Funnily enough this thread , which I hadn't noticed resurrected shortly after I started this one: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 62&t=18832
which is more or less the same thing as this one.
xMing is fantastic for connecting to a Linux application server in schools. You don't even need to use Putty! It simply creates an X graphics server on your windows computer which your Linux applications server can happily work with.
Configure your server as described in this blog here: http://udogspot.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/ ... ndows.html
Get Xming installed on your school Windows computers. Or better still get it installed on just one computer, do all the setting up and then copy the image to all your other computers.
Run the X Launch tool in Xming and configure it to connect to the ip address of your server and "run a program" :such as "startlxde"
(The blog linked above suggests startkde, however this is a bit too graphically intensive and running over a network is just about acceptable. startlxde runs beautifully!)
Dont enter any user credentials and students will be prompted for their own logins.
Now save the session for this. Remove any shortcuts to Xming and only allow students windows logins access to the saved Xming session file, ie. put this in a shared folder (stops them fiddling with session settings and potentially doing bad stuff, like hacking into the pentagon)
Now, you can create a bash script to autogenerate users / groups from a csv file. I've also created samba accounts with the same credentials so that students can also access their files on the server from a windows file manager.
So now, I have got, in addition to (boring) maintained windows computers, a proper
thin client linux network and complete control over user accounts. I can do proper computer science and programming and I've got access to Open Office, GIMP and everything else. You have no idea how empowering that actuially is!
At the moment have only tested it with one user (me), my server currently only has 2 gig of memory but I've got 8 gig on the way.
Once that's in I will test it with a full class of 30 kids , but I've got a good feeling.