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Teaching System terminals - under the hood (draft)

These run linux (SuSE 10.3) and are powerful enough to run most of the programs we use (Pentium D, 3GHz). They have names like tw107. They're disc-less, but they have 2G of RAM - when they're switched on, they get their operating system and programs via the network. They also "mount" (have access to) files on some central machines: user-files, big programs, etc. Both K Desktop Environment and Gnome are installed. Gnome is our default. The Session menu that's on the login screen lets you switch to KDE, but we've not customized that set-up.GNOME Foot Logo

Both KDE and gnome provide a desktop and a development environment (a framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the desktop). The KDE files are under /opt/kde3 (in bin you'll find konqueror, the web/file browser, etc). The GNOME files are under /opt/gnome (in bin you'll find nautilus, the file browser we use, etc).

Both KDE and gnome depend on a lower level of graphics support provided by X.Org

When the terminals are switched on they

The TFTP server provides an initial boot image. When this executes, the operating system is mounted from the cluster server, and home directories are mounted from the file server. It also automounts other file-systems on demand from the the file server and grp-fsrv as necessary: /apps, /export, /public, /groups, etc.

© Cambridge University Engineering Dept
Information provided by Tim Love (tpl)
Last updated: February 2009