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We are currently providing operating systems for PCs for working groups of the Faculty of Technology and the computer rooms (GZI). We use a central solution, a Netboot system, which allows us to install security updates and provide a new Ubuntu release at regular intervals.

The Netboot system is an in-house development of the computer operations group. It is based on

  • an Ubuntu Linux installation on the “Netboot server” maintained centrally by the Support, and
  • the individual clients using this Linux installation over the network.

The Netboot system has the following advantages over a local installation:

  • Setting up a new Netboot machine
    • relieves users of all administrative tasks (central maintenance by the Support);
    • requires only a minimal initial setup (approx. 5 minutes by the Support or local administrators);
    • After the initial setup, no further administrative interventions on site are necessary (automatic central updates, see below).
  • Software packages and security updates
    • are imported centrally via the Netboot server
    • are then immediately available on all clients.
  • All machines offer the same working environment.
    • Group work and demonstrations are supported as you can switch between machines within TechFak.
    • Software packages created in the working groups for teaching purposes can be made available on the netboot machines in the GZI.
    • When moving offices/changing to new hardware, the usual working environment is immediately available.
  • Update to new Ubuntu Linux versions
    • The Support regularly offers a selection of current Ubuntu releases in a netboot version shortly after their release. Older Ubuntu releases remain available as long as they are maintained by Ubuntu (i.e. receive bug and security updates; typically 1 to 2 years).

There is extended support for the Netboot machines set up in the workgroups:

  • Adaptation to special peripheral devices:
    • As far as possible (make sure it is supported by Ubuntu Linux!), the Support helps on site with setting up peripheral devices (e.g. cameras)
  • Individual software equipment for individual machines
    • In addition to the software packages available throughout TechFak, additional software can be installed on individual machines (e.g. programs with individual licenses).