Ultra Thin Client (UTC)
What is it ?
A small implementation of a desktop system not requiring any local
or remote filesystem installation. Boot it over network or from CD,
adapt the keyboard and start new or connect existing sessions on Unix
Frankly, 45 MB is not really ultra thin. However, the attemt was to
make a minimum system booting on as many hardware as possible. As it
bases on Fedora-17, it should run on all hardware, where Fedora-17
can be installed. And it's entirely 32 bit, so no 64 bit processor
What is needed on the server side ?
The system asks for the IP network configuration via DHCP. So a
DHCP service must be working in the network, where it is started.
If the system seems to stop to do anything after writing "Ready."
to the console, the network does not work. Among other things,
this may mean, that DHCP is not provided. If later connecting a
server is not working, the DNS configuration to resolve hostnames
might be broken. So the DNS related entries in DHCP should be
valid. Otherwise IP-addresses must be used as server addresses.
If network boot is chosen as boot method, a tftp service is
required as usual when doing network boots. Often both DHCP and
TFTP are already setup in many environments.
On Unix, the weblogin package is needed (can be obtained also from
sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/weblogin ). Please
check this page for currently supported operating systems.
For using a windows terminal server, nothing else is needed.
So quick, how can i run it ?
Easiest way is to burn a CD from the utc.iso image and boot from
it. Don't worry, a possibly pre-existing installation on your
storage hardware is not touched. The UTC does not even have the
drivers for using it.
For booting from network, create a directory /tftpboot/utc on a
working tftp server. Unpack the downloadable file utc.pxe.tar
within this directory. Additionally obtain pxelinux.0 from your
preferred distribution (often installed in /usr/lib/syslinux/ ,
see also here: http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/PXELINUX )
and also put it into the utc directory.
Configure your DHCP service for the UTC to boot utc/pxelinux.0
(boot file parameter). Host name and IP address do not matter.
Now boot from network. The local installation is not touched
(see in the previous section regarding CD boot).
How to use it ?
When successfully booted, you see 3 windows. The one in the upper
left corner is for general settings. First check, that your keyboard
is configured properly.
The window in the middle of the screen is for Unix login using
the weblogin (see above) service for managing your sessions. In
the entry for the service type the name of the server, where the
weblogin is running. If the short name does not work, try the
fully qualified name or the IP-address. Alternatively, in DNS the
alias "weblogin" can be set to point to the login server. There, a
TCP balancer may run to spread the sessions across several actual
loginservers (port 491, see the weblogin page).
For windows terminal server login, use the window on the right
bottom. First check the keyboard setting in this window. It must
be appropriately set (this will probably be made easier in a
later release). Now log on. Note, that a license from Microsoft
might be required to use this service.
Note the hints regarding how to leave and enter fullscreen mode
in the Help menus.
Don't worry if the UTC crashes or power is lost. As there is
nothing to be synced (neither a local or any remote filesystem)
and nothing is stored locally, no harm can happen and your sessions
on the login server(s) will persist.