Friday, December 14, 2007

Largo Desktop Video

I have recorded my first video to show everyone the new Compiz-Fusion desktop on our thin clients. The speeds that you are see are under normal loads, and exactly what the users experience. I'm just about finished setting up all of the icons and software launch scripts.

- The blinking is not seen on the thin clients, movement is smooth
- I demonstrate the MIME bars I wrote to make it easier for them to process files
- Evolution is being moved to a new server next week that is much faster, you are seeing the speed of the current machine. Preview pane display is *much* faster on the new server.
- Video encoding for the web is new to me, so I'll do better next time. :)


Steve said...

Is the City of Largo using Citrix?

Dave Richards said...

Citrix is not the primary connection method for thin clients. Most users are using X right into the GNOME desktop. This is fully license free.

Metaframe for Unix is used to allow sites with low bandwidth to use the GNOME desktop because X would be too slow. They log into Solaris, start the Citrix Xserver and then immediately are passed to Linux and GNOME.

Metaframe for Windows is used to integrate Windows apps into the GNOME desktop. When the users click on an icon it starts the Linux ICA client and connects to the appropriate server. The software appears integrated into the Linux desktop. Now that Win 2003 supports higher color RDP connections, we probably will not be using Citrix anymore and move to RDesktop as it meets our needs and saves money and having to load another software package.

Jostein said...

how do you launch apps on different servers? Scripts? I'm not fluent in any script languages. Do you have any examples of your scripts?

Dave Richards said...

You use rsh or ssh to launch scripts. In it's most generic form this is how you do it:

The user logs into the GNOME server, their presentation, wallpapers and menus all display. OpenOffice is loaded on another server. When they click on the OpenOffice icon it issues this command:

rsh {ip_address} /usr/local/bin/sh_openoffice $DISPLAY

You have to pass the DISPLAY variable as $1 because the other server won't know about that variable and therefore wouldn't know which thin client to use.

On the OpenOffice server you have a ksh/bash script called sh_openoffice that does this:


This design allows you to have one binary running for all employees. One place to upgrade. It also allows you to pick the best distribution for each application that you run. In some cases, GNOME is best on one Linux flavor, Evolution on another and OOo on another. You can run 3 slightly different Linux flavors in this case the users won't know the difference. If the software was running on a desktop computer, you would be forced to pick one distribution.

Elie said...

This is great info to know.