Friday, September 08, 2006

SLES 10 On A Thin Client

The City of Largo is doing some experimental work with testing SLED/SLES on thin clients. Our 10 year old devices are at the end of their duty cycle, and we need to buy new ones to run for the next 10 years.

We want something that can be upgraded to some extent and that we can customize to meet our needs. I was unable so far to get SLED 10 to install because of flash drive limitations, but finally was able to get SLES 10 to install and X to come up. [ Shots Below ]. The devices are from HP and have 1GB of flash disk, and 512MB of memory, and 1GHZ CPUs.

SLES forces you to install some packages that aren't appropriate for a thin client, so next up for me is to delete everything we no longer require. This should reduce the boot time. Then, I'm going to try and install a few things by hand and get it to start X and present some kind of chooser for XDM and Citrix connections.

The next step after that will be to install the optional PCI bridge and try and install a 3D video card and experiment with using Xgl from SLED 10 servers over the network.

A great Friday project, and successful even.


Chris said...

Always interesting to read these posts about your setup.

I guess I'm a bit confused about the whole X thing though. The user's X session is on the server and all graphics are sent over the network, which is then processed by the on-board network card? Thus that's why you need 3D cards in each machine. I guess?

Are there any particular changes you have to make to the distro on the clients (/server?) to reduce X traffic?

Mike St. Jean said...

There is another voice out there! I am director of technology for the Pawtucket School Department in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We are currently running some 30 windows 2003 terminal servers supporting over 1500 HP thin Clients and various old PCS fitted to run PXES Linux.

We have been seriously testing SLED10 to run any newly purchased fat cients and, eventually, win2k3 terminal servers.

Sound/USB redirection is an issue w/our HP 5125's to SLED Terminal via XDM as it is non existant. HAve you worked with rolling your own PXES client with NoMachine's NX client, connecting to a SLED 10 box with FreeNX or the officially licensed NX Server?

BTW, Novell is currently working on an incident for us to allow multiple users to authenticate to edirectory sharing a single machine and carry forward neccessary personal drive mappings (beyond the current linux client capabilities). I'm thinking something similar to a ZEN Dynamic Local User for Linux.

Gary Kimble said...

Before you commit to that w2k3 setup, investigate the opensource offerings from vmware. These would allow you to host w2k3 machines on sles, perhaps use HA, and not have to buy terminal services licenses...

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