Thin client package

I've seen a lot about audio streaming packages for the RPi, but has
anybody released a thin client package for it?
By that I mean something that can support HDMI screen, USB keyboard and
mouse, acting as a remote Xserver and with an Ethernet connection to a
Linux box.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
gregorie. | Essex, UK 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
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just type 'X -query $HOSTADDRESS' on the (text) console. (for the correct $HOASTADDRESS) if needed that can fairly easily be scripted.
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Reply to
Jasen Betts
Yes. I read about that a while ago.
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It can be client for lots of platfroms, not only X (which is easy, of course).
Reply to
Rob
I should have added that I want the RPi plus HDMI screen, etc to act as though its a directly attached screen/kbd/mouse and speakers. I don't want it to appear as an independent host on my network. Will the method you suggest accomplish that if the X command is scripted to be run as the final boot action?
My current RPi is set up for headless operation. I'd prefer to leave it that way and get another for this task - it would replace a laptop whose screen is well on its way out.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
gregorie. | Essex, UK 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
Interesting. Thanks.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
gregorie. | Essex, UK 
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Martin Gregorie
So you want to connect it via Ethernet, but you don't want it to be a host on a network?
Reply to
Rob Morley
Exactly so. It needs to show only enough intelligence to connect to any Linux box on my LAN. In short, an emulation of a traditional freestanding X-terminal.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
gregorie. | Essex, UK 
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Martin Gregorie
All the traditional freestanding X-terminals I am acquainted with were separate hosts on the network.
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Robert Riches 
spamtrap42@jacob21819.net 
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Reply to
Robert Riches
The X protocol runs on top of TCP. TCP needs a host IP address and port at each end of the connection.
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Tauno Voipio
Reply to
Tauno Voipio
Exactly so. I want to use an RPi as the hardware of an X-terminal.
This implies that, after booting it, the first thing I see is a three field prompt, or equivalent, asking for the target hostname, user name and password without first requiring me to login on the RPi. I'm feeling lazy, hence my asking if there are any packaged solutions around.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
An X-terminal still needs an IP address is the point people are taking issue with you. This makes it a host. An X-terminal which is not a host cannot log into a remote host on your network, so it would be in chocolate teapot territory.
You may already have the package installed and you just need to configure it. The functionality you describe is provided by the display manager. It uses XDMCP, but as this is not secure, it is normally off by default. Enable it and you will see the third box which allows you to enter the remote hostname on the login screen. You will still be able to log into the Pi as well, as it will still be a host on your network.
I prefer FreeNX, or as recently mentioned in UK.comp.os.linux which I see you also subscribe to, X2go. I prefer a remote X session as an app, as it is more convenient for things like copying and pasting to/from the local machine. For most things I don't need anything more than the X forwarding built into ssh.
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JimP
Reply to
Jim Price
Any particular reason you couldn't make a version of ThinStation to run on a Rpi?
bill
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Bill Gunshannon          |  de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n.  Three wolves 
billg999@cs.scranton.edu |  and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. 
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Reply to
Bill Gunshannon
I can't think of a reason why you couldn't. There are reasons why you wouldn't - mainly that it would be easier to start with a running Rasbian image and install and configure only the packages you need to make it do the subset you want of what Thinstation does. It really depends on what you mean by a version of Thinstation.
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JimP
Reply to
Jim Price
Obviously - most software needs configuration. I'd expect to configure the package with a fully qualified host name and a static address just like the other boxen on my LAN. I'd expect to do that just once at installation time, same as I'd expect to set an IP into a physical X- terminal just the once, possibly by setting switches: IIRC there was an 8086-based DEC X-terminal that looked like a VT-100 and was configured that way. I owned one for about as long as it took to realize it wasn't a VT-100, couldn't be used as one (no RS-232 port) and cart it back to Morgan Computer for a refund.
That's useful information. Thanks. From what you say, it sounds like a vanilla Raspbian install contains all the software I'd need and making it do what I need may be as simple as modifying /etc/rc.local to do something like
while true do prompt for hostname and username ssh $username@$hostname done
though in fact years ago I wrote a menu program that would easily do the prompting before running ssh or XDMCP to start the remote session.
I use X but only remotely via an SSH session with X11 forwarding enabled. I have never configured it for the style of operation we're talking about.
Noted for future reference, though they seem to be Vnc derivatives.
Same here, and when I've got around to finding an acceptable Linux replacement for my ancient copy of TrueCAD I'll no longer need to ruin any flavor of Winders.
But, back to remote X-access: up to now I've been using a laptop exactly as you describe, but its screen has died and so needs a replacement. The options I'm considering are (in no particular order):
- another laptop
- a mini-ITX box + flatscreen,kbd,mouse,DVD drive as a direct replacement for the laptop. A bit less convenient but the current laptop isn't carted about so this would do the job and the current laptop disk might just drop into it.
- an RPi + flatscreen,kbd and mouse. This would be run as a simple X-terminal box rather than pushing its price up with some huge capacity SD card to handle the stuff my laptop currently contains.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
gregorie. | Essex, UK 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
Thinstation boots over the network uning PXE or similar netwrok boot and runs from a ramdisk. You'd be better off without the ramdisk. Thinstation isn't configurable on the terminal, it's configured at the boot server.
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Reply to
Jasen Betts
Only that you'd have to cross-compile the whole thing, and work around or drop any x86 features it uses that ARM on R-Pi doesn't provide, like network booting.
Reply to
Rob Morley
ThinStation boots of just about anything. CD, hard disk, network, USB stick, etc. I am looking into what it wold take to make a bootable SD for it now as I am also interested in having a thinclient in a very small package (with a wireless keyboard/mousepad) for use on my TV's at home.
bill
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Bill Gunshannon          |  de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n.  Three wolves 
billg999@cs.scranton.edu |  and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. 
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Reply to
Bill Gunshannon
network booting is not an x86 feature! it would be possible to create a PXE flash card image that makes the Pi PXE-boot.
Of course there already exist flash card images that provide functionality like ThinStation minus the network booting.
Reply to
Rob
Did you try the Raspberry Pi Thin Client project image?
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Reply to
Rob
No, but I will. I had done a search for "Rpi thinclient" but got nothing back so assumed there wasn't one. And I looked at the ThinStation page and they didn't list one.
Thanks.
bill
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Bill Gunshannon          |  de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n.  Three wolves 
billg999@cs.scranton.edu |  and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. 
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Reply to
Bill Gunshannon

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