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Thin Client OS - A live CD with TS Gateway?

Posted on 2011-10-31
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Experts:

I'm onto the next step of my plan to setup a virtual terminal services environment at work: the thin client.  I'll have about 100 users connecting to a Windows 2008 R2 terminal server over RDP, and I need a thin client for them to do it from.  I'd also like to temporarily use our existing hardware (rather than going out and purchasing a bunch of new Wyse termninals or similiar), so what I really need is just a good thin client operating system.  I'd love for that OS to be in the form of a bootable live CD/USB, so I could remove the HDs from the various desktops/laptops around the company.

Here is what I'm looking for in a thin client OS:
- Bootable from CD/USB if possible
- Ability to add wireless/graphic drivers if needed
- Ability to connect to wireless networks
- Ability to use dual monitors
- Ability to connect via RDP 6.1 or higher
- *Ability to use Remote Desktop Gateway* OR Cisco VPN Support

I've experimented with several and found that many come close but none totally fit the bill.  I've tried:
- ThinStation (no wireless support)
- Android x86 (no ability to add drivers)
- BartPE (RDP version 5)
- Win7PE (Cannot use RDP Gateway)
- Ubuntu 11.04 (When using LiveCD, can't do much of anything.  When installed, can nearly make everything work, but have to purchase iTap RDP at 30 bucks a license and I don't want to have to install everything every time)

Any ideas?  And no, 'just use Windows 7' isn't an acceptable option - I'm trying to build a proposal that has some semblence of cost savings.

Thanks!
Matt
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Question by:mhentrich
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12 Comments
 
LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37056912
Have you tried the following:-

2X Cloud Client OS (free)
http://www.2x.com/os/

2X Thin Client Server (free)
http://www.2x.com/thinclientserver/
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Author Comment

by:mhentrich
ID: 37056996
Hanccocka, to the rescue, again!  I have never seen this one, it looks very promising...I'm going to try it out now and I'll let you know how it goes.
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LVL 124
ID: 37057017
2X Thin Client Management server is FREE (register and get three clients for free).

But you do not need to have the management server, just download and use the client software.
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Author Comment

by:mhentrich
ID: 37057395
Well, so far no joy...when I try to boot off the 2X Live CD it gets to 'Configuring Network' and stops, so I installed and it doesn't seem to want to boot either...just stuck at a black screen with a cursor in the corner :(
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Author Comment

by:mhentrich
ID: 37057633
Hanccocka:  I got the LiveCD to work on a different laptop, and while it's intruiging, I have some follow up Q's:

1. It doesn't appear I can make my RDP session actually full screen (just maximized).  Am I doing something wrong?

2. It recognized my wireless card off the bat (great!) but is having trouble actually connecting to any WAPs.  It doesn't even seem to have anywhere that indicates wether or not I'm connected to a network (I just have to try a webpage and find out).

3. The RDP client has zero settings, and I need my thin client to be able to access an RDS Gateway.  Did I miss something?

Thanks!
Matt
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LVL 124
ID: 37057990
1. I believe maximized is it.
2. No experience with using it with wireless devices.
3. Maybe not appropriate.
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Author Comment

by:mhentrich
ID: 37058218
OK - anyone else?  Still looking for a thin client that supports connecting to a Remote Desktop Gateway.

Thanks,
Matt
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Expert Comment

by:robbenedit
ID: 37073363
I have a Wyse C10LE's  and with there latest secret firmware with Microsoft Broker support but can't get to work and WYSE tech support is the worst - I might as well ask my mom how to make it work right with TS Gateway or RD Web apps

I to am looking for a TS Gateway thin client - 3 years it's been out and nothing??
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Author Comment

by:mhentrich
ID: 37073380
Yeah, I'll let you know that currently I've had some success but install Ubuntu 11.4 on a computer and adding the Remmina RDP package.  Remmina does several things well, including sharing between the client and the TS and audio redirection, and it's free (as is Ubuntu).  Also, Ubuntu has worked fairly well with all of the computer's I've tried in on in regards to wireless drivers.

Alas, it still doesn't support dual monitors in the way I'd like it to.  Ubuntu gives me dual monitors, so I can have, say, Firefox up on one window and my RDP session up on another.  But, I can't make a dual monitor RDP session (despite my best efforts).

Regards,
Matt
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Expert Comment

by:robbenedit
ID: 37073408
Thanks - i will mess around with it - the dual screen support is important we went from a Windows 2008 to 2008R2 with TSG and works great but now the home thin clients have to stick to the old server until something comes out or I replace these units with something else.  I really didn't want to keep the old server around but what can you do -

The Wyse support is basically get a hand gun ready to point at yourself because it's that bad...

Just surprised there isn't a thin client out there that supports it - (with even dual screen support)
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Author Closing Comment

by:mhentrich
ID: 37155307
2xOS didn't work for me but it was promising.  Ubuntu 11.10 + Remmina Desktop seemed to be the best fit.

Matt
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Expert Comment

by:whipmix
ID: 38963551
Did you ever find anything?
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