Thin computing on Linux got a significant boost this week with a pair of separate releases. Wyse Technology, one of the world’s leading thin-client vendors, announced its newest Linux thin client. And just yesterday, the Linux Terminal Server Project, the “granddaddy” of all Linux thin-client open source projects, released LTSP 4.1.
Linux Gets a Bit Thinner
2004-08-06 Linux 10 Comments
LTSP is a wonderful project that has allowed me to bring computing to community centers by recycling old hardware and turning into thin clients.
I encourage everyone to give it a try. PXEs is also a very interesting and worthwhile project.
Check also thinstation:
I think it is the best terminal solution.
Yes I agree, I have used most of the linux terminal software and I have found Thinstation to be the best. Not only does it seem more professional but it also is a easier to configure and doesn’t rely on having an NFS root if a server was by chance to go down.
When i get my own house, i’ll definitly be setting up a masive linux server with several thin clinents possitioned through out the house. This will most likly be a year or two away atm, but i think this might be the way a lot of people will go. It makes a lot of sense these days because everyone wants there own computer and using thin client technology is a cheap way to go about it. I see a future where every boy and girl will have their own thin client in their bedroom. Maybe this is where linux has the advantage of MS? Thin clients are great ideas.
I think they might be a little more complex than what i normaly think of as a thin client, i’ll have to do some reading about them, or maybe i’ll learn more about them in my networks and comunications classes this semester?
I agree, up to a point. It’s much easier in that sort of application to have computers with decent programming power that mount everything remotely, but do all the processing locally.
Doing anything involving sound or video over a LAN is still much easier locally, due both bandwidth and latency.
However, a couple of thin clients would also be handy for non-media activities.
IO alwasy love how these discussions come up about how great it is to have the application hosted on a server and people access it. Well, that removes the need for a PC. and no one will control thier own data. That is a blow back to the mainframe days. No need for the current technology at all, we can revert back to what used to be. Same thing exactly. I personally like having the power in my house, not relying on someone else to “serve” me an application.
Use thin clients when they make sense. What the sergeant is missing is that you can have your own server and thin clients in your house.
It’s all about simplifying administration.
Thin Clients make a lot of sense in certain work places. In my workplace (electronics manufacturing) weve deployed ltsp clients in many areas where a full PC is not required.
To compare pure hardware and sofware costs, your talking about ~350 for a thin client workstation running OOo compared to ~1200 for a decent Windows PC with Office. It’s an easy choice when the operator only uses email, internet and some word porcessing. Takes up a lot less space and is actually a lot more difficult to break than a Windows PC.
So congrats to Jim McQuillan for making this possible.
BTW has anone else used these really cool thin clients.
I´ve a question regarding the types of thin clients.
When a friend of mine was in a hospice they had several computers set up so you could write letters and browse the web. The problem was most of them were in the main rec room. Also if you did any work which needed to be saved, you needed to go back to that computer you had used before (hopeing that no one else had deleted the file in the process.) Also there was the problem that some folks might not feel good enough on some days to go all the way downstairs but might be able to make it to the library at the end of the hall.
What is desperatly needed is a account which can be created which can be used on any computer on the network. (And now with Wi-Fi even from bed.)
It doesn´t matter what machine you go to, you log on and see your own private work space.
Some workstations might have better I/O than others or music keyboards or other multimedia enhancements, but all would be pretty much equal.
Of course the apps would be run locally as much as possible (and just closing your account would automaticly save the state of the work session, no need to actually SAVE documents until you are done.
Do any of the thin clients behave like this or are they more like Windows or Linux boxes with just the applications being served from the server and the data remaining local?
Thanks in advance.
P.S. Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and even my mothers Retirement apartment complex would benefit from a service like this. And as for my own House? Modest server in the basement (not under pipes) with a high speed connection to the outside world, and various clients (some laptop, some mega workstations with multiple monitors) inside the house so that I never need to be tied down to this CRT shrine ever again! Oh yes, my or any one elses workspace could be thrown up on any TV screen while I´m at it.
P.P.S. If open source could be steered this way we would be very very ahead of the competition. Now, About making those Os´s and Applications smaller! (Think BeOS)
LTSP does not store the user data locally-it is saved on the server- which means anyone can anywhere on any machine access their data. On a properly configured LTSP system most users can’t tell that they are not working on the machine in front of them. As far as hospitals and nursing homes go-wifi really increases the amount of electronic interference-so usually you can’t use wifi where you have specialized ultra sensitive monitoring machines- much like you can’t use your cell phone in the emergency room area….I run a dual athlon-mp 2400 w/1 GB Ram as a LTSP server for the local sociology department-we have 15 ancient PC’s connected to it-which serve over 300 users. The old PC’s would be useless otherwise (Pentium MMX 166 w/16MB ram and 200 MB HD’s). But on LTSP they provide a user experience equivalent to ~1 GHZ Pentium III’3/Durons with 256 MB RAM. What is important is that you have sufficient network bandwidth for the number of clients you use-with a sufficiently fast network the old PC’s become really amazing….I know of know more cost effective way to provide modern desktops to large numbers of users…old PC’s are in abundance and spare parts are easy to find on ebay….