Quote Originally Posted by bofh28 View Post
I used Windows as it has Group Policy. I could almost setup everything in the GP and never visit a client. Linux still doesn't have anything like GP and that is IMO what is holding Linux back.
In regard to having "remote control" over all the computers, the main thing I'd like to be able to do is be able to write to the computers' hard disks. For instance, in a room full of 30 computers, I'd like to be able to get a CD with some sort of program on it, then go to one of the computers and install the program. After that, I'd like to be able to run a program that would take an "image" of that computer and copy it to all the other computers. I know this might sound a bit extreme if you're only installing a program that's a few kilobytes, but then maybe the imaging software could propagate only the changes. Is there software out there already for doing this in Linux? I wonder how far I'd get using plain old Samba shares?

Also we had several applications that only ran under windows.
Well Linux has Firefox for surfing the web, OpenOffice for doing up documents, and you have something like Konqueror for copying files from one drive to another. I think there's a Linux alternative for most kinds of program nowadays, and if worst comes to worst you can always use wine.

I did look into using LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) but it didn't support local devices (i.e. plugging in a usb thumb drive to save your work). I understand that LTSP now has that support.
I'm not sure if LTSP would be what I'm looking for. If I understand it correctly, you'd have one server computer that's basically running 30 computers at once... I mean fair enough if you have a super computer that you pulled out of NASA's skip, but would it not be very slow and very hard on memory? I mean you could have OpenOffice open 30 times at once? (That's assuming of course that I understand correctly)

You biggest hurdles to deploying Linux at the desktop will be the applications and faculty. Can you guarantee that you will never need to deploy a windows based app? The faculty I had to support knew their specific areas of IT and little else. Which is not a problem as what they knew was very deep stuff. They just didn't want to invest time in learning something new. Also you are bound to get alot of questions about training the students on the new OS. Yes you will have to train them as you can't let them figure it out on there own.
If all they're doing is surfing the web and typing up documents, I don't think there's much I need to show them.