Babbage Net School (Chicago Tutoring Center) Laptop Deployment

C. Scott Ananian cscott at
Thu Oct 23 20:38:49 EDT 2008

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 8:02 PM, Victoria Blackaby
<VictoriaB at> wrote:
> We've spoken a few times on the IRC chat line.  I'm Victoria from Chicago, trying to deploy XO's for a tutoring center.  I've spoken with you and Mitch about using a fedora base with fvwm to handle our tutoring section, and then giving the students a chance to switch between xfce and sugar, which was, as I was lead to understand, in the works. ;)
> So... now.. we have 300 XO's, and they are sitting in my office, and I am attempting to follow your instructions of packaging everything I need in an RPM and installing them on the machines.  This was to prevent the developer-key issue, the unlocking the machines issue, the signed image issue, and like four other issues I don't remember.
> The only thing is, there laptops are build 656, so if I understand right, I will need to upgrade them to a later build in order for the switcher and other programs to work, then install my RPM that adds the functionality I need.  This then becomes a multi-step procedure for me, flashing the new images, installing my deployment changes, and then, installing the individual student's curriculum on the machines.
> In talking to Lfaraone in chat, he suggested that I just get a signed build.  However, when I first asked about a signed build in April I was told there weren't enough time or resources to sign a build for me,and that I should go the RPM route.
> Can you please advise me on how to proceed?

Reflashing the machines to 8.2 would probably be the best way to
start.  That takes time; there are multicast mechanisms which can be
used but they tend to be very tricky to set up.  Maybe someone on
devel@ can give you better guidance on that.  Otherwise, making 10 or
so USB keys and flashing in parallel is not *too* painful.

Instead of XFCE, I'd recommend using the Fedora build for the XO.  You
will need developer keys.  You should probably begin by creating a
collection key using the instructions at
and collecting serial numbers and UUIDs from all 300 machines and
submitting that to help at to get a developer key file for all
300 machines.

XFCE was a experiment, it's not officially supported.  The Fedora
community is going to support the Fedora/XO port; they should be able
to help you customize it for you use.

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