[sf-lug] thin clients can't see the server at the school lab

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Wed Apr 23 16:50:30 PDT 2008

Christian Einfeldt wrote:
> hi,
> A very strange thing has happened at the public middle school that 
> this LUG is supporting with FOSS.  The thin clients have suddenly and 
> inexplicably stopped seeing the server.  Here is the system:  server > 
> two switches > thin clients.  Each of these components if functioning 
> independently.  The server boots and can see the Internet.  The thin 
> clients will boot up with their resident OSes (which means they are 
> not really thin clients), and the thin clients are also exhibiting 
> normal link lights.  The switches are plugged in with their fans 
> spinning and green lights indicating traffic.  But the thin clients 
> can't seem to PXE boot from the server. 
> I have tried unplugging and re-plugging all of the ethernet cables.  
> No joy.  The students will be back in here tomorrow, so any tips are 
> appreciated.
> Thanks in advance.
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A few things to look at:

Bypass the switch and hook up one client with the server directly using 
a crossover cable. Then try to boot. This will tell you if the problem 
lies in the switch.
Is DHCP on the server running?
Look for dhcp log (/var/lib/dhcpd.leases I think) on the server and see 
if it is handing out leases.
Use something like iptraf on the server to see what happens when thin 
client pxeboots.
Check tftp
Make sure your server's ethernet assignments haven't changed. This 
happened to me when I moved from Edubuntu 7.04 to 7.10. With 7.04 it was 
eth0 and eth1 After the upgrade I had eth0 and eth2


Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

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