T + L 2008 : Thin Client Lab Success
By Benoit des Ligneris on Tuesday, October 28 2008, 22:59 - Permalink
First participation at T+L. Revolution Linux provided the application server for a thin-client lab which was used during the whole conference. This post describes how the lab was installed...
The setup was done in two steps : Stéphane Graber installed the latest not yet released version of Ubuntu (8.10, codename Intrepid) and the latest version of LTSP as well as LTSP-Cluster on the server.
The idea was to show the latest available open source softwares. One of the most important one was iTalc running on the thin clients, the first "large scale" iTalc deployment on thin client to the best of our knowledge ;-)
We then shipped the server to Steve Hargadon. We, Steve, Randy Orwin and myself, met in Seattle on Sunday evening in order to set up the lab. Stephane was also part of the team as he installed, configured and tested lots of stuff on the server ... remotely using NX.
Setting up the lab was done in 4 hours (three people) : we were using recycled laptops given by CRC. Those computers were PIII without hard-drives with 256 MB of RAM. The most challenging part was ... the network.
I'm not a networking guy but I'm sure that we broke most of the rules ;-) 10 tables, 10 level 1 4-5 port switched, network cable that looks like "spaghetti", etc. It was working but somehow "flacky". Anyway, next year, we will do Wireless thin clients : it will solve this problem very elegantly !
All in all, a very interesting experience :
- 42 thin clients running on one server (quad core entry level server with 4GB or RAM)
- Local applications worked very well : firefox + flash + java. RAM was a problem on some thick clients ;-)
- Sound worked fine
- Skype working as it'd on a standard laptop
- Extensive testing (with real users !) of Ubuntu Intrepid
- Extensive testing of LTSP + Ubuntu Intrepid
- Extensive testing of LTSP Cluster on Ubuntu Intrepid
- iTalc worked very well on the thin clients : no scalability issues
We hope that every user of the room 607 lab enjoyed the experience during the show !