openthinclient Server Guide

So, I have been messing around with openthinclient, and I have decided to move it from my current windows box (which is only on when I use it) to my old server (Which used to run freenas)

openthinclient allows you to network boot computers into a nice clean ubuntu install over PXE with out the need for hard drives in the clients. I can see this very useful in schools and work places because almost any computer will do!  Here is my setup:


900Mhz Celeron, 40GB hard drive, 512 Ram, 10/100 Network


Two older laptops, a VM, and a desktop

Now, I don’t have the most powerful setup here, but this is on a very small scale. If you were doing anywhere near 5-10 computers, gigabit more ram and a much faster processor is a MUST!! (With all the hard drives you will be saving, you should still break even :) )

Server Setup:

First thing I did was do a fresh install of Debian on the server with no frills, As soon as setup asked me what I wanted to install, I unchecked them all. You can install a desktop environment, but with a 900mhz processor, I don’t think the computer can handle it. Once installed, log in as root and add non-free to /etc/apt/sources.list. Using nano just cut the top line, then uncut it twice, and change the end to non-free. Next run:

apt-get update


apt-get install ssh rsync sun-java6-jdk

Now, depending on your install, you may already have ssh, rsync, and java, but I am going by a base install.

Setting up the openthinclient server:

This is the tricky part, if you did what I did and did a base install, then you will have to install it on another computer. Their current installer requires X11 to install. I did this on a VM on my windows box. The setup is straight forward, just don’t install it as a linux service, since you probably don’t want it running off your VM :) . Download the installer from here

And run

java -jar openthinclient-0.*.*.jar

to install it.

Now, how do you install it to the server? Using Rsync of course! Just use the command below to copy all the files over:

rsync -rogx /opt/openthinclient/* root@(your openthinclientserver):/opt/openthinclient/

That may take a while to complete…

Now that you have it “installed” the next step is to add it as a service:

ln -s /opt/openthinclient/bin/ /etc/init.d/openthinclient

You may have to chmod it to 777 to make it work! Now, before you try and run it, do a restart. I know I had to, it just would not run.

I think that I am going to do a video for this part because this is the web 2.0 after all!

Make sure to check out their site for the low down!

What am I thinking about now?

My new 360 Rocks and I can play blur for another4 days! :)

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