The School Server is a key component of OLPC deployments — and one that was somewhat late to the stage. So I am pleased to report that there is a new and improved! version 0.6 available.
The main goal of this release is making installation and configuration easier and more reliable. It is an incremental update on the XS-0.5.x codebase, light on new features but strong on the “it just works” side. And very easy to upgrade for XS-0.5.x users.
What is a School Server, you ask? When you deploy XOs to a school, you want a server to connect them to the internet, serve content locally, provide backup and upgrade services, and more. You can find out more in our earlier story on it, or jump straight into the wikipage that explains it all.
This release brings:
- Easier installation. Mysterious ejabberd commands are gone, rejoice!
- Moodle and the XO authenticate transparently. Register, restart, click the ‘Local Schoolserver’ link in Browse. It just works.
- Better network scalability. Moodle can directly control the neighbourhood view which is controlled by ejabberd. Now traffic no longer swamps the network and XOs.
- Delegated security. You can use time-based security even with disconnected or partially connected School Servers.
- An XO can run as a School Server. Suitable for small schools or groups. This is still experimental, but is running pretty well.
- Want to know more? Read the release notes.
The work for our next release has already started, as people have been working ahead. More after the jump.
The plan is to rebase our custom packages on top of Fedora 11 and simplify some complexities in configuration.
On top of that, our custom Moodle install is slated to see major improvements. We have some great work done on in Moodle’s GSoC project that’s ready to be merged… and used in real life deployments. Stay tuned.
Credits: This release has happened thanks to code, ideas, patches and help from Jerry Vonau and Daniel Drake, as well as various list members. It is of course based on the work of the fantastic Fedora and Moodle communities, and all stitched together by Martin Langhoff.
Chip in: If you’d like to join the server development or testing community, say hello on our mailing list.