Linked by Nik Tripp on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 21:40 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE IT solutions companies have been generating lots of buzz regarding thin clients basically since the early 1990s, but have yet to really penetrate into many suitable environments. These relatively cheap computer appliances carry broad promises like energy efficiency, space efficiency, and centralized maintenance and data storage. These claims could sound like the computer industry equivalent of snake oil. Kiwi-LTSP, a combination of KIWI imaging technology and Linux Terminal Server Project, is one open source solution for thin client servers.
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As I have understood it, a thin client processes all software on it's weak CPU with little RAM. A typical thin client has 1GHz CPU and 256 MB RAM, and boots from it's server and downloads all applications from the server and runs the all of the applications or parts of the applications, on it's 1GHz CPU.

This is what a diskless system is, NOT a thin client, but please read my post on

Whereas an ultra-thin-clients doesnt process any software at all, it just handles I/O. That is SunRay. The server processes all software. On the SunRay no software is processed at all, it just shows the bitmaps that the server transmits.

This is correct.

You are telling me that this is wrong? You are telling me that any thin client act the way as the SunRay does. Every thin client just shows the picture from the server, and no processing is done on its 1GHz CPU and 256MB RAM? Everything is processed on the server? Is this so? Can you show me a link to a thin client that behaves like this? (Other than SunRay). I have never found any ultra-thin-client other than SunRay.

Phoenix already explained this. He said there are hybrid thin-clients which do have a better cpu, and ram when compared to "ultra thin-clients" like the sunray. But, these are not true diskless systems. Which is what phoenix and I have been talking about.

Either you or my understanding of thin-clients is very wrong. Who is correct? You or me? If you can show links on thin clients working as you described, then you are correct and I am wrong. If you can not show links, then you are wrong and I am correct.

I think your understanding is correct your labels for the different solutions are just wrong, and you also don't seem to understand the third solution completely. A truly diskless system.

There are some grave misunderstandings going on right now. Even the nick "broken_symlink" is confused. He also believes the same thing as me. He states that a thin-client solution should need a ton of RAM.

I never stated anything of the sort. What I said is that as the number of clients in a thin client solution increases you need better hardware for the server. I have no idea what the exact specifications are as I have never used a thin client setup, only diskless pcs.

We can settle this out, if you post some links to thin-clients. Then I can read about them myself. And study the datasheets. And then I can tell if I have misunderstood the thin client concept.

If you don't get it now, I think the only way you will is by actually seeing a setup in action. I'm sure there are guides online how to setup a diskless system. Then you should probably setup ltsp. Finally, compare those two to your sunray, and hopefully then you will understand the difference. Think of ltsp as the "hybrid" thin-client.

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Kebabbert Member since:

Broken_Symlink, you wrote:

"Because your not running all the client apps on the server in a diskless setup, the server doesn't need a ton of ram and everything else. So what he said is true. In a thin-client setup which is what you are talking about this probably is not true, and you need a much beefier server as the number of clients increase and depending on what the clients do."

To me, it seems that you stated a thin-client setup needs a "ton of ram and a beefier server". But maybe you didnt mean that.

Anyway, I have a hard time to understand this. But I am not stupid. I have a Master's in Comp Sci, with a specilazation in algorithm theory and discrete math. And now I am finishing my second degree in pure math. The problem I have, is that it doesnt sound reasonable, If you think logically.

One user needs at least 1GHz and 512MB RAM with todays Operating Systems and software. This is true. You can not go under that hardware requirement. And now, suddenly a dual P3 at say, 1GHz and 4GB ram suffices for 30 thin-clients?

Because you have a dual P3 cpu server, we count them as one 2GHz P3. And now, 30 users share that 2GHz P3. This gives 66MHz to each user. And 30 users share 4GB RAM. Say that 1GB disappears to the Operating System. Left is 3GB to 30 users. This gives 100MB ram to each user.

So one user uses 66MHz and 100MB RAM. And this works fine, you claim? Why do we have todays 3GHz quad core and 4-8GB RAM for one single user? According to you it suffices with 66MHz Pentium and 128MB RAM for the newest Office and all other RAM and CPU sucking new software packages.

What am I? A fool? Can you not see that something is very wrong here? Is it only me that see the problem? Ive tried to tell you that there is a problem in several posts here. Still Phoenix iterates "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT IT WORKS FINE??? ARE YOU DUMB OR WHAT???"

But if you just link to some of the data sheets then I can read myself. (Ive looked into thin clients, and didnt find any ultra thin client solutions, except SunRay. I guess you are better at google than me, then).

Reply Parent Score: 2