Wednesday, June 30, 2010

compiz problem in booting ltsp thin clients

I worked for a few hours trying to address an issue on the new lucid server--I wasn't able to login to a thin client but it did boot.  I jumped on the #ltsp and this is what I got (and again, thanks alkisg!!!):

(09:37:52 AM) dgroos1: Hi
(09:38:26 AM) dgroos1: I'm installing LTSP on an Edubuntu 10.04 setup.
(09:39:18 AM) dgroos1: the ltsp-server-standalone openssh-server install went well.
(09:39:39 AM) dgroos1: My DHCP is handing out addresses.
(09:40:13 AM) dgroos1: ltsp-build-client --arch i386 went well.
(09:40:53 AM) dgroos1: After reboot I attempted to boot a thin client and it successfully booted to login screen.
(09:42:56 AM) dgroos1: upon putting in user and password and enter, the screen alternates between the message: (process:211): GLib-Warning**: getpwuid_r(): failed due to unknown user id (0) (and the rest is off the screen)
(09:43:59 AM) dgroos1: and the other screen looks like a zebra on the top half: about 50 alternating black and white vertical lines.
(09:45:58 AM) dgroos1: Google hasn't helped me yet, syslog tells me: "gcos-server ldminfod[xyza]: connect from 192.168.0.21 (192.168.0.21)"
(09:46:18 AM) dgroos1: Any ideas what I can do?
(09:48:21 AM) dgroos1: and the syslog message above gets repeated almost exactly every 15 seconds.
(09:53:49 AM) alkisg: !compiz
(09:53:50 AM) ltspbot`: alkisg: "compiz" :: if compiz is giving you problems, one way to disable it for all users is: sudo gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory --type string --set /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager metacity
(09:54:05 AM) alkisg: dgroos1: try this ^^
(09:54:27 AM) alkisg: About the zebra, try putting "nomodeset" in pxelinux.cfg/default
(09:54:33 AM) dgroos1: hi alkisg!
(09:54:41 AM) dgroos1: will do...
(09:54:41 AM) alkisg: hello :)
(09:57:04 AM) dgroos1: :)
(09:57:16 AM) dgroos1: I should say... :D
(09:57:41 AM) alkisg: Heh ;)
(09:57:56 AM) dgroos1: it works now. This doesn't seem to be documented anywhere or at least I didn't have the right search terms...
(09:58:32 AM) dgroos1: I'll put it on my blog. Thanks alkisg! Now on to localapps and fatclient chroots!
(09:58:53 AM) alkisg: dgroos1: you don't need to install ssh separately, it's installed along with ltsp-server
(09:59:48 AM) dgroos1: OK I'll note that... Any other advice? I was just going to use the instruction pages on the help.ubuntu and wiki.ubuntu.
(10:00:32 AM) alkisg: They should be OK - except for the localapps wiki page, which I hate...
(10:00:47 AM) alkisg: I think it's making it much much more harder than it is
(10:01:08 AM) dgroos1: there is a new localapps page for Karmic, I think I saw.
(10:06:11 AM) alkisg: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/LTSPLocalAppsJaunty <== I mean this one, it's more complicated than it should.
(10:09:04 AM) dgroos1: I'm hoping this page will do the trick: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSPKarmicLocalAppsFirefox
(10:11:05 AM) alkisg: Ugh, why isn't that under UbuntuLTSP? Someone should move it...
(10:12:00 AM) alkisg: Anyway, some hints, if you want to edit that page: sudo nautilus => not needed, gedit can create new files,
(10:12:16 AM) alkisg: LOCAL_APPS=True, SEARCH_DOMAIN, DNS_SERVER => not needed,

So anyway, the answer was at 09:53:50.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Installing Knowledge Building plugin "FLE4" on WordPress 3.0

Once you have super-admin status on the WordPress 3.0 site you can add the Knowledge Building plugin, you can do it from the wp control panels you don't need server access. (Note: I've added comments where there are changes in WordPress 3.1.  Where upgrading to WP 3.2 note the green text directions.)  Here's how I did it:
  1. I clicked on the Plugins panel, then "Add New" as this sub-menu.
  2. In the Search field I typed in "Knowledge Building", pressed search and the top one that appeared was "knowledge building".  I clicked, "Install Now".
  3. And it did!
  4. I selected, "Activate Plugin".
  5. Click on the "Posts" control panel and select "Categories".
  6. In the name field I typed, "Knowledge Building", gave a quick description then pressed, "Add New Category".
  7. Click on the "Settings" control panel, select, "knowledge building".
  8. Under the "Knowledge Building" column I clicked on "Progressive Inquiry", then pressed, "Save Changes".
  9. [When you update your version of WordPress you must repeat steps 9-23] Click on the Appearance control panel (or in WordPress 3.1 in the upper right hand corner of your dashboard, click on "Site Admin", (in version 3.2.1-3.4.1 go to the upper right corner and select the dropdown menu 'Howdy, username' and select 'Network Admin'--note, this little menu is how you toggle back and forth between your regular user account and network admin account: Site admin and Network admin.)), then click on "Themes" then click on the "Editor" sub-menu.
  10. I'm using the Twenty Ten theme--make sure it says the name of the theme you are editing where it says, "select theme to edit".
  11. Under the Templates list on the right hand side, select "Comments" (comments.php).
  12. If you have a wide display and you're not a programmer, make your browser window as wide as possible--makes the code easier to read. 
  13. Use Firefox's page search function and search for the following: "wp_list_comments( array( 'callback'' ) );"  excluding the quotation marks (In WordPress 3.4.1 I found: "wp_list_comments( array( 'callback'", excluding quotations)
  14. I cut that and replaced it with this.  Note, the content between the "/*" and the "*/" are ignored, I included this copy of the original code so that it would be easy to revert to it if necessary, by just removing the commenting-out marks.
  15. knbu_list_comments();
                        /* wp_list_comments( array( 'callback' =>; 'twentyten_comment' ) );
                        */
  16. In 3.4.1 it is seen as: 
  17.  /*wp_list_comments( array( 'callback' => 'twentyten_comment' ) );
                        */
    knbu_list_comments();
  18. Remember to do steps 10-17 for each theme you are using!
  19. **remember to change the twentyten to twentyeleven so you backup works if you are using the twentyeleven theme!**
  20. Then I pressed, "Update File".
  21. I just had to the "Plugins/Installed Plugins" control panel and "Network Activate" both the Knowledge Building" and "Disable Check Comment Flood" plugins.  The latter plugin is useful if you will be having a classroom of students KBing at the same time.
  22. Then go back to the "Settings" control panel (in 3.2.1 you have to go back to the Site Admin in upper right hand corner) and select, "Discussion" then, (In 3.4.1, still as Network Admin, I clicked on "Sites" control panel, then selected the site I was updating--will have to do to all?--and clicked on the "Settings" menu tab, then searched for "Close Comments", changed the "Close Comments Days Old" from 14 to 0 (so it never closes), and changed the "Comments Per Page" from 50 to 150.  So for 3.4.1 can skip next step as I described it in this one.)
  23. Put a check next to: Enable threaded (nested) comments levels deep, scroll to the bottom and select, "Save Changes".   Actually, I kind like 7 deep when I do the optional settings listed below (but in theme 2011 seems to not be necessary)...  Also, scroll down to the bottom and select the "monsterID" it is fun!  do Save Changes.
Optional settings (must also repeat steps 1-6 when WordPress is updated)
--I prefer to use more of the page on the comments and not the narrow space provided by 2010 theme so I made the following alterations:
  1. Click on the Appearance control panel, then click on the "Editor" sub-menu. (In 3.1 go to the dashboard of any site and click on "Site Admin" (in 3.2.1 select "Network Admin"!) in upper right-hand corner.  Then drop-down the "Themes" menu on the left side and select, "Editor".)
  2. I'm using the Twenty Ten theme--make sure it says the name of the theme you are editing where it says, "select theme to edit".
  3. Under the Templates list on the right hand side, select "Stylesheet" (style.css) near the bottom.
  4. Use Firefox's page search function and search for the following: "=Structure".
  5. In that section, change, "940" to "1140" as this will make the comment column wider. 
  6. Press, "Update File".  You'll see that your discussions are wider, now. 
 --(And these steps must also be repeated when the Knowledge Building plugin is updated) I prefer to use the word, "Question/Problem" in place of the word, "Problem" in the knowledge type set.  Also, I haven't found the sentence starters for each knowledge type to be useful, on the contrary, they are almost invariably deleted, so I also get rid of most of them:
  1. Go to the proper dashboard, select "Appearance", then, "Plugins" then "editor" (In Wordpress 3.1 go to "Plugins" then "Editor").
  2. Where it says, "Select plugin to edit:" select, "Knowledge Building" and press the "Select" button.
  3. Click on the Plugin File: "knowledge-building/kbsets/progressive_inquiry.xml" in its name. 
  4. Do a Firefox search for: "Name="Problem"" (Don't include the 'outside' quotation marks here).
  5. Then simple change "Problem" with "Problem-Question".
  6. I also searched for the different sentence starters for each knowledge type, deleted the words and pasted in: "Name..." as a reminder for students to put the name/names of the authors of the post at the start of the post.
  7. I also changed the for each knowledge type.
  8. I posted my version of the file with the changes in wording.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Install Lucid Edubuntu from DVD but via netboot

    I need to install Edubuntu Lucid on a server that doesn't have a DVD drive and the Edubuntu disk only comes on DVD... Enter alkisg scripts...  Here, for safe keeping, is a copy of an e-mail he sent to the usergroup explaining how to do it:


    Alkis G

     to edubuntu-devel, edubuntu-discu.
    show details 12/27/09

    Στις 23-12-2009, ημέρα Τετ, και ώρα 22:44 +0200, ο/η Jonathan C έγραψε:
    > * alkisg: perhaps the liveDVD could be configured to install remote
    > systems via netboot. This may need some further investigation. At the
    > worst, a wiki page on how to configure it manually would be good. A
    > script could be included to simplify things.

    I found this wiki page which describes how to do it:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LiveCDNetboot

    I made a script which hopefully completely automates the process.

    To make the method more suitable for a live environment, I changed it to
    use dnsmasq-base, which is already included on the live Ubuntu CD, and
    which has the additional benefit that it can function as a proxyDHCP
    server:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/ProxyDHCP
    ...and whose tftp server works with symlinks, saving space/RAM.

    So, the steps to netboot the client(s):
    1) Boot a "server" with the live Karmic/Lucid desktop (ed)Ubuntu CD,
    2) Run this command on the live session:
     wget 'http://users.sch.gr/alkisg/tosteki/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2525.0;attach=1421' -O /tmp/livecd-netboot && sudo sh /tmp/livecd-netboot
    3) Then power on the clients and select "Boot from network", they should
    boot off of the live CD that is published via NFS.

    Internet connectivity is needed on the "server", because the script
    temporarily installs nfs-kernel-server.
    Also, make sure that you have an *external* DHCP server in the local
    network (e.g. a router).
    It's also possible (though not recommended for novice users) to run the
    script in a normal Ubuntu installation (i.e. not from a live session).

    Happy holidays to all,
    Alkis

    (And beyond... ed.)

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    reinstalling/updating CmapServer

    This is a big one as I update CmapServer no more than 1 time a year.
    1. Download software on a computer within the district firewall.
    2. Use scp to transfer it to the server:
    3. scp /Users/admin/Desktop/LinuxCmapServer_v5.03.01_06-05-09.bin dgroos@10.x.x.x:/home/dgroos/ (and it works!)
    4. This page tells how to export an x-session from a VE container through the internet: http://wiki.openvz.org/X_inside_VE
    5. I put the .bin file in /srv/ and set the permissions with: sudo chmod 755 LinuxCmapServer_etc.bin
    6. Then I run it by typing: sudo ./LinuxCmapServer_etc.bin and it works :)