A short description of the thin client solution
Skolelinux comes with an out-of-the-box thin client solution based on LTSP. This makes it possible to use old computers as thin clients in a Skolelinux network.
Advantages of thin clients:
- Central administration
- Maintenance is very easy.
- Gives new life to old hardware
How many thin clients it is possible to connect to a thin client server, depends mainly on the amount of memory available, the capacity of the network it shares with the clients, and its ability to move data in and out. Raw processor speed (CPU) is not the most important. A thin client needs a network capacity of about 2 Mb/s to be able to work normally.
It is recommended to use a Pentium with PCI-support or higher.
How a thin client works
A thin client is started from floppy disk, or a bootable network card that supports PXE. It contacts the thin client server at boot time, and the thin client takes care of the communication with the Skolelinux network from there. The thin client only receives the screen dump, transmits the user inputs, like keypresses etc from the user.
Thin client setup
If the thin client has a PXE network card, you will only have to collect the network card's hardware address, and add it to the file/network server, using Webmin. Make sure the computer boots from the network card, and that the thin client is on the same network as the thin client server.
If you do not have a network card that supports PXE, you will have to make a boot disk which contains the network card driver.
It is common to remove all unnecessary hardware from thin clients, such as hard drives.