first adapter. In there you will see, the attached to drop down box, change it to internal network and name it ltsp. What this will do is setup an internal network where you can broadcast all your network services for the client attached to that network to be served.

  • So next you boot the server, check all the services for its functioning and then create new system, Guest OS, with no HDD, a decent ram of 128MB+, and put it to boot from network. next in its network tab, again choose internal network and select ltsp for attached to option. After this you are done, boot the client in the internal network and you will be booting to a ltsp server you setup.

In this way you can try out and practice the installation, customization of the ltsp system using one computer and virtualbox. I hope this helps. Do write in if you have any problem, and i would also like to encourage you to try out internet if you face any problem than blindly writing to ask for help. :-).

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