[K12OSN] Booting older thin clients

James P. Kinney III jkinney at localnetsolutions.com
Thu Mar 1 17:09:20 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-03-01 at 10:51 -0600, Kemp, Levi wrote:
> Ok I have to ask at the risk of sounding ignorent. I asumed that Linux
> was going to be running a great deal faster on some of my older
> systems than it is. Maybe its the hardware, or it could be the setup.
> I havn't set them up as diskless yet because we need to familiarize
> ourselves with everything first. Aside from that we have a lot of
> Compaq iPaqs 450Mhz with Ram ranging from 128 to 256. They are PXE
> capable but right now I'm running it off the local HD, varying amounts
> 20GB 40GB and 80GB, all Western Digital 7200RPM drives. They don't
> appear to be doing much better then XP is and if I can't show that it
> will be worth it I won't be able to get the Admin to move on the
> project. Any suggestions? Should I just set up a diskless and see for
> myself?
> Levi

There are many factors that determine the felt speed of the system. The
greatest factor is RAM. If the system has minimal RAM (128MB is
considered minimal) then heavy environments like gnome and KDE will feel

Now add that these are older IDE drives that have slow IO and very slow
CPU speeds.

So as far as running these old boxes as desktops, they will be slow
since they are underpowered.

But using them as thin clients eliminates most of these issues. All of
the computational work gets done on the _server_ and the load on the
client is minimal. 128MB RAM is just fine as well as the 450MHz CPU. 

The key there is the server has some CPU horsepower and RAM. All the
client has to do is spit bits on the screen.

James P. Kinney III          
CEO & Director of Engineering 
Local Net Solutions,LLC        

GPG ID: 829C6CA7 James P. Kinney III (M.S. Physics)
<jkinney at localnetsolutions.com>
Fingerprint = 3C9E 6366 54FC A3FE BA4D 0659 6190 ADC3 829C 6CA7
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