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Desktop PCs with Linux

HPC department offers desktop installations with Debian Linux. The desktops are integrated into the HPC infrastructure (central authentication, central home directories, etc.).

The setup is mostly identical to

Netboot (nfsroot) desktops

The majority of our desktops boot from the network. This has advantages and disadvantages:

  • Upgrades only require some server configuration changes and a reboot. Downgrades are as simple as upgrades.
  • The system is read-only and cannot be infected by malware.
  • System images receive (security) updates even while the desktops are turned off.
  • Management of many computers significantly easier to administer.

  • No system software can be installed locally.
  • Systems may hang or crash when the network is shaky.

-- ChristopherHuhn - 24 Mar 2016
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Topic revision: r1 - 2016-03-24, ChristopherHuhn