[sf-lug] Diskless Workstation/Fat Client
einfeldt at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 15:57:21 PDT 2007
On 10/2/07, Tom Haddon <tom at greenleaftech.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 2007-10-02 at 15:31 -0700, Christian Einfeldt wrote:
> > hi
> > We have a mix. All of our clients have hard drives, but some of them
> > have Windows 98 installed on the HDs, simply because we have not been
> > able to get any Linux live CDs to boot on those systems for the
> > purpose on installing to get a swap partition. But I would definitely
> > recommend that you have HDs and that you install Linux natively on
> > each HD so that you can get a swap partition in the event you exceed
> > the memory capacity on individual systems' RAM.
> Hi Christian,
> By "Fat Client/Diskless Workstation" I don't mean a fully operational OS
> installed on the local disk. I mean the OS is installed on the server,
> you boot from the network and then mount the root filesystem from the
> server - effectively your hard disk is on the server but all other
> resources (RAM, CPU, display, etc.) are being run from the local
Right. That is actually the same thing here. All of our machines PXE boot
from the server. But the server knows that it can use the swap from the
local HDs if necessary. And, of course, each client runs enough of a basic
kernel to use the local resources, but otherwise all of the work of
individual apps, such as OOo and Firefox are run centrally on the server,
with only X and a few other basic things running locally on the clients. At
least that is how I understand it.
I think from what you've said here, you're using Edubuntu in a Thin
> Client setting (and then some machines non-Edubuntu for the reasons
> outlined above).
No, about 17 or our 23 main clients are running Ubuntu locally on the
individual client HDs. The server (running Edubuntu) can use the Ubuntu
swap partition on those client boxes. The remaining 6 or so boxes are
effectively just dumb PXE terminals, because those HDs have Windows OSes,
and hence no Linux swap.
My only point here is that, if possible, it is a good idea to get small HDs
and install Linux on them so that the server can use local swap on the
clients if need be.
We're not trying to go that route because our server
> doesn't have sufficient resources and our clients have much better
> resources (relatively speaking).
Right, so you would probably want to be able to install Linux on those
clients, and then the server will use the local swap, in the event that the
RAM is exceeded.
I know that Steve Hargadon of TechnologyRescue.com swears by diskless
clients, but we have experienced some lag in OOo's performance with that set
up. Some of that lag was solved by simply rebooting the server (which had
run continuously for some 500 + days at the time the lag appeared !!), but
not all of it.
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