(Answer) (Category) LON-CAPA User Help : (Category) Server System Administration :
What hardware does LON-CAPA require?
Hardware Recommendation

For full-time, classroom usage, an adequate LON-CAPA server
should be/have:

* a multiprocessor machine,
* a CPU speed of 1 gigahertz,
* a gigabyte of memory,
* and at least 40 to 80 gigabytes of hard disk space.

A lesser machine can be used for toying around with LON-CAPA
(LON-CAPA will run for a single user on most any machine).

LON-CAPA servers experience significant peaks of activity
before a homework submission deadline.  To support these critical
peaks of activity, it is strongly advised that LON-CAPA machines
fit the above recommendation.

If thousands of students start accessing the box as a web server...
well you may want to consider more options.  The design of the LON-CAPA
system is to naturally and transparently load-balance on multiple
computer clusters.  So, a simple solution for running an entire
college campus is to just have an adequate plurality of LON-CAPA
servers rather than a single, particularly monstrous server.

We like to think of high web server usage as "a good problem" though.. :)

More Information on Hardware and System Administration

I find that LON-CAPA works nicely (for development purposes)
on a Pentium II, 20 gigabytes of hard-disk space, 256M RAM,
and 400MHz.  The consensus is though, that this may only
be adequate for a class of a dozen students. 

If you are making a serious investment, we suggest you
join our mailing list by visiting
By posting to this mailing list, you can learn about what
solutions have worked for others.

We support Linux OS.  LON-CAPA has been shown to work on Debian,
Mandrake, and RedHat.  Instructions are based on RedHat-centric
installs.  Given the current level of new LON-CAPA feature requests
and frequency of new software versions, we suggest that you stick
with RedHat to reduce high-frequency system administration overhead.
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