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maybe a linux thin-os, to boot iMacs into RDP/Rdesktop app?

Posted on 2004-08-17
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Hi,

We've set up Win2003 terminal server in application/user mode and are trying to recycle some of our old hardware before buying dedicated thin clients.

We have a dozen iMacs that don't have the juice for OSX full, but would serve as fine thin clients if we could get the software sorted out (ie: 64 meg ram, 400mhz proc, etc)

I'd like to make a bootable CD as a test, but eventually, we could format the mac disks with this data.

I'm looking for as slim an install package as possible that would allow for R-Desktop (et al) to be run to make these pretty iMacs into terminals.

So this would be a cross between knoppix and yellow dog.  

questions:

1) have you ever made a boot disk for powerPC machines?
2) which linux thin client software have you had success with connecting to TS 2003?

thanks.
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Question by:hakalugi
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8 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:brettmjohnson
ID: 11821770
I am running OS X 10.3.5 on a 400Mhz G3 iMac DV just fine.   It has the "juice",
if you give the machine enough RAM.
The only things I did:

1) upgrade firmware  (required to boot OS X)
2) add 512MB RAM  (give OS the speed you need)
3) strip unused language resources after installation (to free up diskspace)

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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:hakalugi
ID: 11822858
512mb of ram is $109 each at crucial.  osx = $70 each, plus my labor to install , might as well get a thin client for $250, pre built with rdp 5.1.

even using a osxlabs like cloning setup it's not what i'm looking to do.

saving the iMac shell with different software guts is my goal.

i've nothing against os x, i use it in my PB-AL-15, and in several newer i/eMacs at the school, but hopefully not here.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 11822887
I've never made a live OS bootable disk for a power PC, other than those that you burn from an ISO image...but it appears that Gentoo has:
 
http://gentoo.osuosl.org/releases/ppc/2004.1/livecd/

and the debian site has a knoppix variant:

http://debian.tu-bs.de/knoppix/powerPC/knx-pcc-2003-07-13_4.iso
(yes it is pcc not ppc!)

Some more interesting beta(ish) ppc versions here:

http://ftp.crihan.fr/mirrors/knoppix-mib.org/

As for Linux thin client software connecting to TS 2003, I've only had experience of:

Citrix ICA client on TS2003

But had no problems with rdesktop on Win 2000 TS

Personally I'm happier with Win 2000TS, because the licencing is simpler, and therefore there is less chance of a problem with the TS setup.


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How To Reduce Deployment Times With Pre-Baked AMIs

Even if we can't include all the files in the base image, we can sometimes include some of the larger files that we would otherwise have to download, and we can also sometimes remove the most time-consuming steps. This can help a lot with reducing deployment times.

 

Expert Comment

by:ROUTEPRO
ID: 13307019
What about redirected ports using Rdesktop with Linux.. anyone have any experience with that?
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Accepted Solution

by:
pjedmond earned 2000 total points
ID: 13307473
1) have you ever made a boot disk for powerPC machines?

Nope - but a few more useful sources:

http://www.sysresccd.org/ (PPC gentoo-based)
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/    ( Unknown base - but supports PPC)

2) which linux thin client software have you had success with connecting to TS 2003?

It is worth looking at the Nx client for OSX. it works even on minimal OSX systems:
http://www.nomachine.com/download.php

It provides a thin client to an NX server, which can provide the connectivity to a rdp server (Likewise, I've only done this to TS2K *NOT 2K3)

It appears that the official TS client from Microfoft for a mac requires OSX 10.1!

I thought that you might be able to use the web interface for TS2003, but it is apparently an ActiveX control and only runs under IE, on windows systems:(


....and .....probably what you're looking for? Knoppix for PPC:

http://debian.tu-bs.de/knoppix/powerPC/

Includes rdp....and connects nicely to a W2K TS......W2K3 compatability is unknown......and may depend on the licencing arrangement as well. Best bet is to try it and see:)

HTH:)



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Author Comment

by:hakalugi
ID: 13309403
didn't have much luck with Rdesktop on 2003, but that was a year ago.

But an older version of YellowDog with a custom install (just X and Rdesktop, eg) may be the way to go.

- will look at sol'ns hopefully soon- ah, PJ's new links may help
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