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K12Linux Founders Hand off Project to the Fedora Community

Dec 12, 2008, 12:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tina Gasperson)

"Paul Nelson and Eric Harrison met online when Nelson, a classroom teacher and technology director at a small school in Portland's Riverdale School District, went looking for Linux help. "We were doing everything on the back end with Linux, but I was spending a lot of time keeping the Windows desktops running. I thought how nice it would be to use Linux on the front end too. I posted a notice on the local user group mailing list." Harrison, then a Multnomah County IT Services support tech, befriended Nelson, and the two had an idea: make a specialized Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) distribution that would allow schools to use thin clients running Linux on old, inexpensive hardware.

"Nelson and Harrison started K12LTSP, as it was known then, so they could show other schools how to use Linux in the classroom. Harrison met Jim McQuillan, the founder of the LTSP project, and told him about the school project. McQuillan recommended building on LTSP, so Harrison and Nelson started working on a proof of concept they could present to Red Hat.

""Our goal," says Nelson, "was to use Red Hat, and produce an installer that would install all the LTSP parts. The end result would be a working terminal server that anyone could install as easy as installing Red Hat. Part of that goal was to have Red Hat take over the work of distributing and maintaining the project. We didn't think it would take very long. It took seven years.""

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