Problem: The process of setting up a computer lab is very tedious. Lab administrators need to perform this exercise at least twice a year at the beginning of a semester. Further more, it is extremely difficult to manage the lab machine configuration once they are setup.
Network-boot based Client Setup: Labs are composed of thin clients with local disks as well as full-fledged computers. We built a system to do an unattended installation of the operating system (Ubuntu) on a thin client or a computer over the network.
Ansible: Once the base operating system was deployed over the network, the rest of the configuration is done using Ansible. Ansible automates the process of ensuring a known state on a target operating system. This also makes it easy to rebuild a system or keep it up-to-date.
We started participating in events again starting with the OSI Days 2016 event organised by the EFY Group (publishers of the “Open Source For You” magazine).