Installing LanSchool Student on Thin Clients

Installing LanSchool Student on Thin Clients

Introduction

LanSchool supports a Terminal Server, NComputing environment. LanSchool allows thin client computers to be used as student and/or teacher computers. You can mix-and-match thin and traditional client computers (“fat clients”) in the classroom.

Terminal Server Installation

Terminal Server Installation is a two step process. Initially, the TerminalServer.msi installation program needs to be run on the Terminal Server. This will copy all needed files to the Terminal Server but will not configure any Terminal Server client computer as either a Teacher or Student.
 
If the Terminal Server is in “Execute” mode, the “After Installation” dialog will appear. Since LanSchool has been designed to install onto a Terminal Server, it is not necessary to complete this dialog. You can press the “Cancel” button on this dialog at any time.

Once you have completed this first step and the LanSchool files have been copied to the Terminal Server, LanSchool must be properly configured to run on each desired thin client computer.

You may do this in one of three ways:

1. Manual Student or Teacher Configuration

Login to a thin client terminal with Administrator rights and run the SetupTSClient.exe configuration utility. Repeat this for each thin client device in the classroom.

2. Scripted Student or Teacher Configuration

You can script the SetupTSClient.exe utility. The following command line options are recognized:

#X                      Configures the Teacher channel, where “X” is the desired channel number
StUdEnT             Configures that thin client device to run the LanSchool Student software at login
TeAcHeR            Configures that thin client device to run the LanSchool Teacher software at login
PaSsWoRd         Allows a Security Password to be specified
UNINSTALL        Configures so that the thin client device will no longer load the LanSchool software
QUIET                 Performs a silent configuration (this must be the last option specified)

3. Using the LskTSDat.ini file

The previous “Manual Configuration” edits a LanSchool configuration file (C:\Program Files\LanSchool\LskTSDat.ini). If you do not wish to run SetupTSClient.exe on each thin client, you can edit the LskTSDat.ini file directly with any text editor such as Notepad. 

There is an entry in that file for each thin client which will be running either the LanSchool Student or Teacher software.

The format of the .ini file is as follows:
[LanSchool TSClient List]
THINCLIENT001001=Teacher, Channel=1, Name=Teacher1
THINCLIENT001002=Student, Channel=1, Name= THINCLIENT001002
THINCLIENT001003=Student, Channel=1, Name= THINCLIENT001003
THINCLIENT001004=Student, Channel=1, Name= THINCLIENT001004
DEFAULT=Student, Channel=1, Name=Default

The first part of each line (THINCLIENT001001 in this example) is the “Client Name” of that thin client. Each thin client device has a unique Client Name set by the manufacturer or during hardware configuration. You can find that name by logging into the device and entering the “SET” command from a command prompt. Many IT departments will have a list of Client Names for each thin client device.

The Client Name “DEFAULT” can be used as a default setting. If a Thin Client does not find itself in the LskTSDat.ini file, it will assume the configuration of the DEFAULT entry (if that entry exists.)

NOTE: Some Thin Client devices require configuration to set a unique Client Name for the device. LanSchool requires all Thin Client devices to have a unique Client Name. Please check your Thin Client device's documentation to make sure each device has a unique Client Name.

Following the Client Name is the type of LanSchool software to run on that thin client device (either Student or Teacher.)
When the teacher console is run on a Thin Client, it stores all of its local data back to the LskTSDat.ini file. However, unless the teacher has rights to update that file, it is lost. Even if the teacher has admin rights, the application must be "run as administrator" to update the local file.

The next parameter defines which LanSchool Channel to use for that thin client. Generally, all thin client devices in the same classroom will have the same Channel number. 

The last parameter defines the LanSchool Display Name. The Student will appear in the Teacher Console with both the login name and this name. By default, we use the Client Name, but that can be changed if a more meaningful name is desired.

If you are load balancing (i.e. multiple Terminal Servers serving the same classroom) you must install LanSchool software on all Terminal Servers and then replicate the completed LskTSDat.ini file to all Terminal Servers. If there are many Terminal Servers load balanced together, it is possible to configure LanSchool to share a common LskTSDat.ini file. Please contact LanSchool Support for instructions.

Upgrading LanSchool on Terminal Server

The TerminalServices.msi installs the updated files for both Teacher and Student, so once that install has completed, both Teacher and Student are updated. 

If you have already successfully run the SetupTSClient.exe at some point in the past, you do not need to run it again. SetupTSClient.exe doesn’t actually install any files, it only configures entries in the LskTSDat.ini file on the Terminal Server, so that when a remote session starts up, LanSchool will know whether to launch the Teacher or the Student and set it to the correct channel. If your Teachers and Students are already configured correctly in the LskTSDat.ini then you do not need to run SetupTSClient.exe again, just run TerminalServices.msi and both Teacher and Student will be updated.

Installing LanSchool 8.0 on NComputing Devices

NComputing provides a number of small access devices that connect, either directly or via Ethernet, to a centralized server that hosts each virtual desktop. These devices include the L, M, U, and X-series computers. Support for NComputing devices is very dependent on the generation of hardware and the version of vSpace software installed.

L and M-Series

The L and M-Series platforms allow multiple users to share a single host computer. The client hardware is attached to the host via a standard Ethernet infrastructure. Because of the similarity of the L and M-Series architecture to a standard terminal server, you should first copy the LanSchool files to the L or M-Series host computer with the TerminalServer.msi package. 

X-Series

The X-Series platform allows a single computer to be shared with up to eleven users. Up to 2 X-Series PCI cards are installed in the Host computer. After the software has been installed on all clients of the host, the host should be rebooted and all users should login again. Installation is similar to Terminal Server installation (detailed above.) You must first copy the LanSchool files to the Host computer with the TerminalServer.msi package and then configure the client computers with the SetupTSClient.exe utility.

LanSchool Feature Limitations for Thin Clients

While every effort has been made to implement all LanSchool functionality for thin client devices, there are some limitations. 

The following is a list features that do not work on thin clients:

• Sound Muting
• USB limiting
• Printer limiting
• Power on
• Shutdown or Reboot
• Change student channel (now done from .ini file)
• Change student display name (now done from .ini file)
• Extensive student hardening (it is assumed that a thin client device is locked-down from the server)

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