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Re: Both diskless (thick) and thin clients out of the box?

> > Some questions must be asked:
> > 1. could both ltsp and lessdisk still fit on one single install cd?
> Yes.  The new LTSP is ~50k on the CD, pluss some kernel modifications
> to get unionfs included.

the current release of lessdisks, 0.6.2d, takes about half a MB
including sources. debian-edu probably wouldn't need all the packages.
it can use standard debian kernels with initrd-netboot-tools.

can unionfs be included as a module, or is it a more involved kernel
patch?  there is support for using translucency fs in lessdisks, and i
could probably integrate unionfs support if that was desired- i just
don't have much experience with it.

> > How much "data pollution" can the backbone bear with lessdisks? Is
> > there a way to introduce secure protocolls (as with nx)?
> Both lessdisks and the new LTSP encrypt the communication between the
> clients and the server using ssh, if I am not mistaken.

i think we are mixing up technologies here.

the core of lessdisks and LTSP are technologies to use a read-only root
filesystem over unencrypted NFS (and possibly TFTP, also).  though it
might be possible to use secure NFS and/or TFTP:

other network filesystems such as AFS or GFS might also be encrypted
root filesystem options as well, but i have not heard of any sucesses
using them that way.

both are able to make use of other technologies to encrypt the
connection between terminal(client) and the application server.
lessdisks can be configured to do this with "sdm" (available in debian
sarge), and it seems that the new ltsp code from ubuntu includes
something similar (and possible more capable) written in python called

both are also able to function as the more classic "X terminal" (a.k.a.
"thin client") running applications from a server. as well as "Diskless
Workstations" (a.k.a. "half-thick clients") which only get the root
filesystem from a server, but run all applications locally.

with lessdisks, some folks have set up an environment where the "X
terminal" and "Diskless Workstations" share the same root filesystem,
and based on the hardware capabilities of the booted terminal operate as
"X terminal" or "Diskless Workstation".  in theory, LTSP could probably
do this as well.

the LTSP 3.x and 4.x had large packages which provided the root
filesystem for the terminals, whereas lessdisks and the future of LTSP
build the root filesystems by taking debian/ubuntu/other packages to
create the root filesystem.

i am obviously more familiar with the experiences of lessdisks users in
all of these capacities. :)

the new LTSP chroot building code is quite young- perhaps less than two
months old. i think there is possibility to share some of the concepts
and code from lessdisks which has been in production for 4-5 years, but
it may take some time to integrate the two, and requires cooperation by
all parties. but this is free software, eh? :)

live well,

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