Keeping software current on thin clients has always been a challenge. As most organizations buy thin clients with the intention to use them for 5 or more years, many system administrators find that the local embedded image is out of date, hard to manage, and new software solutions are requiring an upgrade. Here’s 3 steps to an easy upgrade.
Whether you have 10 thin clients or thousands that you need to upgrade in a single physical location, an LTSP Thin Client Server can be the ideal solution. Here’s how:
1) Prepare Your Network Infrastructure
With LTSP, the thin client operating system image is delivered over the local area network connection via PXE and TFTP. Among the many other benefits from an IT administrators perspective, you only have to manage a single image on the thin client server.
Network Infrastructure Steps:
Consider DHCP Options
Use Current DHCP Server?
Use LTSP Thin Client for DHCP?
Prepare Thin Clients
Set BIOS to Network / LAN Boot
2) Configure LTSP for Optimal Thin Client Performance
LTSP is integrated into many of the most popular Linux distributions including Ubuntu and OpenSUSE. If your thin clients have less than 512MB of RAM and a slower processor, you should consider running all server-based applications. Have newer models with better specifications? Look into Local Apps and Fat Client options within LTSP for optimal performance.
- Start By Trying The Default Linux Desktop With the OS You Choose
- Less Than 1GHz CPU and 512MB RAM?
- Use Server-based Apps
- 1GHz CPU and 512MB+ RAM?
- Try Local Apps / Fat Client
3) Customize To Your Hearts Content
With Linux in play, customization options (which can have a big impact on performance) are almost overwhelming. From a lightweight desktop environment, to transparently booting up a Windows login prompt, the thin client image can be anything you imagine possible.
- Don’t Like The Default Desktop Environment?
- Try a Lightweight Window Manager
- Want to Use Rdesktop, FreeRDP, VMware View or Another Connection Broker?
- Configure LTSP to Skip the Desktop Environment
Some of the thin client models we’ve helped upgrade for our customers at DisklessWorkstations.com include models like the HP t5540, t5530, t5520 and many other Desktop PCs and popular thin clients.
Wondering if you can upgrade your old thin clients? Ask us in the comments, or contact us.