Dell continues to base its ThinOS client operating system on FreeBSD

Several Dell products use ThinOS 9, such as the OptiPlex 3000 Thin Client, the OptiPlex All-In-One, and the Latitude series laptops, such as the Latitude 3440 and 5440. ThinOS is a ready-to-deploy solution that aims to improve virtual desktops while offering a secure platform for applications and services. It provides users with a seamless and integrated experience, whether remotely or from the office. It’s a software environment that optimizes virtual workspaces.

The latest version, ThinOS 9, is built on FreeBSD 12 with other 3rd-party open source components and is well-known for its robust security and stability. This aligns with the requirements of modern enterprises that demand high performance and protection in their computing solutions.

↫ Dell case study

While Dell and FreeBSD call this a ‘case study’ but while I see plenty of case, I see little study – it’s mostly just a load of marketing speak. That being said, there’s still interesting news in here about the future of ThinOS. The next release of ThinOS, version 10, will make the jump from FreeBSD 12 to the current FreeBSD 14 release, drastically improving hardware support in the process, while also bringing in the various other benefits of the latest FreeBSD release.

It will also improve ThinOS’ compatibility with Linux applications, a feature of FreeBSD, which is something Dell is keen to highlight. It should come as no surprise that ThinOS 10 will also improve its security features, probably also mostly coming along for the ride from FreeBSD 14.

Dell also mentions that it intends to continue using FreeBSD as the base for ThinOS, which could’ve easily gone differently as part of Dell’s acquisition of Wyze, where ThinOS originally comes from. This is good news for FreeBSD, but at the same time, when I look at thin clients on Dell’s website, ThinOS is just one of the options, and every photo shows the devices running Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021. I genuinely wonder what the spread is between buyers opting for ThinOS, Windows, and Linux.

Thin clients have always fascinated me, so perhaps I should go onto eBay, figure out which Dell thin clients are still supported by the latest ThinOS release, buy one, and set up a simple thin client environment in my home – using ThinOS, of course.


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