Getting Started Guide

The key objective of this getting started guide is to help the school’s IT infrastructure or computer lab in-charge to configure the My sCool Server and make it available as a Linux teaching and learning tool for the teachers and students within a few minutes.

So, follow the steps below to get started with the My sCool Server (MSS) and keep this guide handy as a ready reckoner.

Unbox the MSS

Unbox and take out the My sCool Server appliance from its packaging and store aside the packaging as it may come handy in the unlikely event of having to return the MSS.

Check Package Contents

  1. One My sCool Server appliance
  2. One power cord
  3. One USB Keyboard
  4. One USB Mouse
  5. HDMI to VGA converter (not included with MS 50 series)
  6. Four 16 GB USB 3.0 pen drives (optional, check accompanying packing slip)
  7. One 32 GB USB 3.0 pen drive (MSS factory restore media)
  8. Hardware OEM Safety and Regulatory Information documents
  9. One Getting Started Guide in English & Gujarati i.e. printed copy of this document
  10. One networking kit (optional, check accompanying packing slip)

If any items from the package are missing, please contact support@myscoolserver.com immediately. Do quote the MSS ID present on the MSS sticker when reporting the same.

Know the MSS

Front and rear of the MSS appliance  Front and rear ports of the MSS appliance

  • Front Panel
    • Power switch – Power on or switch off the appliance with this.
    • Front headphone & mic ports – Connect the headphones/speaker and a mic to listen to and record audio respectively. Not used for normal MSS operations.
    • Front USB ports – Connect pen drive or input devices such as mouse and keyboard.
  • Rear Panel
    • VGA Port – Connect a monitor to this port.
    • Rear USB ports – Connect pen drive or input devices such as mouse and keyboard. Blue ports indicate USB 3.0.
    • Ethernet / LAN port – It is a gigabit (1000 mbps port). Connect the MSS with a LAN patch cord to the network switch.
    • Rear headphone & mic ports – Connect the headphones/speaker and a mic to listen to and record audio respectively. Not used for normal MSS operations.
    • Power supply port – Use the accompanying power cord to connect this port to the power outlet before switching on the appliance.

Prerequisite

The MSS has a prerequisite that all the end-user computer systems should be connected over a wired Local Area Network(LAN). It is recommended that all the machines are connected by a wired Gigabit LAN. If your setup does not meet this prerequisite and your MSS contains a networking kit, then refer to the instructions accompanying the networking kit for its appropriate deployment before proceeding any further with this guide.

Connecting the MSS

Connecting the MSSConnecting the My sCool Server

  1. Ethernet Connection – Connect one end of the crossover (CAT6 recommended) UTP cable into the ethernet port on the back panel and the other end to the ethernet switch
  2. Connect the AC Power connector into the Back panel of the Appliance and the other end into a standard AC receptacle & turn on the power.

Planning the Configuration

Before proceeding ahead with the configuration you have to ascertain the network mode in which to configure the MSS.

If your network already has a DHCP server serving IP address to devices connected on your LAN then you need to configure the MSS in Dynamic mode. If no such DHCP server exists, then configure the MSS in Static mode.

It is safe to assume that in majority of cases where a new network has just been setup for the purpose of installing the MSS, there is no pre-existing DHCP server, hence one may safely opt for Static mode.

Details of how to configure in Static or Dynamic mode are in the next section.

Configuring the MSS

Your MSS will ship in a default configuration with complete operating system and all requisite software pre-installed and is immediately ready to be used.

When you first boot MSS, you can manage the interface through a USB keyboard and a VGA monitor.

 

MSS boot menu

My sCool Server boot menu

When you boot the MSS, you will be presented with the above menu at the beginning of the boot cycle. From this menu you can reinstall, run utilities, or troubleshoot general problems. We will discuss this in detail in the manual.


MSS mssadmin login

MSS login screen

The default administrator user and password on MSS is ‘mssadmin’ and ‘myskool’. These credentials must be used for first login into the login prompt presented upon boot completion.

After login, edit the connection that would not be used and uncheck “Automatically connect to this network when it is available” to disable auto-connection attempts in the undesired mode. For example, herein below, we are disabling ‘Dynamic’ and enabling ‘Static’ mode.

 

edit connections

Network Manager – Edit Connections

 

Network Connections

Network Connections

 

Uncheck to switch off dynamic mode

Uncheck to switch off dynamic mode

 

Check to switch on static mode

Check to switch on static mode

 

Finally, choose “static” in the Network Manager menu and your MSS is now operating in static mode.

That is all that you need to do to configure the MSS.

Network Booting of End User Computer Systems

Since it is not possible to cover the exact steps as per each system’s BIOS layout and key combinations, herein are the broad steps of what needs to be done to enable network booting capability in your end computer systems.

  1. Generally the BIOS can be accessed by pressing ‘Del’ or ‘F2’ at the very beginning of the boot sequence in majority of the systems.
  2. Locate the Boot Menu settings and enable Network Boot option if it is not already enabled. Press F10 or equivalent key as per your BIOS instructions to save the settings.
  3. Make the Network Boot option as the top priority in the boot sequence. You may need to reboot after step 2 to make the Network Boot option visible in the boot sequence. Press F10 or equivalent key as per your BIOS instructions to save the settings.
  4. Reboot the system after ensuring that it is firmly connected to the network with an ethernet cable.

Refer to your system’s motherboard manual to perform the necessary steps to achieve the desired result if the above are not helpful.

The client system should initiate the boot sequence similar to what is shown in the below screenshots and land at a user login screen –

 

Client PXE boot

Client boot sequence initiation

 

Client boot menu

Client boot menu

Client login

Client login screen

You may next login using one of the pre-configured teacher or student accounts. If you have not specifically requested for custom accounts then the MSS comes preconfigured with 100 student: student1 to student100, password: 12345; and 10 teacher: teacher1 to teacher10, password: imteacher; accounts. In case of custom accounts, do refer to the related communication of the same.

Once the end client systems are booting satisfactorily, you may disconnect the keyboard and monitor from the MSS as you can administer it through any of the client systems by booting in thin-client mode and logging in with the ‘mssadmin’ user credentials.

If for any reason the end user computer systems do not start with the above depicted boot sequence, try rebooting the end user systems after restarting the MSS once the steps in Configuring the MSS are done.

Creating First Restore Point

Once the end client systems are booting fine as per your configuration and satisfaction, it is time to create a point-in-time backup a.k.a. restore point a.k.a. snapshot.

Multiple snapshots can be created and is only limited by the space allocated to the /recovery partition. However, we are using a data deduplicationIn computing, data deduplication is a specialized data compression technique for eliminating duplicate copies of repeating data. Related and somewhat synonymous terms are intelligent (data) compression and single-instance (data) storage. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_deduplication backup technique to optimise and minimize storage utilisation.

Open a terminal by right-clicking on the desktop and run the following commands to create the first restore point after configuration of the server :

sudo -s

Enter the ‘mssadmin’ password when prompted for it. This shall elevate the shell to root permissions.

recovery.sh create

Basic Security

After your initial setup, you should change the password immediately for the ‘mssadmin’ user.

Congratulations!!

This concludes the one-time configuration of your MSS.

Seeking Support

MSS will have a sticker indicating the MSS ID of your MSS. This ID is important for all communications with Recherche Tech in regards to your MSS hardware. If you ever have an issue with your MSS hardware and it is under warranty, simply open a ticket through any of the support channels and quote this MSS ID and the nature of your problem.

Technical Specifications

<include actual hardware configuration details as a ready reckoner>

What next

We recommend that you engage through the below channels to maximise your gains from the My sCool Server.

Frequently asked questions – http://myscoolserver.com/faqs

Discussion forum – http://discourse.myscoolserver.com

Feature videos – https://www.youtube.com/c/myscoolserver

Follow us on –

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