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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin clients for a complete beginner in Technical; Hi I need some serious help as I have no idea and need to learn!!! I have windows 7 home ...
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    Thin clients for a complete beginner

    Hi

    I need some serious help as I have no idea and need to learn!!!

    I have windows 7 home premium on an unused desktop (4gb RAM, 300gb HDD)

    I want to run 5 thin clients off the machine if possible. (Using the most economical software available)

    First I need to get them to network boot, (I have a LAN switch)

    Once I have done that I need them to be able to run a contact manager, spreadsheet and word and possibly internet and nothing else.

    I know I am asking a lot so any help appreciated, or advice on where I could find someone patient enough to talk me through it (I dont mind paying the consult) but as an English speaker in a non english speaking country I need someone who can help with this in English.

    Cheers

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I do not think that you can legally use Windows 7 home premium as a host pc – and I think it will only support one concurrent connection anyway. I think you would have to use Server 2008 R2 and set it up as a terminal server. I believe that 2X (see 2x.com) produce a pxe boot package that you can use, to pxe boot to the terminal server called ThinClientServer.

    We used to use the 2X solution as a way of getting a few more years out of old laptops.

    Hope this helps

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    danbuntu's Avatar
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    you could run edubuntu in virtualbox on the host machine. This comes with the linux terminal server project built in.

    You'd then pxe boot the clients and would get a full linux desktop on each with internet, open office and other goodies

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadridBill View Post
    I want to run 5 thin clients off the machine if possible. (Using the most economical software available)
    Windows Server costs around 100 at educational prices, with Client Access Licenses for Remote Desktop Services clients around 30-ish each (might well be cheaper, depends on exactly what sort of school you are and whether you pay VAT). You can boot some sort of small Linux distribution via PXE (i.e. over the network) to run your thin clients (I've found System Rescue CD best in the past), or you can simply have that small Linux distribution installed locally on the clients (or use dedicated thin clients with everything already installed for you).

    For 5 workstations, a good option might be Windows Multipoint Server - one machine with multiple monitors and keyboards plugged in. If you don't have machines handy to act as thin clients then this could well be your best option.

    Ubuntu, as pointed out above, can be set up as a thin client system when it installs. I understand you can run MS Office 2003 or 2007 via Wine on Ubuntu, although you'll obviously still have to pay for client licenses for each workstation. You can also get Unbuntu integrated with an Active Directory server for logins and file sharing, but you'll again have to pay for a server CAL for each client. I don't know how your contact manager software works, that might take some tinkering to get running.

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    Thanks for the advice guys

    I have thin clients as below.
    EPATec GmbH Deutschland, Thin Client Technology
    etc-2500-m.

    I need to boot some sort of small Linux distribution via PXE as they are quite basic.

    danbuntu- Im going to try your suggestion, is a windows 7 machine suitable for the 5 connections using the linux TS?

    dhicks - My contact manager wont work, Ill need to find a new one! but the most important first step is understanding how to get one of these to boot, then all 5 to boot! Then Ill sort Open office and the rest...

    Thanks again and any more advice would be welcome!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadridBill View Post
    I need to boot some sort of small Linux distribution via PXE as they are quite basic.
    That's the nice thing about Ubuntu / LTSP - it's a handy all-in-one solution, it sets up the PXE server and client boot image when you install. Do you really need to run Ubuntu in a VM on your Windows 7 machine, can't you just install Ubuntu and install Windows back again later if you want?

  7. Thanks to dhicks from:

    MadridBill (17th May 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    That's the nice thing about Ubuntu / LTSP - it's a handy all-in-one solution, it sets up the PXE server and client boot image when you install. Do you really need to run Ubuntu in a VM on your Windows 7 machine, can't you just install Ubuntu and install Windows back again later if you want?
    Hi David, Ill give that a go and no doubt be back!

    Many thanks

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