Friday, October 06, 2006

Thin Client Work Continues

Concurrently with all of my other projects I still am working on building a working prototype of a SLES based thin client. We are going to be buying around 500 devices, and I want to make sure that everything works before we make the purchase. Getting SLES on 1 GB flash device has been a challenge. I was able to finally get an install down to around 950MB and it loaded. My first test was with reiser FS, and I found it not a good fit for a thin client. Users often just turn off devices, and it was taking a long time to reboot after such an event while the file system cleaned. Ext3 has been working better. Identical packages take 40 seconds to boot with Reiser, and 33 seconds to boot with ext3. Interesting.

I have hobbled together a working prototype, it boots and starts X and presents a chooser for XDM and Citrix connections. My first chooser screen was done with Zenity for testing, and now I used Glade to create something a little nicer looking. [ Shot below ]. I'll get that installed on the boot image next week.

The devices have a SiS video card built in, and the driver isn't working well past 1024x768. There is a lot of screen flicker and blackness flashing on and off. More testing will follow in that area.

Next up is adding the PCI bridge and testing with 3D video cards to see how that works. One wishes for more hours in the day!

1 comment:

Harish Krishnaswamy said...

Dave,
Nice post. The Reiser/ext3 observations look interesting indeed as is the uber coolness of SLES based Thin clients. The image (visible on your blog page) did not make it on the aggregator, though.