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Old 02-08-2017, 01:09 AM   #1
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Wyse Linux V6 on a Wyse S50 thin client.

I have a Wyse S50 with 128 meg Apacer IDE flash disk and 128 meg RAM. I installed the last release of Wyse Linux for it. OS version is

I want to be able to Do Something with this little unit, other than turn it on, look at the system info, change the desktop color and turn it off. (At least Windows CE 6.0 on the Sx0 series has Media Player and an old version of IE that can be used.)

The Addons in control panel shows an old version of Firefox and some other software installed, but there are no icons on the Win95 clone desktop and the Start menu only has Connection Manager, Control Panel, System Info and Logout.

There's no file browser (or not one that's visible to the user) and no command prompt. There is Ericom Power Term in control panel, but all that does it want to connect to a server.

Hardware specifications of the Sx0 series.

I have a 1 gig Apacer flash disk and 512 meg RAM on their way to me, along with a male/male 44 pin laptop IDE gender changer to connect to a desktop, and a female/female cable so I can connect a normal hard drive to the S50. Could also use a Compact Flash or SDHC/SDXC adapter.

An issue with installing 'normal' desktop type operating systems onto the Apacer flash disks is they tend to die quickly if the flash is used for swap space, so the OS must either work without memory paging to storage or should setup a RAM disk for that. (Or adapt a more robust form of non-volatile storage.)

WinCE on the Sx0 series has a control panel to divide RAM between RAM and storage. I don't see such a tool in the control panel on this Linux so I don't know how it does swap, or if it uses it at all.

Wyse has been consistent in their naming scheme for their thin clients. 10 is ThinOS or WTOS, 30 is Windows CE (which they quit using around 2012), 50 is Linux and 90 is Windows Embedded. In the case of the S90 it's XPe SP2.
Old 02-08-2017, 04:34 AM   #2
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This video shows how to install Ubuntu on the Wyse S50:

I strongly recommend that instead of Ubuntu, you use a lightweight Linux distro, such as antiX or puppy.

antiX-16.1 is based on Debian:

Download the 32 bit of antiX-16.1:

antiX should run on most computers, ranging from 192MB old PII systems with pre-configured 128MB swap to the latest powerful boxes.

antiX-core and antiX-base will run with 128MB RAM plus swap, but don’t expect miracles!

192MB RAM is the recommended minimum for antiX. 256MB RAM and above is preferred especially for antiX-full.

antiX-full needs a 2.8GB minimum hard disk size. antiX-base needs 1.6GB and antiX-core needs 0.7GB.

antiX-16 FAQs:

You could also try Puppy Linux:

NB You don't have to install Puppy (to hard disk) to use it.

Last edited by beachboy2; 02-08-2017 at 04:41 AM.
Old 02-08-2017, 05:49 AM   #3
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He's running Ubuntu on a V10L. 800Mhz Eden VS 366Mhz GX500. Same color scheme and looks as an Sx0 but otherwise completely different.

One thing I've thought about trying is a pared down version of Ubuntu Precise or Debian Wheezy with non-PAE kernel then see if an S50 can run Linux CNC. Has to be one of those because they're the only distros the LCNC dev team works with and has specifically written LCNC for them.

The Sx0 *may* be able to take one gig PC2700 SODIMM, if one with the right arrangement is used. The GX500 and its Companion chip support 2 banks of 512 meg but the Sx0 has only one slot. The 1 gig Apacer flash disk should work, people have hooked up larger hard drives and Compact Flash to these.

I have a CNC milling machine that has a built in servo controller, it only needs a stream of G-Code commands and other simple commands. The host PC doesn't have to do any "heavy lifting" since motion interpolation etc is all handled by the mill's controller.

The catch is that the only software available for operating it runs in DOS, but I did get an archive of technical data from a person at Moog Animatics who worked at Animatics before it was bought by Moog. So if I want to run this RS232C controlled mill from LCNC, I get to suss things out myself. If the S50 isn't up to the task, a Cx0 or Vx0 should be able to, with their faster CPUs and higher RAM capacity. The VIA Eden C7 in the Vx0 series even has PAE, despite the RAM limit being only 1 or 2 gig on those.

I got three of these Sx0 units 100% free so I'm going with what I have. A parallel plan (more likely to succeed) is to put FreeDOS on one with the Panasonic universal USB Mass Storage driver for DOS and use the crufty old DOS CNC control software from the mid-1990's. Just for fun I'm also going to try the VIA AC97 DOS driver to see if it will work with a Realtek ALC655 AC97 chip. The VIA driver works with some non-VIA AC97 chips but no info found either way on the ALC655. I'll probably skip the DOS driver for the Realtek 8100 Ethernet. I've done DOS networking. I did not *like* DOS networking. Networking MS/PC/Dr/Etc DOS can stay in the deep past.

Last edited by Galane; 02-08-2017 at 05:54 AM.
Old 02-08-2017, 06:07 AM   #4
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Before I get to wiping the Wyse Linux and replacing it with another one, I'd like to 'liberate' what's on it in order to see how it performs. Starting off by finding out how to run the software that's installed already, like Firefox.

I'm going to setup an FTP server on my LAN, that's how this thing installs "addons". Aim it at an FTP, specify the path to the packages and they'll show up in a drop list. Sorry, no browsing. I've downloaded the newer Firefox package, a Media Player and TruType packages from Dell/WYSE, just need to install them from FTP through Addons - but will that get them icons on the Desktop and/or Start menu? Don't know! Why would a web browser be in the default install with no way provided to actually *use it*?
Old 02-08-2017, 06:21 PM   #5
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I got a 1 gig flash disk and 512 meg SODIMM today. Swapped the RAM and Wyse linux seemed to boot faster. Then I swapped the flash and turned it on just to see what would happen.

It has some version of Ubuntu on it, boots up to this screen. Can I do something with this or should I just wipe it and start fresh?
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