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Need help setting up a Terminal Server/thin client environment

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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Since I am a total newbie at this, I would really appreciate som help - and getting me started in the right direction. I am setting up a test environment with Terminal Server. I need to simulate "thin clients", but at the moment I only have som old laptops, and xp-desktop machines. I know I can just log in to the server using the "remote desktop" function, but I need it to be more realistic than that. I want the clients only to be able to work together with the terminal server. And I simply dont know how to achieve this. First of all, which operating system do I need for the pseudo thin clients? I have ordered a copy of Windows CE 6.0 which hasent arrived yet. But that package was several gigabyte big...so I am guessing that it has to be configured in some way, before it can be installed as a operating system for thin clients? But are there other good alternatives you can recommend? I am aware of that there are many Linux versions, but since I want this to be as authentic as possible - I am leaning more towards windows based system as I believe that companies are more likely to use windows instead of linux.

My other question is how do I setup a thin client login interface? As I mentioned above, I want the connecting clients to have a login-window as soon as they have booted up. I.E. I dont want the clients to see the "remote desktop" tab at the top of the screen...? How is this done? At the moment I am only using the Terminal Server function. Not the Terminal Server gateway, or Terminal Server Web. I wont be needing Terminal Server web, but perhaps I need the Terminal Server gateway to achieve the above?
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Commented:
Certainly, you can program an old windows machine to boot, load and connect to a termnial server session just by powering it up. A lot of companies use old PCs as "thin" clients as all of the processing occours and remote desktop can be pretty robust for a client. I can't speak about reloading a machine with Windows CE but if the system already has an OEM copy of Windows installed on it - why pay to license and install WinCE?

You can click to hide the "remote desktop tab at the top". You can set all of your remote desktop options and drop that file into the startup folder of the machine to automate the options and boot of the session.

Another avenue is to purcahse "thin" pcs that have WinCE embedded on them. (wyse makes dumb terminals for this pourpose as an example). But I personally think that they are cost prohibitive given that a $100-$200 used PC will function just as well as a thin client.

I'm not an expert on this stuff - but this is what I've seen in the past.

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Commented:
Thanks for your reply! I wasnt aware of the many options/settings, accessed directly from the client. I will certainly try to make a good default .rdp file and put it in the users profile.

Yes, I guess Windows CE costs a bit - but since I am a student, I can get a free copy of it through "msdn Academic Alliance". So I figured I have nothing to loose by trying it out.

Even if I put the the default .rdp file in the startup folder the user will still be able to just ignore the login window, close it, and then use the computer without connecting to the Terminal Server. How can I make the "log in" window as the only availible possibility for using the computer?
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Commented:
Our HP thin clients are running a Linux OS.
There are commercial and open-source out there:

http://www.thinstation.org/

and

http://www.2x.com/thinclientserver/    (register for trial/free version)

both come to mind.

I tried 2x a long time ago.  Not sure how any of these (including our HP thin clients) will work with Server 2008.  We are currently on 2003.
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