posted by Olivier Fourdan on Mon 27th Sep 2004 04:35 UTC
IconThis summer, in the beginning of August, HP has released a new Linux based thin client. Unlike the other models from the "t5000" line of HP thin clients which use Microsoft Windows CE as their embedded operating system, the "t5515" is based on the Linux operating system. This is also, to my knowledged, the first device that is using Xfce for its graphical user interface.

The hardware
Click for a larger version The "t5515" thin client is based on a Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 800 MHz processor, and uses an ATI RADEON 7000M with 16 MB of video RAM for display. Two versions are available, one using a 32 MB flash memory and 64 MB of RAM and another one shipping with 128 MB of flash and 128 MB or RAM. The device also includes a stereo 16 bits sound card and an internal speaker, not to mention the obvious network card.

Being placed vertically on its stand, the device takes very little space on the user's desktop. Another very positive point is the silence when operating the device, as there are no moving parts within the device, no hard drive nor fan at all thanks to the Transmeta Crusoe processor. No doubt that brings more comfort to those who have to work with noisy computers.

Connectivity
The device features the following connectors on the rear: A VGA connector, the network connector, 2 USB connectors, to plug the keyboard and the mouse, a parallel port, a serial port, a couple of connectors to plug external speakers.

Putting the device to work took me less than 5 minutes, I just plugged the keyboard, the mouse, the LCD monitor, the netword cord, plugged the power cord and switched the device on. The device boots in graphical mode and takes its network parameters from DHCP (if you have a DHCP server on your network). If no DHCP server can be found, the device still boots, and the user or system administrator can define an IP address and other network parameters manually.

Software
Click for a larger versionThe t5515 device comes loaded with an embedded Linux distribution based on a Linux kernel version 2.4 and BusyBox (as stated on BusyBox web site, "BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix utilities into a single executable").

Once booted, the system starts Xfce within a few seconds (the default user is root, but that shouldn't be a problem given the nature of the device, there is not much the root user can break on such a system). The version that uses a 32MB flash memory ships with Citrix client and rdesktop for connecting to Microsoft Windows servers. and VNC client and server (TightVNC to be precise) to connect to all systems that supports the VNC server (that includes Microsoft Windows, Linux, SUN Solaris, etc.)

Table of contents
  1. "HP Thin Client with XFce, Page 1/2"
  2. "HP Thin Client with XFce, Page 2/2"
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