XS Progress Report

The fedora 17 XO software is now released.  I’m working on adding School Server functions on top of this base release for the XO-1.75. A 4 watt School Server is the target.

The OLPC-Australia design document mentions breaking apart the monolithic structure of the XS software platform; even to the point of having an XS per classroom, and running only a collaboration server on it.

I’ve been working for the last 2 months on a scheme to separate the setup functions for each installable package, and make them individually callable.  The paradigm for the interface is:

# model for loading a module (in this case the apache web server)
source xs-setup-functions
httpd yes

Eventually this will need to be attached to a GUI, but for now this permits testing and the easy addition of new features.  The “xs-setup-functions” script looks for executables in a “functons” directory, where additional functions can be defined, or existing functions can be shadowed and redefined.

I’ve had the most fun using the web server to create a GUI interface for some of the useful information available on the command line of the School Server. In particular, I enjoyed figuring out how to get a javascript VNC client configured so that remote clients can get real time information about the progress of an installation without having to first install a vnc client.

So far, I’ve been able to install all of the XS services, and been able to verify the functions of dhcpd, named, httpd, vnc, postgresql.  I have not yet verified the function of ejabberd, moodle, activity-server, registration, or avahi.

I’m concerned about the time it takes to run the install process; at this point, using a fairly fast internet connection, it takes over 50 minutes to install all the services.  At this point I might be able to cut this in half.  I can put the repository packages on a USB key, and avoid the download latency. But maybe the solution is to use olpc-os-builder to create a snapshot that can be signed, and then loaded like a regular XO image.

The XO image, as recently released by OLPC Boston, is 1.65GB. The minimun XS install adds another 232MB. And a complete install of everything, similar to the monolithic XS-0.7 adds 644MB to the original 1650MB = 2.29GB.


About George Hunt

Retired electrical engineer and programmer, enthusiastic about OLPC as a vehicle for gathering together volunteerism, mine and so many others', for helping education in developing countries.
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One Response to XS Progress Report

  1. kevix says:

    consider adding time stamp after each module call to get times for each section.
    any chance of setting up a repo so others can test and contribute. Its never to early.

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