Difference between revisions of "XSCE"

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*need to do these updates:
*need to do these updates:
:1)Update Bios
:1)Update Bios
: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25864/BIOS-Update-SYSKLi35-86A- ''(sy0039.bio as of late March 2016, but CHECK for latest!!)''
: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25864/BIOS-Update-SYSKLi35-86A- ''(sy0039.bio as of late March 2016, but [https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/89189 CHECK] for latest!!)''
:2) Wifi AP mode on the NUC6i3 works with the standard kernel.  All that
:2) Wifi AP mode on the NUC6i3 works with the standard kernel.  All that
:is required is to download the firmware for then AC8260 (1), and copy it to /lib/firmware.
:is required is to download the firmware for then AC8260 (1), and copy it to /lib/firmware.

Revision as of 10:52, 2 April 2016


online schoolserver


  • Read this first 02/11/2016 ^
  • updated install instructions

XSCE 6.0 Release Candidate 1 for CentOS “7.1”

  • this section updated Dec 30, 2015

Download 1.8GB XSCE 6.0 Release Candidate 1 for CentOS “7.1” (November 2015)

  • Download centos7_xsce.6.rc1.img
use dd or gnome disks restore to write onto a USB memory stick, verifying its MD5 checksum equals

Follow instructions here: (Option 1.5)


System Setup

  • Configuration I used for this testing
  • NOTE NUC i3 has 4 GB memory and wifi internal card installed.
intel (tm) NUC kit D34010WYKH1
1 TB Seagate HD added to empty kit
  • update: 02/18/2016
yum -y update
NUC 5 with 2 TB HD
xfce and firefox
- 552 rpms

640px-System setup--rotated.JPG

Also See

  • Google Docs with relevant info


  • Connect a USB­to­Ethernet dongle (adapter) from the NUC to a live Ethernet cable (with

live Internet) so that during installation, software can download and update itself. ​

  • Ideally, this live Ethernet wire leads from the dongle to a LAN port in the Netgear 3G

Modem/Router, whose WAN port (during this installation only!) leads to the Internet. Later you’ll verify “ping” and “ping mit.edu” works thru this wire, as will be discussed below.

  • Connect an Ethernet cable and a powered TP­LINK AP ​
(LAN port, and tape over WAN port to make sure it’s never used)​

to the NUC’s Ethernet port (its green link lights should light).

Install onto Intel NUC

  • This also works on a system 76 i7 laptop
  • Write to a USB stick with dd or gnome-disks restore
  • Windows users can use ​

Format of HD for install

  • Do not use GPT format
Testing seems to result in all of installed content to be limited to 500 MiB
  • Format HD as fat ext4 in gnome-disks or gparted
Hint use booted f23 workstation live DVD or USB to access disks to reformat the internal HD.
exit live
then do install with dd USB of centos

Boot NUC with USB stick inserted, using F10 is necessary

  • NOTE USB port on NUC or Laptop where TP-Link is connected must be marked and be the only port used.
Or the server will not communicate with XO's or laptops
  • Type “erase” when requested
  • Watch for “done!” or #prompt; ignore “I/O error”.
  • Run “reboot”
Optionally Disable all USB booting in BIOS: F2 on Boot ­> Boot Configuration ­>

Boot Devices ­> USB

Likewise this should already be disabled: Boot ­> Boot Configuration ­> UEFI Boot ­> Boot USB Devices First

Login to your new server as: root / centos, then change both passwords:

passwd                      (changes root password) 
passwd xsce-­admin           (has sudo powers, careful!) 
  • Verify that you have internet connection with “ping yahoo.com”
Ensure both your networking connections are live and connected in their final position.
  • Update Centos7
yum update

Get the most recent version of the XSCE playbook

cd /opt/schoolserver/xsce
git pull
  • Reboot
Login to xsce-admin/(password)
sudo yum groupinstall xfce --skip-broken
sudo install firefox
  • start firefox
  • Test client machines can reach ​

or ​
  • Finally, if you have no downstream WiFi AP, try:

from any browser, on the server itself if available! And also try:


with username “xsce-­admin” and the password you set above.

  • Alternate:

Log into the Admin Console (click on “Admin Console” link, user: xsce-­admin and the password you set above)

  • Select the services you want to install within "Configure­­ services".
Save configuration (green button)
Install Configured options (red button)
The TeamViewer service will automatically install a graphical environment.

Partition structure from centos 7.1 install on 1 TB Hd


installing content in the xsce-admin-console

  • installing content is a 3 step procedure

1) xsce-admin-configure services

save configuration
install configured options
  • Wait for succeeded in Utilities-display job status

Configure-services enabled.png

2-)select content

zim files
  • Refresh Catalog first
select the Zims to download
[Install selected Zims]

Install content-Zim Files.png

  • NOTE log in as root and rename /library/zims/content test.zim to test1.zia so that it will not interfere with access to Ted files
  • [Download Rachel Content]

Install content-Get Rachel.png

3-)schoolserver utilities

to monitor downloads; unzip; and installs
wait for Succeded

Utilities-Display job status.png

Rachel errors in xsce

  • retry install rachel several times and it will install successfully bypassing the CRC error stop

Multiple installs of Rachel

Used to store usb_32EN_3.1.5.zip to a ntfs external USB HD
so one can copy usb_32EN_3.1.5.zip to to a xsce install in /library/downloads/rachel and shortcut the download time for rachel in xsce-admin
Rachel install sees zip and starts unzip and install steps immediatly
Boot into root to copy zip file

Connecting to XSCE from a XO-1.5

  • Connect to Internet-in-a-Box in F1

Connecting to internet in a box.JPG

  • Connected to Internet-in-a-Box in F1

Conected to internet in a box.JPG

  • Connecting to iiab in Browse

Connecting to schoolserver in browse.JPG

  • iiab on XO-1.5

Iiab on XO-1.5.JPG

  • Rachel

Rachel on XO-1.5.JPG

logged into Internet in a Box from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS sugar0.107


Ubuntu 0.107 14.04lts.JPG

  • T-400 laptop
  • NOTE be sure to set in sugar control panel power/Automatic power management [ ] off
  • Chat on T-400 olpc (ubuntu) sugar 0.107 sees XO 1.5 sugar 0.106
when both are checked in to Internet-in-a-Box in F1 Network Neighborhood (f1)
Chat works between the 2 connected devices.

Screenshot of Chat Activity .png

Centos 7.3 XSCE Kiwix Server as seen (wirelessly) from T-400 PC

  • Also works in MacBook Pro 8.1 (firefox browser) logged in to Internet-in-a Box wireless AP
  • Rachel also works remotely from Internet in a Box main menu
  • screenshot of Kiwix server on T-400 PC
From T-400 PC running sugar 0.107 from centos 7.3 XSCE server running on NUC i5 (Headless)

Screenshot of Browse Activity 1.png

Launch TeamViewer from top­left "Applications Menu" > Internet > TeamViewer 10

  • Go to and select at bottom page"Configure Each service to Enable/Services Enabled" (in schoolserver/admin/)

Caution for learning only -- traditionally X Windows (graphical environment such as xfce, likewise TeamViewer running within it) should not be intalled on servers, in general.

  • Configure “Setup unattended access...” under TeamViewer’s Connection menu If You Dare.
  • Separately, OpenVPN can also allow remote diagnosis and support (over lower-bandidth connections, without the live visual mentoring/screensharing aspects of TeamViewer of course!)

Install your favorite text editor

For example, run:

yum install emacs

Install GNOME Desktop

yum groupinstall 'GNOME Desktop'
  • Works well in centos7
Installed 12/18/2015 satellit

Install Xfce

If you must have a graphical environment on your server, run:
yum groupinstall xfce

Install browser, at your own risk

yum install firefox

Start the Xfce desktop


To make Xfce start at default boot

cd /etc/systemd/system 
ln -­sf /lib/systemd/system/graphical.target default.target 
If above line fails, run
unlink default.target 
then retry above "ln" command.
  • Reboot to test graphical login, presumably with username: xsce-­admin

Browsing rachel on centos 7.1 xsce

In the centos 7.1 xsce install (which has rachel installed) and logged into the wireless AP Internet in a Box from my T-400 laptop where I have cinnamon 2.6.12 desktop installed in Ubuntu 14.04 /sugar 0.106


Start firefox and point it to


which has a rachel entry under wikipedia (Interesting things. menu)

  • Here I can see the videos from kahn; Medline; Hesperian; Kahn health and Medicine; Project gutenburg etc....all mp4 files work
  • from ubuntu 14.04 on laptop ($100 rebuilt T400)
  • Videos are not available using an XO-1.5 software build 13.2.5, but I can see rest of content on the XO that does not use mp4.
  • Of course. No need to mention that here, as it is a known problem with OLPC OS. Why not test with restricted software loaded? You can do that with instructions for adding codecs, or by using a build with restricted software already included. You can contact me by mail for access to that build, as it is not public. --Quozl (talk) 20:00, 10 December 2015 (EST)

Share .xo files; .pdf, text content wirelessly from server

Add files to centos7.3 /library/content/ (Visible in /xs-portal:”Access Other Content”):
Logged in as xsce-admin: write/download file to xsce-admin save in home/xsce-admin/downloads
log-out/in as root: copy file in xsce-admin/download to file system /library/content/
  • Example of content:
XSCE is .pdf of this wiki page
music: contains Classical Music
recent activities: a suite of .xo files


Centos 7.2 install on NUC 6i3

Updated April 2 2016
  • Work in Progress Do not use
  • Intel NUC kit NUC6i3SYH
  • Patriot Signature Line 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 PCA-17000 2133MHZ CL15 SODIMM Kit
NOTE; requires a HDMI cable with full size connectors at both ends.
Older models have a mini HDMI at NUC
  • need to do these updates:
1)Update Bios
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25864/BIOS-Update-SYSKLi35-86A- (sy0039.bio as of late March 2016, but CHECK for latest!!)
2) Wifi AP mode on the NUC6i3 works with the standard kernel. All that
is required is to download the firmware for then AC8260 (1), and copy it to /lib/firmware.
3) Supported Memory:

Installation Notes

  • Bios Update
select non efi settings (uncheck) in f2 Setup booted with no Hard Drive or USB attached
Save and shutdown
Insert USB with Bios Update; Boot to f2 Bios; Press f7 and select USB file.
Wait for Update to Complete.
  • Shut down
Insert Hard Drive (Note 4 Phillips screws that hold HD holder must be loosened to insert HD); Re tighten.
  • Reboot f10 select HD
  • Used a working pre-installed XSCE Centos 7.2 HD from older D54250WYKH NUC i5
Boot works and starts Centos and logs in

Meeting Notes 03/31/2016

"6th gen i3 NUC preliminary viability report from George -- does $249 @ http://frys.com/product/8732571 appear worth it for the masses in coming months? Short answer: YES, Amazingly considering all the complaints on Intel’s support wiki etc, this now appears extremely stable so far! Longer answer evolving... Install bios 0039.BIO before you do anything! Context: http://nucblog.net/2016/03/bios-version-0039-for-skylake-nucs/ AC8260 WiFi is soldered into these NUC6i3SYH & NUC6i3SYK require Linux kernel 4.1+; how can this possibly work with CentOS 7.2+? Somehow it does..."

F21-server-netinstall with xfce

NUC with 1 TB HD
  • Install on 32bit or 64bit Intel Machines

"The tried and true option is to start with a netinstall of the current OS, detailed as "option 1" below, and gradually build the machine up from offline downloads":

Start with an install of the base OS based upon your hardware:
Copy the downloaded iso to a USB stick (use dd in linux, or UNetbootin in windows)

Kickstart files

For Live CD remixes + installers
  • Add install.ks to root of USB
  • Hit tab when USB boots
Should do the following install automatically
NOT tested...
  • jvonau>: 02/01/2016
You need to use the label name of the usbkey.. to get the label ls '/dev/disk/by-label/ "
then use inst.ks=hd:LABEL=<what was returned above>:/install.ks
of if you know the what the device will be call then you could try: inst.ks=hd:sdb1:/install.ks
"inst.ks=hd:sdb1:/install.ks "
inst.ks=hd: sdb1: /install.ks no spaces
inst.ks=hd:LABEL= SOMENAME: /install.ks no spaces

Various OS Kickstart files and info


Option 1 (modified)

Start with an install of the base OS based upon your hardware:
Copy the downloaded iso to a USB stick (use dd in linux, or UNetbootin in windows)
  • The installer is somewhat obscure:
The first screen asks you to select keyboard and language
The next screen is the home page; you will click on topics, go off make to selections, and then return by clicking done.
  • Select "system"-installation destination:
Device selection, click on hard disk, click checkbox for "I will configure partitioning", click done.
  • In the left side window, under the drop down box, click <any previous OS> (unless the disk is already clean)
Click on the minus (which deletes the selected partition), select the "delete all other filesystems in .. as well"
Then select the drop down option "standard partition" and click the "install automatically" button
Delete the /home partition and add the resulting space to /
Otherwise the /library/downloads directory is only 53.7 GB and fills up when trying to install rachel
modify the file type to ext2 for all remaining partitions; update with right bottom button
Click the done twice, and the accept changes
  • Click on software selection, and xfce desktop
in right pane:
xfce extras; Admin tools; Devel Tools; Headless; system tools.
  • Then click start install
You will need to put in a password for root during the install.
DO NOT add a user as the ansible run later will add xsce-admin as user.
At the end of the install, a button will appear, which asks you to reboot into the newly installed Operating System.
Once you have logged in:, the steps are pretty straight forward:

In terminal:

ping yahoo.com (this verifies that the server is properly connected to internet after the reboot) 
yum -y install icecat (or firefox)
  • NOTE: There is no need to do a
yum -y update
As the netinstall installs the latest files from the repo.
  • Connect the wifi unit to the adapter that will be used as the local area network (LAN), and make sure everything is under power with link lights.
  • Issue the following commands:
           yum -y install git ansible
           cd /opt
           mkdir -p schoolserver
           cd schoolserver
           git clone https://github.com/XSCE/xsce
           cd xsce
  • log in as root and add a password for xsce-admin
passwd xsce-admin
  • login as xsce-admin
  • I find it helpful to check that all the services are running on the server:
           syscemctl status NetworkManager
           systemctl status dhcpd
           systemctl status named
           ip addr (verify that the external adapter and the LAN adapter or br0 have ip addresses)
  • At this point you can connect to the server via the wifi at http://schoolserver/admin. Or with IceCat (firefox) from xfce desktop
Decide which services need to be enabled, check the checkboxes, Save Configuration, and click "Install configured Options'.
Wait for "SUCCEEDED" in Utilities/Display job status.
Next Install Content needed for rachel, kiwix, and/or other instructional materials.
Note: Get Rachel only appears On Install Content if you checked the rachel check box in Configure services
There are instruction for how and where to place the downloaded materials in README files in each of the roles folders.


NOTE login to root of booted live; hit return no password to get to # prompt

run "xsceinst" to start the text installer
use installer to set your root password but please do not use "xsce-admin" as a new user, that one is already taken.

Download new installer with graphical installer

  • Should you want to create another user please do not use "xsce-admin" as a new user, that one is already taken.
  • Note: Please refrain from using liveinst during testing, trying to implement that functionality in the future.

Graphical Install

See here to see screenshots of graphical install

  • DVD/Cd will boot to xterm at # (root) prompt
select language
select [x]custom install
on left pane hit ( - ) and select [ x ]delete all
change to standard partition
delete ( - ) /home
add amount of disk available in bottom left pane to /
click  [update]
after install finishes: click the [complete] button
  • enter "poweroff" in now blank xterm
reboot from hard disk
  • Login to root with password you entered in anaconda installer
passwd xsce-admin
dnf groupinstall xfce
dnf install icecat
login to xsce-admin 
  • startxfce4
[use default config]
start icecat
address in browser line: schoolserver
pick right choice [take me to schoolserver]
(logs in to: internet-in-a-box/xs-portal)
  • For access to admin console: use link on xs-portal
  • NOTE: graphical desktop does not start on re-boot
boots to: schoolserver login:

Install Xfce

If you must have a graphical environment on your server, run:
dnf groupinstall xfce  
f22 uses dnf not yum now

Start the Xfce desktop

(Xfce will not start on next login, unless you arrange for that below)


  • Disable screensaver
  • Presuming you've installed Firefox above, go to:



Admin-logged in.png

Logging into XSCE-admin from XO-1.5

Login to xsce from XO-1.5.JPG

F22-XSCE-live install to a NUC from a external USB DVD drive

To make Xfce start at default boot

cd /etc/systemd/system 
ln -­sf /lib/systemd/system/graphical.target default.target 
If above line fails, run
unlink default.target 
then try it again.
  • Reboot to test graphical login, presumably with username: xsce-­admin


  • Link to rachel.zip
http://rachelfriends.org/downloads/public_ftp/rachelusb_32EN/ (older link)
  • web site:
  • Copy/paste of wget of rachelusb_32EN_3.15.zip from external USB HD to booted XSCE
1-) I copied/paste rachelusb_32EN_3.15.zip to /library/downloads/rachel
logged in as root of the f22-xsce-live install;
2-) log in to xsce-admin and get rachel. Should unzip and install rachel.
Saves redownloading of 21.2 GB file

Fix rachel CRC error

  • Tim Moody 12/11/2015
the rachel problem corrects itself the second time you take the option. the screen should say this.
if it doesn't you don't have the latest version.
when doing an install from an image do you make sure you have the latest fixes by doing the following?
cd /opt/schoolserver/xsce
git pull


  • XSCE for X0_1.5

Write SD with fedora Gnome-Disks/Restore

  • NOTE this can be done from a booted live DVD of f23 workstation (Gnome)
  • Gnome-disks/Restore
select the SD Card


  • Select the .img file to restore to SD


Insert SD card into XO-1.5 slot and power on

  • Located under right bottom edge of screen (Turn the screen 90 degrees counterclockwise to reveal slot)
  • Press power button on XO-1.5 and wait for boot
There is a delay as firstboot re sizes the SD partitions
Login as name and user (age and gender)
wait for f3 sugar screen to appear
  • Start Browse
http://schoolserver.lan/xs-portal appears

To access the admin-console you need a password

  • start Terminal (hidden at bottom of list of activities {click on the [=] button at top right of f3 screen}
su  (go to root)
passwd xsce-admin
(enter new password)
(enter new password 2nd time)
  • NOTE you are connected to the Ad-hoc Network 1 on boot (F-1 network neighborhood screen)
  • Connect to an active Wifi Hotspot shown on the f1 screen and connect to it.
return to the Browse screen and hit the (+) tab to add a 2nd screen.
enter the xsce-admin /(password) in login screen
  • Configured School Server as Appliance as am only using the XO-1.5 wifi ears (one network adapter)
  • Follow the steps to configure the server shown in the screenshots above
You are connected to the wifi hotspot and can add content.
  • Registration works from sugar control panel
installed kwix wikipedia and wikibooks
  • reboot server from School Server Admin Control after install to see installed content

Fix "get rachel"

"get rachel" on xo1.5_20151224.img has bad address: links have changed
now uses: http://rachelfriends.org/rachelusb_32EN_3.1.5.zip (Not accessable)
  • Tim Moody 01/15/2016:
easiest way to patch is to edit /opt/schoolserver/xsce/var/local_vars.yml
add the line
rachel_src_url: http://rachelfriends.org/downloads/public_ftp/rachelusb_32EN/rachelusb_32EN_3.1.5.zip 
this will fix any future ansible run and change it in
this will cause the console to have the correct address


Used to store usb_32EN_3.1.5.zip to a ntfs external USB HDhttps://github.com/XSCE/xsce/tree/master/installer/netinstall
so one can copy zip to to a xsce install in /library/Downloads and shortcut the download time for rachel in xsce-admin
Open Educational Resources