SEB and thin clients

2013-10-07
2013-10-14
  • Jarle Presttun
    Jarle Presttun
    2013-10-07

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if using SEB with thin clients is possible and recommended. Although I can't find much documentation on it, I found this thread that describes what I would like to do:
    http://sourceforge.net/p/seb/discussion/844844/thread/4986a945

    The thin clients are HP t5540 running MS Windows Embedded CE and the server is running MS Windows Server 2008 R2.

    If this is possible, do you have other setups you know is working fine?

    Best regards,
    Jarle
    Inspera, Norway

     
    • David de Leeuw
      David de Leeuw
      2013-10-07

      Hi Jarle

      I thought your letter looked familiar ….
      I wrote this request almost 2 years ago, and still SEB does not run on terminal servers.
      If you find a solution let me know !

      David de Leeuw
      Ben Gurion University
      Beer Sheva, Israel

      From: jarlepre [mailto:jarlepre@users.sf.net]
      Sent: Monday, October 07, 2013 11:29 AM
      To: [seb:discussion]
      Subject: [seb:discussion] SEB and thin clients

      Hi,

      I'm wondering if using SEB with thin clients is possible and recommended. Although I can't find much documentation on it, I found this thread that describes what I would like to do:
      http://sourceforge.net/p/seb/discussion/844844/thread/4986a945

      The thin clients are HP t5540 running MS Windows Embedded CE and the server is running MS Windows Server 2008 R2.

      If this is possible, do you have other setups you know is working fine?

      Best regards,
      Jarle
      Inspera, Norway


      SEB and thin clientshttps://sourceforge.net/p/seb/discussion/844843/thread/04117cb8/?limit=25#508e


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  • David de Leeuw
    David de Leeuw
    2013-10-07

    Hi Jarle

    I thought your letter looked familiar ….

    I wrote this request almost 2 years ago, and still SEB does not run on terminal servers.
    If you find a solution let me know !

    David de Leeuw
    Ben Gurion University
    Beer Sheva, Israel

     
  • Hi David
    Did you try out what Dirk recommended you in the other thread?
    https://sourceforge.net/p/seb/discussion/844844/thread/4986a945#8a5b

    Especially to turn off the log file with LOG_FILE=0?

    The current versions like SEB 1.9.1 are using another path for the XULRunner profile folder, as we had a problem with the profile folders being shared in our computer class rooms, maybe a similar problem occurs with terminal servers. So this problem might no longer occur with the current version.

    If you don't help us to find the exact problems we cannot solve them! SEB is a open source project and we are paid to make it run in our exam scenarios. If you have other scenarios, you are free to help to find solutions which we will build into the code if possible. First step would be to answer us when we try to analyze the problem...

    But what I can say in general: We cannot support older system versions with testing and compatible code. In SEB 2.0 we will only support Windows 7 and up (although it may still be running on XP and Vista). Windows Embedded CE sound very old for me.

     
    Last edit: Daniel Schneider 2013-10-07
  • Jarle Presttun
    Jarle Presttun
    2013-10-08

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your reply!

    Since this isn't supported officially by SEB we are a bit concerned about running live exams like this, but as Windows 2008 RC2 is the server release of Windows 7 we'll probably give SEB a shot on both WMvare and Thin Clients.
    Looks like this setup is used quite widely on Norwegian universities.
    I'll post the results here in this thread.

    Best regards,

    Jarle

     
  • Hi Jarle

    Ok, looks like I'm really not well informed about Microsoft's release cycles, now I realize that Windows 2008 server isn't that old. And Windows Embedded CE on the clients probably isn't a problem, as they only display the screen contents they get from the server, similar like a VMware View Client?

    Then it probably shouldn't be a big problem to run SEB 1.9.1 and higher on that setup. Try out the things Dirk suggested on the other thread and let me know about the results.

    As long as we don't have to do large changes in code and can work closely together with someone who can properly test this setup, we can support it. The problem is, that neither ETH nor (as far as we know) another university in Switzerland is using such a setup, so we didn't have a partner to test it. Officially support we want only things which we can test properly...

     
  • Jarle Presttun
    Jarle Presttun
    2013-10-09

    Hi Daniel,

    We have just bought two HP t510 Thin Client and will set up a Windows 2008 Server R2 for testing purposes in our office. We will set up SEB there next week or the week after.
    See there is a Windows 2012 Server (based on windows 8) available now too, so we might test that also in the near future. See SEB 1.9.1 is supported on Windows 8, so that might have a chance of working too.

    We'll test out the things Dirk suggested and give you info on the progress!

    Jarle

     
  • Jarle Presttun
    Jarle Presttun
    2013-10-14

    Hi Daniel

    We got our testlab up and running on our office on Friday and reproduced the problem that David described with the second client freezing in locked down mode. We also got exactly the same reports from a major university in Norway.

    LOG_FILE=0 did not help, but we found that when killing the SebWindowsService.exe on the server the second client started fine.
    This lead to the first client having logout and task manager disabled, as it was started when the service was on, while the second client had this enabled on CTRL+ALT+DEL since the service was not running (even though task manager didn't work).
    Not an ideal solution.

    Since the clients started up fine without the service, we looked for solutions in this area. It looked like the other clients were hanging on startup because they couldn't connect/verify the service.

    Then we found the ForceWindowsService setting.
    When setting ForceWindowsService=0 everything worked as we wanted. The other clients also were totally locked down and started without any problems.
    As the service is running on the server, and the Seb client is running on the clients, it seems to be sufficient that the service runs (to stop logout, task manager etc), while the client takes care of alt+tab, windows key etc.

    So, what we did to make this work on Windows Server 2008 R2 with thin clients were these changes in the SebStarter.ini file:
    AllowVirtualMachine=1
    ForceWindowsService=0

    We got a confirmation from the university we're working with that this solved their problems too.

    Jarle

     
    • David de Leeuw
      David de Leeuw
      2013-10-14

      Jarle
      This is great. We will set up this as well.
      Thanks
      David

      From: jarlepre [mailto:jarlepre@users.sf.net]
      Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 2:57 PM
      To: [seb:discussion]
      Subject: [seb:discussion] SEB and thin clients

      Hi Daniel

      We got our testlab up and running on our office on Friday and reproduced the problem that David described with the second client freezing in locked down mode. We also got exactly the same reports from a major university in Norway.

      LOG_FILE=0 did not help, but we found that when killing the SebWindowsService.exe on the server the second client started fine.
      This lead to the first client having logout and task manager disabled, as it was started when the service was on, while the second client had this enabled on CTRL+ALT+DEL since the service was not running (even though task manager didn't work).
      Not an ideal solution.

      Since the clients started up fine without the service, we looked for solutions in this area. It looked like the other clients were hanging on startup because they couldn't connect/verify the service.

      Then we found the ForceWindowsService setting.
      When setting ForceWindowsService=0 everything worked as we wanted. The other clients also were totally locked down and started without any problems.
      As the service is running on the server, and the Seb client is running on the clients, it seems to be sufficient that the service runs (to stop logout, task manager etc), while the client takes care of alt+tab, windows key etc.

      So, what we did to make this work on Windows Server 2008 R2 with thin clients were these changes in the SebStarter.ini file:
      AllowVirtualMachine=1
      ForceWindowsService=0

      We got a confirmation from the university we're working with that this solved their problems too.

      Jarle


      SEB and thin clientshttps://sourceforge.net/p/seb/discussion/844843/thread/04117cb8/?limit=25#53e6


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