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Re: [K12OSN] K12LTSP and Citrix?

Short answer: Yes, you can use the Citrix ICA client to give your thin clients access to apps running on a Citrix server.

Long answer: I'm doing this right now on a development K12LTSP system. I've installed the ICA client, although the users won't directly access it. Instead, we put an icon on the desktop, which is a URL, such that it loads Mozilla and brings up access to the app in question via NFuse. I had to configure some default settings in Moz to get it to automatically launch the ICA client when the user clicked on the NFuse icon, but that was about it.

In my setup, the client is just a Pentium-166 with 32MB RAM, no hard drive; I'm using an Etherboot floppy from www.rom-o-matic.com. The ICA client is running on the server, which is where you want it. For the window manager/desktop, I've been focusing on KDE, and that seems just fine on the P166. Ice *is* snappier, but it's easier to do things like distribute an app to all users by simply copying the icon/link file to each user's ~/Desktop directory, and then the users get access to the app without even needing to logout and log back in (I regard it as a nifty 'parlor trick' but one that works well for showing people the superior model of LTSP in terms of administration).

I'm also running CodeWeavers CrossOver Office 2.0 to provide MS Office apps, including Outlook and IE. The Outlook part works just fine, but I haven't been able to 'connect' IE to the Linux ICA client such that clicking on the NFuse icon in IE will launch the app. That's why I decided to make it work via Mozilla. Also, Moz has some nifty features like tabbed browsing that I think can make people willing to give up IE, which is what I need since I can't make IE do everything I need right now. My objective is to make the process for the end-users as similar as possible to what they're used to. Mostly, that just means that they need an icon for each app they use. They don't know or care whether it's a Citrix/Windows-based app or otherwise.

The reason I was able to stir up interest in LTSP in my company--and I think this is relevant to your situation--is that it saves you from upgrading the workstations. Just boot from a floppy, so you don't even have to reconfigure the workstations to turn them into thin-clients. And run them until they drop, don't upgrade them. Buy a few replacements to put on the shelf for when one does die; but that may be ten years from now before one of them does die. But this idea that workstations have to be replaced after four or five years because they're old, out of warranty, etc. is just plain wasteful and foolish--unless you buy into the MS paradigm, and I do mean 'buy'.


Jim Anderson wrote:

Thanks, Matt.  I'm aware of the Citrix Linux client and this would be a
good solution for some of our later-model workstations that have decent
speed, RAM, and newer hard drives.

My problem is that some of the machines I'm looking at are quite old and
well-used Pentium 133s with only 16MB RAM, others are 166s with 32MB.  I
suppose I could install a thin version of Linux with a desktop like
IceWM, but then I still have the problem of some pretty ratty hard
drives that would require replacement soon.  I'm sure that the
powers-that-be don't want to invest in maintaining this equipment, but
if there were a "solid-state" solution in the form of bootable NICs (I
use the Lynksys ones from disklessworkstations.com at home) that would
enable these computers to not need further service I might be able to
introduce Linux and OSS into the environment via K12LTSP if I can have
them "route" a citrix session to the workstations.

Is there a way to boot directly into a Citrix ICA client from Linux
without a desktop?  This would be a fallback position if the opinion is
against a Linux desktop or LTSP.  At least that's one less set of
desktop OS licenses going to M$, but I would preferably have the school
district and my employer see the advantages and wealth of good Open
Source software available in the K12LTSP package.

On Mon, 2003-06-09 at 08:16, Matt Loretitsch wrote:

Hi Jim,

	This isn't really terminal server related, but there IS a Citirx
client for Linux.  Instead of loading NT4 on your workstations load Linux
instead and run the client.


Just a thought... I haven't touched Citrix in about 4 years and even then it
was a Novell based network.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Anderson [mailto:netman1 optonline net] Sent: Monday, June 09, 2003 2:34 AM
To: K12OSN Mailing List
Subject: [K12OSN] K12LTSP and Citrix?


I'm new to this list, but I have some K12LTSP experience as I run a K12LTSP
v3.0 server at home (RH8). I work in network support for a school district
in a New York suburb. We are have a Citrix installation (and there won't be
any change to that situation). It does work well, except for the expense
because the clients are NT4 workstations with an ICA client.

I would like to incorporate K12LTSP into the existing Citrix environment.
I've heard this is possible, but I don't know how it would be done. Can
anyone point me to some documentation that can help me out? So far I
haven't had any luck finding any, except for the mention that it's possible.
Is the ICA client run from the Linux server? Also, can I set up the
accounts so that the user can log into the Windows domain from the client
login screen.

We're currently using NT4, but are migrating the servers to Windows 2003
this summer.  The Citrix servers are currently at Windows 2000.  The
standard workstations will continue to be NT4, at least until next year.  We
have one domain and the buildings are connected by gigabit Ethernet.  There
are about 2000 workstations around the district.  My idea is to enable the
oldest workstations get a KDE desktop (editable
menus) and applications from the K12LTSP servers and connect to Citrix when
Windows-based applications are required.  The user files need to be saved on
Windows file servers (not the Citrix servers).  There is an existing DNS and
DHCP structure in place.  Email connectivity to an Exchange server from the
Linux clients would be a plus (but that's for another day).

I know I'm asking a lot the first time out, so please bear with me. If this
works out I hope to be able to use it as model to convince my employer to
deploy it in other school districts.  Thanks in advance.

Jim Anderson

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you." -Gandalf the Grey

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