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*nix Thread, Lightweight Linux distro in Technical; I need a lightweighjt distro to stick on a load of crummy machines so that I can run them as ...
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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Lightweight Linux distro

    I need a lightweighjt distro to stick on a load of crummy machines so that I can run them as Citrix stations.

    All the machines have 3GB hard drives so booting from the network isn't really necessary but I will need to deploy approx. 100 clients in as short a time as possible.

    All the backend servers will be Server 2003 and I also don't want to spend anything on imaging software (being a tight git) - a couple of servers will be available to bung Linux on if need be.

    Ideas?

    (Already looking into Thinstation)

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    Re: Lightweight Linux distro

    The classic answer to that is Dam Small Linux.

    I suspect you'll settle on Thinstation though.

    I do recommend booting the Linux clients from a TFTP server. It makes doing updates to the image a whole lot easier. You can get freeware TFTP servers for Windows if you insist too.

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    Re: Lightweight Linux distro

    From all the ones I looked at PXEs and Thin Station seemed the best to me. PXEs was the easiest to setup.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight Linux distro

    Indeed Chris, PXEs is an option too (although last time I was playing, I had more look with thinstation).

    @Geoff: The only concerns I have about TFTP booting is that I can see everybody coming in on a monday morning, turning on at least 100 thin clients which all try to grab their image at the same time. I can see myself sitting there with the Avaya switches all lighting up simultaneously as I receive 60 phone calls asking why nothing is happening.

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    Re: Lightweight Linux distro

    The only concerns I have about TFTP booting is that I can see everybody coming in on a monday morning, turning on at least 100 thin clients which all try to grab their image at the same time. I can see myself sitting there with the Avaya switches all lighting up simultaneously as I receive 60 phone calls asking why nothing is happening.
    Well, I've only solved this issue under Linux so I'm not sure if the same functionality is avalible for windows. However there's a couple of ways to attack this problem.

    First off, on your TFTP server if its a decent one you should be able to limit the number of concurrent connections, the maximum bandwidth and the maximum bandwidth per connection. You can also do this with the Linux kernel with traffic shaping if your TFTP server application does not support such functionality.

    Intelligent TFTP clients will only download changed files if you tell them too. I presume PXES and Thin Station have such a client. This does have the drawback of requiring a hard drive in your thin clients though.

    Lastly, you can try and use Multicast to distribute your boot images instead.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight Linux distro

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    ...as I receive 60 phone calls asking why nothing is happening.
    'bin there!

    I never achieved this on my Citrix install - I wanted a consistant look and feel and as MS is giving away 98 licences to schools I went for that. I have a small VBS frontend with a logon and shudown button.

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