[OSGeo-Discuss] Can we use a LiveDVD for workshops and labs at FOSS4G 2009?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sun Oct 19 13:30:34 PDT 2008

I'm wondering whether it will be achievable and desirable to use a 
GeoFOSS LiveDVD as the only installed operating system at workshops and 
labs at FOSS4G 2009.

If we can achieve this, it will have many benefits:
* Labs will be easier to configure and setup
* We would avoid M$ licence costs as the image is based on linux
* After FOSS4G we would have a proven LiveDVD which can be used for 
workshops and labs at smaller OSGeo events around the world

The cost to us as a community is that we will need to invest in getting 
all our software packaged up into the LiveDVD (which of course will have 
many spin off benefits) as per:

So my questions to communities are:

Do you and your project think you would commit to packaging your project 
into a debian based LiveDVD before FOSS4G in October 2009?

For presenters, would you want to add tutorial material to the LiveDVD, 
which would mean using an Open licence like Creative Commons?

Marco Lechner wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> 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
> possible)
> - - each notebook connected with 100MBit (up to 20 notebooks/workshop
> possible)
> Very nice scenario - I'd like to see this working.
> Marco
> 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
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Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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