[K12OSN] Thin client compatibility

Terrell Prude', Jr. microman at cmosnetworks.com
Thu Apr 29 00:27:18 UTC 2004

If you want to be sure of having a good, functional thin client box, get 
your hands on some old Pentiums from some used computer store (in the 
Washington, DC area, two stores, Computer Renaissance and PC Retro, 
serve that market).  More often than not these have LTSP-friendly NICs 
in them (3Com 3C905's, Intel EtherExpress Pro's, etc.).  We have a ton 
of Pentium 166's with 32MB DRAM, 3C905 NICs, S3 Trio64 video boards, and 
SoundBlaster 16's in them.  They make very good thin clients, and 
without any additional expense.

The folks in Largo, FL have bought used thin client boxes for as low as 
$5 apiece, but they did their homework long and hard before they 
actually made any such purchases.  So, it might not be too good to be 
true, but buyer beware.

That said, if you want to take this route, what you want to look for is 
the type of graphics chip, the type of built-in NIC, and the type of 
sound chip.  Also find out how much DRAM is in there (you want a bare 
minimum of 32MB).  They need to support either EtherBoot or PXE, and of 
course they need to support DHCP (if they say "BOOTP", but not "DHCP", 
I'd pass).  I would recommend against buying anything for which all of 
this information is not available, as these are the necessary issues to 
have solved before any LTSP client will actually boot and produce a 
display for you.

Note that, for LTSP, you do not need RDP, ICA, or any of those other 
proprietary protocols; if you need RDP-type functionality, K12LTSP 
already includes rdesktop.

David Beach wrote:

>I see lots of cheap used thin client boxes (ranging from $15 WYSE jobs to
>$250 Compaq EVO T30s) on eBay. They are nice and small, no fan, etc. I know
>virtually nothing about LTSP protocols. These talk about running Windows CE,
>compatible with RDP and ICA 3 protocols and 'support SNMP, DHCP', etc.
>Will these work with LTSP? Or, can they be made to work with LTSP? What are
>the 'key words' for LTSP compatibility? If they can work with LTSP, some of
>these appear to represent a real bargain but, as my mother said, if it
>sounds too good to be true...
>David Beach
>K12OSN mailing list
>K12OSN at redhat.com
>For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>

More information about the K12OSN mailing list