Using bwLehrpool

You are interested in bwLehrpool and asking yourself if you fulfill all the requirements and can start using it? Then you are in the right place! =).


In order to offer bwLehrpool at your institution there are a few requirements, which are not usually too difficult to meet.

Satellite Server

At the heart of bwLehrpool is the so-called Satellite Server 1). This needs to be provided and managed by the local institution. We can provide you with the necessary setup for this in the form of a virtual machine (OVF Format). This must be deployed in your virtualization cluster (e.g. VMWare ESX). The server requires a connection to the central Master Server in Freiburg, so that it can request updates to the Linux base system. Other than this, no internet access is required.

Storage Area for Virtual Machines

The uploaded virtual machines require a large free storage area. For best results, use an NFS server. Using CIFS is also possible. Alternatively, you can use the internal storage of the Satellite Server, but we recommend this only be used for test purposes.

The storage space required depends on the number of VMs to be used. Remember that Linux VMs are generally considerably smaller than Windows VMs, which can quickly require 30 - 50 GB. Ideally you would have 3 - 4 TB in an SSD/HDD cluster, but this can be added later and is not required for evaluation.

Client Computers

The client computers do not require the latest hardware. That said, it is recommended that they have a minimum of 4 GB RAM, 100 MBit Network cards, and a hard drive iwth approx 50 GB partition exclusively for bwLehrpool, and VT-x (required to support 64-bit VMs). The only true necessity is the ability to boot using PXE (network boot).
More information to the hardware requirements for the clients can be found here: Client Hardware Requirements


bwLehrpool loads the Linux base system and the necessary parts of the requested VM over the network. It would therefore be ideal for the pool rooms to have access to 10-GBit connection and for each computer to have a 1-GBit adapter, in order to make the boot time as short/quick as possible. From experience, though, we have been able to run successfully in rooms with 1 Gbit and 100 MBit on the client side. The easiest thing is probably to set up a test envrionment and then decide if the speeds in your infrastructure are enough. We would be glad to help you with this.

Quick Test

The hard facts once more in summary:

  • Virtualisation platform for the satellite server (ESX recommended)
  • Storage for the virtual machines in the form of an NFS/CIFS share(Size dependent on the number of VMs)
  • Possibility of booting PXE (requires configuration changes to the DHCP Server)
  • Good network connectivity in the rooms and on each client

Next Steps

Have we made you curious? Get in touch with us and we would be glad to talk through any questions you might have We are also glad to come by and set up a test installation. Of course we are able to start with a small test before you connect all your computers to bwLehrpool. There are only a few small changes you need to make to your infrastructure to support it. bwLehrpool is also in most cases compatible and come run in parallel with existing systems, e.g. software distribution. If it turns out that bwLehrpool isn't right for you, all changes can be quickly and easily undone.

The installation of bwLehrpool is usually achievable in the course of a day.

You can also carry out all the necessary changes yourself - we can provide you with a download link for the current satellite server accompanied by installation hand book. We are of course there for you if you run into any issues.

If you would like to experience the system live before trying it at your own facility, stop by the University of Freiburg or the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. We can show you how it works here and let you form your own impressions of how it could be implemented in your teaching program.

also lovingly referred to as 'Sat'