Karoshi uses prepackaged GUI scripts in order to simplify the install and configuration process for inexperienced users.
Karoshi was originally developed using Red Hat, early in the 2000s with the aim of making Linux adoption easier for schools in the UK. Linux, at the time, was considered difficult to use in educational environments where computing expertise mainly comes from teachers who are not dedicated IT staff.
With version 5.1.x, Karoshi moved to the PCLinuxOS platform. There were a few reasons for this:
* With the Red Hat install, the scripts had to be manually installed on top of an existing 'fresh' install of Red Hat
* PCLinuxOS allowed the Karoshi developers to move to a more streamlined install process, whereby everything required for the system comes on one CD, and step by step instructions could be included.
The current production version of Karoshi is 5.1.3, with version 6.0 currently in beta testing.
Jo Harris just announced the availability of Karoshi 7.0, now an Ubuntu-based server operating system from United Kingdom designed for schools providing a simple graphical interface for easy installation and network maintenance: "What's New? Built on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS; 64bit and 32bit available; choice of server and domain names; wide range of modules available - Email, E-learning, website, proxy, home access, web filtering, printing, and much more; administration of the servers via web management; mobile phone web management; the system expanded with new servers with home areas auto copied; network monitoring with Email / text message alerts."
Check the project's news page.
Download (MD5): karoshiv7_ubuntu32_02-08-10.iso (638MB), karoshiv7_ubuntu64_02-08-10.iso (621MB).
• 2010-08-02: Distribution Release: Karoshi 7.0
• 2007-06-11: Distribution Release: Karoshi 5.1.3
Karoshi is downloadable from the Karoshi homepage. The installation steps require an initial install of PCLinuxOS, which the Live CD prompts to initiate. Following the machine reboot after installation of PCLinuxOS, the install of the Karoshi system is initiated automatically.
Karoshi is primarily aimed at educational environments, but is also suitable for use in a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) business environment. The included systems are suitable for use as file and print, email, web and e-learning servers. By leveraging these technologies, it is possible to administer a complete network using the integrated web tools and by using some form of remote desktop technology.
Primary Domain Controller Capability.
The Karoshi system is a scalable single or multi server system, comprising many features. Chief among these are the ability to act as a Primary Domain Controller in a Windows network. Karoshi uses built in Samba and LDAP servers to store user, group and computer information, and emulates a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 server system using these technologies, providing computer and user authentication, along with file and print services on the local network. Karoshi creates a standard Windows domain for the local network, and names it linuxgrid.
Karoshi uses KiXtart scripts to setup Windows XP clients on the domain, providing mandatory profiles to most users on the system. Roaming profiles can be used, but are not recommended, due to the heavy network overhead involved. Using mandatory profiles and folder redirection to mapped file shares on the server, allows every user to store their own files in their "My Documents" folder.
Karoshi includes the Moodle e-learning package, and several website Content Management Systems, including Joomla! and Website Baker. eGroupware and Squirrelmail are built into the system, allowing for full calendar and email facilities. These can be installed on a standalone machine in the DMZ section, thus providing increased security on systems that are directly exposed to the internet.
Particularly interesting is the inclusion of WPKG, which enables the remote installation of software on Windows clients. By using a machine profile stored on the server, it is possible to install software packages, hotfixes, and security updates in the background. It is also very helpful in terms of creating machine profiles, allowing a 'blank' Windows XP machine to be updated automatically to a particular WPKG profile, once the machine is added to the domain.
This type of technology can be compared to the group policy mechanism in Windows Server 2003, particularly from a machine administration perspective. It is by no means a replacement for group policy, but is a step in the right direction.
Karoshi is designed to use a specific Class B Private network IP address space, namely 172.30.0.0, with a 255.255.0.0 subnet mask. It is possible to use other address spaces, but it is not recommended. Karoshi is designed to be scalable, and all of the servers use the same set of IP addresses to simplify network design and implementation.
It is difficult to integrate Karoshi into an existing Windows network, without changing the address space to the standard one that is used by the Karoshi system.