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Linux thin client etc.

Posted on 2000-02-16
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Does anyone have information on thin client systems with Linux as the application server. I've checked out thinworks, and igelusa, but I just can't figure out if they could do what I'd like them to do which is : Can I run a thin client system, with Linux as the server, but still give users access to MSOffice apps? I would like it to be totally thin, so I really wouldn't want Office installed locally. My dilemma is that NT Terminal Server + Citrix are way too expensive, and well Microsoft sucks at whatever they make, but people are hard pressed to give up their MS Office Apps. I know about Staroffice and Applix, but the resistance is way too strong :) Any compromises or solutions?
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Question by:tibori
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by:adam923
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windows 2000 server will do this for you... i doubt it's possible to run the ms office apps on linux
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by:tibori
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adam293: Are you saying that Windows2000 server supports a thin client system? Wouldn't I need the Terminal Server edition, which gets me back to the same point? If not that would be ok I guess. I have done some research since I asked the question, and it is possible to run MS apps on Linux through several methods. One is to run several VMware(www.vmware.com) machines with Windows and office on them or the other is wine. I've still to test both methods.
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by:adam923
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no, win2k server has terminal services built in... all you need to do is purchase client licenses
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by:adam923
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i looked at vmware.com and it seems like this would force you to run the apps locally and not on the server (even if their files were on the server -- that's a different issue)
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by:tibori
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Well there's also a software called ltsp(Linux Terminal Server Project) (www.ltsp.org) This is still fairly new, and I have yet to try it, but they say it works for an exclusively Linux based thin client system. Now to be able to run MS Apps, I've been told that either multiple instances of vmware on the server or running the windows emulator(www.winehq.com) would work. Thanks for your information. Do you know if Citrix has made a version that runs on top of Win2k, or would I even need Citrix?
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adam923 earned 0 total points
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i think they have one but you don't need to use it with win2k, it might offer some extra features
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by:castleinfo
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You can set up VNC on the linux server for multiple x desktop users, this works best through a unix or win32 client app, but also works in a java capable browser. If you could then get msoffice to work on the linux server then everyone would have thin client access to it...

You would probably need a fair bit of RAM and be realistic it is NOT as good a solution as office on NT.... (Sad but true.)

One thing I always do is give all the NT/office users slow PCs and all the Linux users fast PCs and flat screens... This tends make people think twice before demanding Windows for dimbos.

VNC is here : http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/


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by:adam923
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VNC lets one (or maybe more?) users share one desktop, like pc anywhere
this is NOT thin client where everyone gets their own desktop
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by:tibori
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Thanks for all your help. It looks Win2000 is the "best" choice for the time being. Maybe I can convince people to start using StarOffice, but I doubt it. Anyways, I've used VNC before on both Linux and Windows and it does let different users get unique desktops, so it seems like a thin client, but it lacks features like file locking for sharing of files. I don't think it was designed to be a thin client server, but it's not far from it. Again thanks all.
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by:tibori
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P.S. It only allows for unique desktops in the Linux version. The Windows one, you could have multiple people logging onto the same server in a shared session, but they'd be fighting for the mouse and other resources.
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