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Old 05-13-2008, 03:07 AM   #1
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Smile Linux Thin Client Distro - Help Needed Choosing


We have a Windoze 2003 Terminal Server which our branches ( connect to through ADSL & access a database. We run XP RDP Sessions & this works well. The business own has decided he wants to utilize the 30 odd old PC's & Win TS CAL licenses he has bought & convert the PC's to Linux based Terminals.

The PC's have No OS on them and are a variety of PII's & PIII's having a min of 64 Meg of RAM & upto 256 on others.

We were looking for a very simple Linux distro that functions as an RDP client only. In other words a distro where we would download the ISO & burn it to CD and then Install it on the target PC. The PC once installed would boot to the RDP login screen only, Our Server IP & login Credentials could be entered once & saved.

We were interested in something that simple to setup up without any "Bloat" like ABBI WP or Open Office just the RDP Client only & did not require building our own "Cut down" distro something ready to roll so to speak (This is very important). We also did not want to boot from a NIC to get config files etc just something that resides & self sufficient on the target PC. We understand the concepts of diskless workstations & spinning disk pitfalls but what we want is something easy to install & resides + boots from a Hard disk & all we have to do is enter IP & login details without the Bloat - No fuss

Many thanks in advance for any Help offered.


Old 05-14-2008, 02:54 AM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Wales, UK
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There used to be a couple of distros I remember, but both seem to have changed significantly, and been made into proprietary products.

I'm not really surprised that this is a bit of a niche - an RDP client is fairly small, and by relying on mechanical parts on the local machine (optical and hard drives) you lose part of reliability that thin client can provide. In this case, the owner would be better off looking at the various thin client appliances with RDP support on the firmware now available, buying 30, and using the size of the order to get a slightly price.

Although older machines definitely have longer lifetimes than current systems, hard drives and fans have a finite lifespan. With ad-hoc purchasing, machines become flaky and die one-by-one, and not only are the costs of downtime, servicing, and the purchasing of replacements higher, but more importantly, users have a poor experience.

When I did support we ran about 700 computers, and realized that the only way that we could assure fully working PCs everywhere was to replace sets of machines before the hardware failures started - we ran machines under warranty, and do planned rollouts once a year to cycle out the oldest sets. Managers tried to cut corners a couple of times, and in each case we had groups of unhappy users on flaky sets of machines. If some people think that they have "worse" machines than others you can also get politics.


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