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  1. #1
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
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    Working with thin clients

    Ok so here is what I want to know. I have been intrigued with thin clients for a while but I am not quite sure how to structure a google search to get the info I am after.

    I want to know what OS's are best for thin clients and whether or not the server hosting the resources also has to be a specific *nix and if not what applications I might need to serve to thin clients.

    This is recreational practice for setting up thing clients so I am willing to give most things a shot.
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    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

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  2. #2
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    i would say windows ce, you can then add rdp and ica connections

  3. #3
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
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    ok i appreciate the imput. However, I did post this in the alternative OS section so I was looking for a *nix based solution. I should have made that more clear in the OP.
    HEAT
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    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Senior Member MRD's Avatar
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    X Windows was designed from the ground up as a thin-client solution. It was designed to be used with multiple terminals running off one powerful computer. X windows is a client-server architecture. It's kind of counter intuitive which is the server and which is the client, but I'll try to explain it. The server is the PC you are sitting at, and looking at. The client is the big, powerful computer in the back room. The X-server runs on the local PC, and you run software on the more powerful remote PC, but displays to the X server on the local PC.

    I use this *constantly* on my PC's. For years (until about a year ago when it broke) one of my primary PC's was a Thinkpad P1 133 w/ 72MB RAM. I was able to do whatever I wanted by using it as an X server and running the programs on remote clients, which were more powerful and did the bulk of the work.

    This is what I do. I turn on the client PC, and start up X Windows. The I do "ssh <name of big powerful computer> -YXC" (case sensitive).

    This then opens a terminal and forwards X over that. Now if I type in the name of an application, it's running on the other computer, but displaying on the one in front of me. It works quite well for most things. One slight annoyance is that sound isn't forwarded... I think there's a way to do that, especially with KDE, but I never bothered.

    Also, anything which uses direct hardware graphics acceleration won't work. The remote PC doesn't have direct hardware access to your local PC's graphics card, so sometimes multimedia can be slow. Other things work quite well. You need a decently fast net connection (100 mb is good enough). You can maybe get away with a bit less, like 802.11g.

    In general, different architectures will work fine with each other. In other words, a PC running Linux can ssh into a BSD box, and everything will probably work fine (although vastly differing X servers can *sometimes* not get along. Overall though, the protocol is standardized across architectures.

    You will need to enable X11 forwarding. This is usually in a file like /etc/ssh/ssh_config or /etc/ssh/sshd_config, and you will need to make sure the ssh daemon is running on the machine you are connecting to. Restart ssh after changing the X11 forwarding settings.

    Linux computers, unlike Windows computers, are built to be interconnected and interoperable, and they are very easily adopted to client/server and thin client approaches with minimal effort.

  6. #6
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
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    So with the ssh X forwarding (which I already use as a way to remote desktop) it doesn't matter what is running the server correct?

    Right now I have my C2Q running ubuntu. I want to forward the sound because the idea for this is to make it a media thin client...

    What I was thinking was that I wanted to give some life to my roomates old computer it has pretty poor specs as it struggles to run Win 98 in a manner which I am used to. So I figured if I could make it a thin client he could actually get some use out of his computer because most of the time he doesnt do anything with the computer because it is too slow. With a C2Q serving it though it should be perfectly functional.

    The downside to the ssh is that he will need to do that every time he reboots (unless I can put that in a startup script?) and he isnt very hip with computers
    HEAT
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  7. #7
    Senior Member MRD's Avatar
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    The X server (the slower machine) acts only as a display. You can ssh into a mainframe running an X86 computer... it doesn't matter. It's just display info and nothing else.

    As for forwarding sound, I don't know a lot about it, but I believe KDE has some ability to do it innately. I do not know about GNOME.

  8. #8
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRD View Post
    The X server (the slower machine) acts only as a display. You can ssh into a mainframe running an X86 computer... it doesn't matter. It's just display info and nothing else.

    As for forwarding sound, I don't know a lot about it, but I believe KDE has some ability to do it innately. I do not know about GNOME.
    Yes I understand about the x server. What I was trying to get across is that he would get confused havin to input the ssh command each time and if he typed it wrong he wouldnt know what to do. I will look into KDE and sound forwarding just out of curiousity and see what i come up with.

    Basically I want to be able to set it up so that all he has to do is flick on his computer and it logs onto the server he and a command line do not mix
    HEAT
    Those wishing to contribute to the AltOS section front page please PM me.

    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

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