Thin Client technology - Linux Terminal Server Project HOWTO

The text below was copied with permission from post by Harry Mangalam, UCI, to UC-CSC Mailing List

I typed up the notes I took as I was evaluating the LTSP for Lab and Office deloyment, added a few introductory paras and got this:

Feedback, criticism, corrections, and suggestions how to improve it welcome. If you have additional links that should be added, let me know.

Those at UCI are welcome to visit for a demo until the hardware gets redeployed. I’ve tested with 64bit PCs netbooting 64 & 32bit OSs, and an old 32bit PIII laptop netbooting the 32bit OS.

From the introduction: -————- There are many technologies tempting your wallet these days with promises of secure, easy, efficient, low-cost, scalable desktop computing. Many of these are based on virtualized Windows, with proprietary technology at each layer of the whole solution. (Tom Holub and crew evaluated this Windows-based onion/parfait at Berkeley in 2008-2009.)

I say … meh.

Linux and the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) have provided this kind of technology for at least a decade for free. It is being used in large rollouts in the 3rd world where the technology cost issue is most important and in the 1st world where the human costs are the main issue. Before you sink $thousand$ trying to stack proprietary technology upon proprietary technology, why not see what some free software can provide? If you have the (minimal) hardware, you can have an LTSP system up and running in about 2 hours. No licenses, no signatures, no faxes, no crippleware, no POs, no RFPs, no bids, no lawyers. And surprisingly few tears.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Assumptions
3. Pre-Requisites
3.1. Prep work
3.2. Hardware
3.3. Software
4. Installing the LTSP server
4.1. Installing a preconfigured LTSP system
4.2. Installing over an pre-installed system
5. Creating the client OS
6. Server vs Client Applications
7. Changing the client BIOS to PXE-boot
8. Booting the client
9. Upgrading & Changing the client OS
10. Adding / upgrading applications
11. Adding storage
12. Multimedia to LTSP clients
13. Shared printers.
14. Local storage devices
15. Handling Application versions
16. Adding LDAP, Kerberos, NIS/NFS
17. LTSP coexistence with Windows apps
18. Thin Client Promotion, Propaganda, Discussion
19. Copyright notice