[OLPC India] How to? School server implementation

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Sat Jan 19 01:11:55 EST 2008

On Jan 18, 2008, at 4:06 AM, sulochan acharya wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I have some general questions regarding school server  
> implementation. I was hoping someone with development experience or  
> someone with pilot experience might have some knowledge on this  
> matter. I am working to implement the OLPC pilot program in Nepal,  
> and would really appreciate some feedback on these questions
> 1. What is the best way to publish/collaborate/save etc  with  
> school server? Meaning what is the best way for kids to save,  
> retrieve,  and share files  through  a school server? I know moodle  
> is an  option , but is there anything  else?  Has  anyone tried  a  
> different way to do so? something like web folders maybe ?

We are working on such through the journal, but have "been working on  
it" for too long to wait.
An rsync based solution has been used in the past, and most of the  
infrastructure is in the laptop
build now.

A laptop is "registered" with a school server.  This provides the  
laptop with globally defined names for it's presence
and backup services (defined in /etc/idmgr.conf on the schoolserver),  
as well as creating an account on the school
server.  The username is the laptop's serial number, the password the  
UUID, and its public key is placed on the school
server for future authentication.

The user interface has a "register" command in the menu associated  
with the XO figure in the home screen which triggers
the above process (with port 8080 on DNS name "schoolserver" in the  
local domain).  It goes away once a laptop is registered.

All that is missing for backup is a cron script on the laptop doing  
the rsync (I have examples, but the servers are down right now...),
and a tweak of the schoolserver HTTP server to make the backups  
accessible.  The result will be files that use names meaningless
to the users, limiting any collaboration or sharing.   But it will  
make disaster recovery possible!

The correct way to do this is to work with the Journal to treat the  
laptop as a cache of a larger Journal datastore located on the
Schoolserver (and beyond, "in the cloud").  Perhaps Ivan can detail  
his vision and we can get other people to help implement it.

> 2. Is the active antenna  the same as any wireless router working  
> as an access point? I should be able to use the same networking  
> features if i use a wireless router right?

No.  You will need active antenna's to have a mesh.
You can use multiple conventional access points to provide a school  
wireless network,
(the school server software http://wiki.laptop.org/go/ 
XS_Server_Software supports them
on the wired LAN interface).
We hope to make Active Antennas available through an online store  
sometime in the short
term future and are working with a commercial vendor to make it  
happen.  They are also
available in small quantities through our developer program.

> 3. What is the range of the antenna by itself? (discarding the fact  
> that the XO's can relay)
> best,
> -sulo
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