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Re: [TCLUG:3894] re: semi-related rant

In the Math Dept, we've been doing a similar operation with our client
workstation machines on a similar network.  The overall dist consists of
about 1500MB of software including Mathematica (2-3), MapleVr4,5 and
mathematica 5.0-5.2 in addition to a great deal of other helpful
applications.  Each night, between 2-4 machines automacially rebuild
themselves and over our rapidly-aging cat-3 internal wiring, a complete
reinstall including a bad-block checking mke2fs takes about an hour from
start to finish (an automated kernel build is also part of the
reinstallation process).  I wrote an automated reinstaller for RedHat
4-5.2 systems which is currently in use in the IMA.  It works our quite
nicely considering the only remotely nfs-served files are user home, web
and mail directories.

Peter Lukas

On Sun, 7 Feb 1999, Mark A. Bentley wrote:

> On Thu, 4 Feb 1999, Michael Hicks wrote:
> > <semi-related rant>
> > I get really annoyed by the University's IT Labs setup sometimes..  They
> > have almost everything served off centralized servers -- including
> > Netscape, Emacs, XEmacs, Mathematica, and other large programs..  They
> > should really look into an alternative to that.  
> It would help if you would e-mail your concerns to the people who maintain
> the systems you're talking about.  That would be
> > On any given day, my
> > telnet session is jerky and slow.. 
> > They should at least keep the most commonly used apps on local machines
> > (use a cron job or something to keep them updated to the newest
> > version..)  Hopefully it would clear up their bandwidth a bit...
> > </semi-related rant>
> The alternative would be to install software in an rdist tree and push out
> updates when the labs are closed.  What's preventing us from doing that
> right now?  Client disk space, and network bandwidth.
> The networks are slowly being upgraded to 100Mbit equipment, but
> most of the building is running on 10Base-2.  It's going to be quite awhile
> before that changes.  4-204 is all 100Mbit, but we have to go over 10Base-2
> to get to our machine room.  Hopefully this will be the next thing to be
> upgraded.
> It would be really nice if we had an NFS server for each subnet, and
> maintained mirrors of the software trees on each.  Oh, I'm dreaming again. 
> As far as Linux goes, one thing I've been working on is changing CSci over
> to RedHat.  We've got about 20 RedHat systems so far, and once things are
> tested thoroughly we'll be switching to RedHat in ITLabs.  Currently we're
> running Slackware35 everywhere else, mostly because the home-brew jumpstart
> system we're using makes it incredibly easy to install the clients.  But
> now that kickstart is working better, I've been using that.
> The nice thing about the new PCs we've been getting in is that they have
> huge hard disks, so we *CAN* install a lot of the software
> locally...netscape, xemacs, TeX...well, everything that comes with RedHat.
> --Mark
> ==========================================================================
> Mark A Bentley                  Email:
> Systems Staff, CSci Dept
> University of Minnesota         URL:
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