Setting up a Trisquel box at a public library

14 respuestas [Último envío]
grave_123
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/03/2011

Hey everyone,

Okay so I am trying to blueprint a GNU/Linux box for educational use at my local library and I am completely f****** terrified.

I want to use ONLY free software but I also am trying to build the machine for use by local students to do their homework on and for anyone of any age to use it to learn something or study or research. I'm specifically trying to design the machine to where anyone can learn programming, math, languages, chemistry, history, geography, etc etc However, I'm experiencing some anxiety here:

How would I set the machine up for people who are working on something that requires use of a Flash-based website? Because, I'm sorry to say, Gnash is just f****** terrible and never works with anything it seems and I end up bashing my head against my keyboard after spending 4 straight hours trying to configure it to work. No. Really. I do.

I got around the Youtube issue with Gnash by installing an add-on to Abrowser called "Youtube ALL HTML5" so it uses HTML5 now but what about other sites?

My other question is has anyone here ever implemented a libre box at their local library for educational use? Or some other similar scenario? Looking for experienced help here.

Thank you for your time and patience with my overly anxious and rather blunt behavior :)

megurineturilli
Desconectado/a
se unió: 01/10/2012

Flash is bad and there is no replacement for flash that works on all sites.
Recently I found out that soundcloud uses flash for uploading images, and Gnash did not work with soundcloud. I decided not to use soundcloud because of a flash requirement. For youtube I use minitube and youtube-dl.

fbit

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/07/2013

Thanks a lot for recommending minitube! Looks great. I use youtube-dl, which I still find very useful, but never heard of minitube before. Do you know if it's possible to configure it to work through a proxy or vpn?

Platypus333
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2010

I have set up GNU boxes for public use before (not for a library).

For public use I would recommend booting off an image rather than installing to HD.

Could be a cdrom internal to the box, a USB key inside that the users cannot access or a thin client booting from the network. This allows you to have a known base start point with each boot and any rootkits/backdoors/etc are scrubbed on each reboot. If persistent data is needed, place it on a separate local or network drive away from the OS.

One of the security points to lockdown is the ctrl-alt-F combinations that allow access to a login prompt. Remove these if you can.

Regarding the use of the box that you are setting up, does it really need flash installed? If it is for research, wouldn't flash detract from this.
With enough sites pre-bookmarked or visible on the homepage of the browser, you can direct users to quality information resources that do not require flash (wiki etc).
Perhaps a physical sign next to it explaining that it is "For research use only and some entertainment websites will not work" will cover you when flash sites are not rendering.
I'd recommend making it known to the library staff that these sites will not be available to users, and that they can advise users to use a home PC or netcafe to look at entertainment based sites.

onpon4
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/30/2012

I would disagree with claiming that it doesn't work for "entertainment websites" for two reasons:

1. It suggests that Trisquel is only suitable for research and work. This can make Trisquel seem more boring than it is.

2. It doesn't cover all cases of Flash use anyway. I've seen at least one case of a website designed for submitting homework that required Flash in many places and actually refused to let you even try to answer the questions if you didn't have Flash installed.

I'd suggest you just be up-front about it: say that Flash is not installed and that this is not an accident. Perhaps include a web address where they can find more information. Maybe people will decide that the decision is stupid, but it won't render the system useless; Flash really is unnecessary.

Platypus333
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2010

I see your point. Better to state the facts and declare that it is not installed/disabled.

grave_123
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/03/2011

In regards to using images:

Can I create an image that consists of all the programs I want to load the box with?

Platypus333
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2010

Yes, a .iso Live Image can be customised with the install/removal of programs and changes to settings.

https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/customizing-trisquel-iso ( some steps are optional )

and then that custom .iso image can be burnt to CD to make a liveCD or copied to USB to make a liveUSB.

https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-create-liveusb

( * Data safety tip: double check the output-file if using dd to copy the iso , to make sure it is the correct USB media )

-/-

A simpler approach to the above is to install/customise as regular to HD, then backup the HD for use as a vanilla master image used to restore the box periodically.

Clonezilla Live is one imaging tool that can backup/restore the image of the HD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonezilla#Clonezilla_Live

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

There are solutions for other popular sites hosting videos in Flash: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/play-videos-without-using-flash

I personally use ViewTube. Other users prefer Linterna Mágica, another GreaseMonkey script.

muhammed
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/13/2013

I have a few suggestions -

Set the browser home page to Trisquel's all-manuals page: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/all-manuals

Put free-sw-friendly websites in the bookmarks. For example, for music : bandcamp.com , Jamendo (please correct me if these websites are not good suggestions)

Consider bookmarking Jason Self's website too: http://www.jxself.org/archive.shtml

Dave_Hunt

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/19/2011

Libreplanet, FSF, Diaspora, a reliable and well-stocked mediagoblin
instance, owncloud, Think Penguin, JXSelf, all good suggested bookmarks
for that Trisquel box in the library.

grave_123
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/03/2011

Yes I am loading it up with Open Library, Wikipedia, Archive.org, Creative Commons, and others as well.

grave_123
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/03/2011

I thought about writing a simple HTML page with links to various libre sites and setting that as the homepage :D

muhammed
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/13/2013

great idea!

Jodiendo
Desconectado/a
se unió: 01/09/2013

grave_123

Good luck with it!
The country that I live is basically "STUPID WIN" orientated people. Other operating systems are not well versatile or understood at all. I have FIVE network desktop PC's, as a small business internet shop. The problem and the great majority of people, all they want is the win games and they don't care at all about educational programs OR alternatives. Basically they do black market win@@s severely.

Once in a while some computer student will ask for python, c-plus or java programs but besides that, to depend on them, as an income is a no go.

My job basically, is too educated in the other alternatives that are available to the public USING GNU/LINUX.

gOOD LUCK WITH IT AND BE PATIENT.