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Linux Thin Client Networks

Book Description

A quick guide for System Administrators

  • Learn to implement the right Linux thin client network for your requirements

  • Evaluate and choose the right hardware and software for your deployment

  • Techniques to intelligently design and set up your thin client network

  • Practical advice on educating users, convincing management, and intelligent use of legacy systems

In Detail

A thin client network is a client-server architecture where client computers depend primarily on a central server for processing activities. The client machines (thin clients) mainly focus on passing user input to remote services and receiving and displaying the output; thin clients aren't as much about the hardware or software as about the design.

This book has all the information you need to easily set up your own Linux thin client network. It will help you evaluate how a thin client network fits into your organization and make informed choices on the hardware and software needed for your deployment, discusses design issues, and guides you with building, configuring, and supporting the network.

The author has given thought to the book to create something that is well rounded, and meets the needs of small and large organizations.

Written by experienced Linux thin client network designer and implementer, this book walks you through the concepts of thin client networks, and design issues associated with implementations of various sizes, setting up the framework, outlining strategies, principles, and best practice for creating the design, before leading you through the implementation step by step.

Table of Contents

  1. Linux Thin Client Networks
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. Preface
      1. What This Book Covers
      2. Conventions
      3. Reader Feedback
      4. Customer Support
        1. Errata
        2. Questions
    7. 1. Overview of Thin Clients
      1. Theory of Design
        1. Where It Runs
        2. Don't Lose Your Memory
        3. Better Multi-Tasking than a Personal Computer
      2. Common Misconceptions
      3. Features Gained in the Thin Design
      4. Summary
    8. 2. The Types of Thin Clients
      1. Proprietary Operating Systems
      2. Windows Embedded Devices
      3. Linux Devices
      4. Wireless Devices
      5. Handheld Devices
      6. Summary
    9. 3. An Analysis of Costs
      1. Anticipated Costs
      2. Reuse of Current Personal Computers
      3. Possible Reductions in Server Counts
      4. Thin Client versus Client/Server Anticipated Costs
      5. Project Staffing Size and Changes
      6. Other Cost Savings to Consider
      7. Summary
    10. 4. The People Issues
      1. Executive and Management Issues
        1. Initial Project Meeting
        2. Implementation Schedule
        3. Deployment
      2. User Community Issues
        1. Initial Feedback
        2. Communication
        3. Desktop Training
        4. Application Training
        5. Desktop Bling
        6. Issue Tracking Software
        7. Open Source CDs
      3. Summary
    11. 5. Considering the Network
      1. Primary Network
        1. Personal Computers versus Thin Clients
        2. Network Design
      2. Remote Sites
      3. Thin Client Network Connections
      4. Testing the Network
      5. Summary
    12. 6. Implementing the Server
      1. Planning and Designing the Server
        1. Up to Fifty Concurrent Users
        2. Fifty to One Hundred Concurrent Users
        3. Over One Hundred Concurrent Users
        4. Customizing for Your Own Deployment
      2. Building the Server
        1. Tips on Installing the Operating System
      3. Enabling XDMCP
        1. Creating a Custom Login Screen
        2. Creating a Custom Splash Page
        3. Enable Login Screen and XDMCP with gdmsetup
        4. Authentication Methods
      4. Providing the Desktop
        1. Using the Main Menu
        2. Creating Custom Program Icons
        3. Writing Custom Graphical Dialogs
        4. Adding Custom Scripts before GNOME Starts
        5. Enabling 3D Desktop Support
      5. NFS Mounts and Shared Directories
      6. Integrating Bandwidth Management for Remote Users
      7. Summary
    13. 7. Implementing the User Software
      1. Running Software from a Remote Server
      2. Planning which User Software to Deploy
      3. Browser
        1. Firefox
      4. Electronic Mail
        1. Evolution
        2. Mail Notification
      5. Office Suite
        1. OpenOffice.org
        2. Tomboy
        3. Planner
      6. Instant Messaging
        1. Pidgin
      7. File Processing
        1. Beagle
      8. Picture Processing
        1. GIMP
        2. F-Spot
      9. Audio and Video Processing
        1. Xine
        2. Real Player
      10. Databases
        1. MySQL
        2. PostgreSQL
      11. Software Development
        1. Mono
      12. Connection to Legacy UNIX Servers
        1. gnome-terminal
        2. xterm
      13. Connection to Legacy IBM Mainframes
      14. Connection to Microsoft Windows Applications
      15. Summary
    14. 8. Implementing the Thin Clients
      1. Choosing the Right Thin Client
        1. Money
        2. Projected Duty Cycle
        3. Requirements
        4. In-House Expertise
        5. Vendor Stability
      2. Turn-Key versus Customized Solutions
        1. Turn-Key Solution
        2. Customized Solution
      3. Starting the Appropriate Connection Method
        1. XDMCP
        2. Citrix Metaframe Client
      4. Creating a Chooser for Multiple Connection Methods
      5. Personal Computer Hardware Devices
        1. Printers
        2. Scanners
        3. Custom Mice or Keyboards
        4. Other Desktop Hardware
      6. Enabling Remote Sound
        1. NAS—Network Audio System
        2. ESD—Esound
        3. Pulse Audio
      7. Allowing the Server to Gain Access to USB Devices
      8. Summary
    15. 9. Support
      1. Supporting the Users
        1. Training
        2. Using VNC to Remotely Control Sessions
        3. Screendumps for Analysis
        4. Custom Help System
      2. Support within Your IT Staff
        1. Creating the Support Group
        2. Training
        3. Logging All Calls
      3. Vendor and Open-Source Support
        1. Selecting Vendor Support Level
        2. Interacting with the Vendor
        3. Getting Involved with the Open Source Community
      4. Summary
    16. A. Resources
    17. B. Installing OpenSUSE 10.2
    18. Index