Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment

Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Learn to implement the right Linux thin client network for your requirements
  • Evaluate and choose the right hardware and software for your deployment
  • Techniques to intelligently design and set up your thin client network
  • Practical advice on educating users, convincing management, and intelligent use of legacy systems


Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 176 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : August 2007
ISBN : 1847192041
ISBN 13 : 9781847192042
Author(s) : David Richards
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other, Architecture & Analysis, Linux Servers, Networking & Telephony, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Overview of Thin Clients
Chapter 2: The Types of Thin Clients
Chapter 3: An Analysis of Costs
Chapter 4: The People Issues
Chapter 5: Considering the Network
Chapter 6: Implementing the Server
Chapter 7: Implementing the User Software
Chapter 8: Implementing the Thin Clients
Chapter 9: Support
Appendix A: Resources
Appendix B: Installing OpenSUSE 10.2
  • Chapter 1: Overview of Thin Clients
    • Theory of Design
      • Where It Runs
      • Don't Lose Your Memory
      • Better Multi-Tasking than a Personal Computer
    • Common Misconceptions
    • Features Gained in the Thin Design
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: An Analysis of Costs
    • Anticipated Costs
    • Reuse of Current Personal Computers
    • Possible Reductions in Server Counts
    • Thin Client versus Client/Server Anticipated Costs
    • Project Staffing Size and Changes
    • Other Cost Savings to Consider
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: The People Issues
    • Executive and Management Issues
      • Initial Project Meeting
      • Implementation Schedule
      • Deployment
    • User Community Issues
      • Initial Feedback
      • Communication
      • Desktop Training
      • Application Training
      • Desktop Bling
      • Issue Tracking Software
      • Open Source CDs
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Considering the Network
    • Primary Network
      • Personal Computers versus Thin Clients
      • Network Design
    • Remote Sites
    • Thin Client Network Connections
    • Testing the Network
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Implementing the Server
    • Planning and Designing the Server
      • Up to Fifty Concurrent Users
      • Fifty to One Hundred Concurrent Users
      • Over One Hundred Concurrent Users
      • Customizing for Your Own Deployment
    • Building the Server
      • Tips on Installing the Operating System
    • Enabling XDMCP
      • Creating a Custom Login Screen
      • Creating a Custom Splash Page
      • Enable Login Screen and XDMCP with gdmsetup
      • Authentication Methods
    • Providing the Desktop
      • Using the Main Menu
      • Creating Custom Program Icons
      • Writing Custom Graphical Dialogs
      • Adding Custom Scripts before GNOME Starts
      • Enabling 3D Desktop Support
    • NFS Mounts and Shared Directories
    • Integrating Bandwidth Management for Remote Users
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Implementing the User Software
    • Running Software from a Remote Server
    • Planning which User Software to Deploy
    • Browser
      • Firefox
    • Electronic Mail
      • Evolution
      • Mail Notification
    • Office Suite
      • Tomboy
      • Planner
    • Instant Messaging
      • Pidgin
    • File Processing
      • Beagle
    • Picture Processing
      • GIMP
      • F-Spot
    • Audio and Video Processing
      • Xine
      • Real Player
    • Databases
      • MySQL
      • PostgreSQL
    • Software Development
      • Mono
    • Connection to Legacy UNIX Servers
      • gnome-terminal
      • xterm
    • Connection to Legacy IBM Mainframes
    • Connection to Microsoft Windows Applications
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Implementing the Thin Clients
    • Choosing the Right Thin Client
      • Money
      • Projected Duty Cycle
      • Requirements
      • In-House Expertise
      • Vendor Stability
    • Turn-Key versus Customized Solutions
      • Turn-Key Solution
      • Customized Solution
    • Starting the Appropriate Connection Method
      • XDMCP
      • Citrix Metaframe Client
    • Creating a Chooser for Multiple Connection Methods
    • Personal Computer Hardware Devices
      • Printers
      • Scanners
      • Custom Mice or Keyboards
      • Other Desktop Hardware
    • Enabling Remote Sound
      • NAS—Network Audio System
      • ESD—Esound
      • Pulse Audio
    • Allowing the Server to Gain Access to USB Devices
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Support
    • Supporting the Users
      • Training
      • Using VNC to Remotely Control Sessions
      • Screendumps for Analysis
      • Custom Help System
    • Support within Your IT Staff
      • Creating the Support Group
      • Training
      • Logging All Calls
    • Vendor and Open-Source Support
      • Selecting Vendor Support Level
      • Interacting with the Vendor
      • Getting Involved with the Open Source Community
    • Summary

David Richards

David Richards is a System Administrator for the City of Largo, Florida. He has been exposed to computer technology since his first home computer in the early 1980s. After graduating from college in 1986, he was employed in the manufacturing, distributing and printing industries. 1992 was the first year that he entered the city's employment, working with UNIX, Linux and thin clients. He promotes thin clients and open-source technology, and enjoys the challenges of deployment. He is often found in the GNOME IRC channels debugging software and interacting with the developers.

Contact David Richards

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Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 1 submitted: last submission 06 Nov 2013

Errata type: Typo | Page number: 57 | Errata date: 07 Dec 07

you can get 2-4 more concurrent users versus the Microsoft Windows platform running centralized applications. Should read: you can get 2-4 times more concurrent users versus the Microsoft Windows platform running centralized applications.


Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

Chapter 1 gives you a overview of exactly what is a thin client, and the different types that are available.

Chapter 2 gives you a sample of multiple types of thin clients. This chapter will help you decide the hardware to deploy.

Chapter 3 identifies key areas to review when considering the financial impact of your thin client plan and also discusses hardware acquisition and staffing costs.

Chapter 4 addresses what might be the hardest part of your deployment: People. Some people are passionate about their software and others are challenged with any workflow changes. It's important to address them as much as possible before, during, and after deployment.

Chapter 5 reviews the network required to run thin clients. Because of the simplicity of the computing deployment, your network too is simplified.

Chapter 6 covers the steps necessary to design a server for the number of users in your deployment and the steps to allow thin clients to log into and run a desktop environment.

Chapter 7 explores software packages that run on Linux, along with their suitability to run over the network to thin clients.

Chapter 8 reviews the process of considering the operating system to deploy on the devices and also covers interaction with USB devices and speakers.

Chapter 9 covers three aspects of support: supporting your users, support within your IT staff, and support from software vendors.

In Detail

A thin client network is a client-server architecture where client computers depend primarily on a central server for processing activities. The client machines (thin clients) mainly focus on passing user input to remote services and receiving and displaying the output; thin clients aren't as much about the hardware or software as about the design.

This book has all the information you need to easily set up your own Linux thin client network. It will help you evaluate how a thin client network fits into your organization and make informed choices on the hardware and software needed for your deployment, discusses design issues, and guides you with building, configuring, and supporting the network.

The author has given thought to the book to create something that is well rounded, and meets the needs of small and large organizations.

Written by experienced Linux thin client network designer and implementer, this book walks you through the concepts of thin client networks, and design issues associated with implementations of various sizes, setting up the framework, outlining strategies, principles, and best practice for creating the design, before leading you through the implementation step by step.


The book consists of HOW-TOs for all elements of setting up a thin client network, as well as expert advice on decision making, based on the author’s experience creating a thin client network for the city of Largo, Florida.

Who this book is for

The book is for System Administrators interested in designing and setting up a Linux thin client network and provides enough knowledge to understand how the technology works, make decisions about deployment, and then implement a stable work environment.

Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment


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