I’m brainstorming about ways of setting up Linux desktops machines for people used to Window users on a LAN. It could be any size of LAN.
I’d like people to be able to sit down at any Linux machine on the LAN and log in — probably use a LDAP directory for that, and NFS-mounted home directories. I wouldn’t want to NFS-mount the entire thing for performance reasons.
So, some of the things I’m thinking about are:
- Desktop environment: KDE or Gnome? Which would give Windows users all the tools they’d want? Which would they feel most at home with? I’m thinking it’s KDE, but Gnome has a more polished “feel” too it.
- Image management. How could the desktops be updated? Just rsync everything except fstab over? Can we actually have a single system image? Is XOrg powerful enough to just recognize hardware at boot and Do The Right Thing? Can we build a unified initrd somehow?
- Distribution. Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu? Do the Ubuntus bring anything to the table, if we take as a given that an experienced Debian admin is managing all this?
- Laptops. What do we do about the home directories there? Some sort of automated rsync thingy?
- Installation. FAI? Or some homegrown thing that just boots up, partitions, and runs rsync?