creating fat 'thin' clients with ltsp

David Van Assche dvanassche at
Thu Feb 14 13:43:22 GMT 2008

   I've been doing this for a while now, and I've come to the conclusion
that the breakage happens only when you try and replace some of the
ltsp-client-core and ltsp-client-setup stuff with the traditional setup (use
your own fstab - causes udev to break, use xorg.conf - causes gdm and X to
freeze and break, mount home with anything other than an external script run
via RC_FILENN= - causes system to freeze and udev problems again.)
   In essence, if you work with the ltsp setup files, there should be few
problems. I've managed to get both edubuntu-desktop and xfce-desktop to work
with ldap authentication. There are still some details that need to be
ironed out (network setup - probably using an RC_FILENN=, usb mounts and
local disk mounts - need gnome-mount and some ldap settings for the plugdev
   I get your point about backing up i386 to a CD, but I'd imagine a low fat
environment will need more upgrades/maintenance than the traditional thin
client, since apps need to be upgraded from within the chroot and run
locally. In any case, hard drives aren't exactly expensive :-)
   And a question... would the chrooted environments benefit from being
mounted on 10,000 rpm drives?


On Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 12:01 PM, Oliver Grawert <ogra at> wrote:

> hi,
> Am Mittwoch, den 13.02.2008, 16:06 -0500 schrieb Jim Kronebusch:
> > I am wondering if there is any reason one couldn't install a workstation
> as normal,
> > tweak things, then copy the workstation directories over to the server
> into
> > /opt/ltsp/lf_i386?  I think this is how it is recommended to build a PPC
> client tree, so
> > I don't see why this wouldn't work.  If this is possible, would anyone
> care to provide
> > instructions as to the best way to do this?
> you will need teh ltsp initramfs ... and there are a good bunch of
> settings in a normal install that will just break if you try to run it
> on ltsp (readahead will cause a kernel oops for example if you use it on
> a stacked filesystem, apparmor will cause kernel opps on stacked FS as
> well ... etc etc) best to create a fat chroot is to start off by what
> ltsp-build-client gives you and then add the desktop to it ... your
> mileage will vary here i would promote such a setup if i knew it would
> work out of the box ;) but the possibility that you run into additional
> (and unknown) breakage like the above described one is very likely ...
> as i said in another mail, once you have the app selection ready and
> working its only a matter of copying the .img file around ... the chroot
> itself only exists for maintenance (or for people who insist on using
> nfs indeed)
> in any case it would be very helpful to get a list with all breakage
> that shows up if yu try to run ubuntu-desktop on a fat client setup so i
> could work it down to have all of them fixed at some point :)
> ciao
>        oli
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