[OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS4G LiveCD

Marco Lechner marco.lechner at geographie.uni-freiburg.de
Sat Oct 18 02:48:39 PDT 2008

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Hi Tyler,

sorry, I can't help you according to Intel-MACs. We only used the
Notebooks provided by our university computing center. So we only had to
deal with three different hardware-types.

Our first idea was to use Live-DVDs and create one broad LiveDVD for all
workshops or an individual LiveDVD-Image for each workshop. This wasn't
practical, because it would have been necessary to burn a big bunchof
DVDs. The other problem we had to deal with was, that one type of
notebooks we used were IBM tablet-PCs - without any DVD-drive.
So it came out that the best solution might be to configure a big Server
to work as an tftp-boot machine and boot all the Workshop-Images via PXE.
It was very impressive how good it worked. We used a custom PXE-boot
prompt where the participants were asked to choose there Workshop and
the chosen individual Workshop-image booted via Net.
One very good side effect was that it was possible to provide the
individual workshop-images days before the conference to the workshop
leaders as iso-Image. So they had the possibility to check if the Image
works exactly as expected. Updating and building a new image took about
half an hour.
Of course you need a good network as requirement. Our Server just had
1GBit-Port available. The Notebooks were connected via 100MBit. It was
o.k. to boot 20 Notebooks parallel - this was enough for our maximum of
two parallel workshops. The boot of all systems took about 5 min (not
the best you can get but o.k.). After the boot the network traffic
wasn't a problem.
Another side-effect was that we were able to have a Internet-Cafe also
using PXE-boot. The visitors could use the "normal" prepared
@-Cafe-Image or boot one of the Workshop-Images to have a closer look
after they participated at a workshop, ...
For future conferences I'd recommend the following equipment:

- - 1 workshop-server, able to spit 10 GBit
- - each workshop room connected with 1GBit (up to ~5 parallel workshops
- - each notebook connected with 100MBit (up to 20 notebooks/workshop

Very nice scenario - I'd like to see this working.


P.S. of course the best side effect was, that we didn't have to install
anything on the notebooks. We wanted to have a M$-free conference. And
our university computing centre told us not to modify the
Windows-Installations on the notebooks :-P
By the way also the session-notebooks were only equipped with
OS-Software (Ubuntu/OpenOffice/...) and the speakers could handle that.
The FOSSGIS 2008 was definitely free as Freibier in Freiburg ;-)
Especially if you keep that participating the conference is for free
(you have to register - about 500 did) only the workshops cost about
80EUR each.

Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) schrieb:
> On 9-Oct-08, at 12:04 AM, Marco Lechner wrote:
>> At the german language conference "FOSSGIS" in April we used
>> live-images to provide all the workshop-notebooks using PXE-boot with
>> individual liveimages booting at the beginning of a workshop.
> Marco,
> Slightly off-topic, but I'm curious if (and how) you provided PXE-boot
> for Intel-based Macs, since they don't PXE.  Do you know if anyone did
> it?  I've heard of people using Slax or systemrescuedisk to help get the
> net boot process running, but I haven't tried it yet.
> Tyler
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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