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[K12OSN] Centos?

I've been getting a lot of questions lately re: thin clients for classroom deployment - Given that we use linux almost exclusively on the back end, it seems to me that this may be a good opportunity to get linux in front of teachers and students. I have a couple of questions that hopefully have been answered previously. I'm trying to mitigate the inevitable "it's what I have at home" push-back as much as possible, esp from teachers.

1) We anticipate needing a few basics, such as web browsing, email, and productivity apps. I assume in this environment we're talking firefox, tbird, and OOo.

2) We also use some hosted apps that will not run under linux due to plugin issues. The vendor does not appear to be willing to budge on this (big surprise there...) I've been able to get firefox for windows installed on my linux box at home using WINE, and from there get the plugins installed. Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

3) We are planning to do a very limited pilot using some older (p4-xeon) dual cpu servers (proliant ml530). Realistically, what is the maximum number of clients I should attempt to connect to them. The cpus are 800mhz, with 2-4gb ram. Hard drive space is in the neighborhood of 80gb. We're looking at cannibalizing several of these older servers to make one higher-capacity unit for the pilot

4) Has anyone got this running under Centos or other longer-service-life distro? If this takes off I would prefer not to have to upgrade every 6 months or so.

5) We have an existing OpenLDAP/autofs infrastructure. Should I anticipate any issues with integrating this system with existing services for authentication and home directory provisioning?

Thanks, and my apologies if these issues have been dealt with already.

fn:Jeff Davis
org:Standard School District
adr:;;1200 North Chester Ave;Bakersfield;CA;93308;usa
email;internet:jdavis standard k12 ca us
title:Technology and Information Systems Mgr

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