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Re: TCOS (was Re: wirless thin clients with TCOS)

El sáb, 17-11-2007 a las 10:38 -0800, vagrant@freegeek.org escribió:
> On Sat, Nov 17, 2007 at 06:03:09PM +0100, mariodebian wrote:
> > El sáb, 17-11-2007 a las 15:22 +0100, Holger Levsen escribió:
> > > On Wednesday 14 November 2007 16:17, mariodebian wrote:
> > > > Do you thing is better to create a big LTSP patch?
> > > 
> > > Small patches (one per feature) usually work better :)
> i'd think mostly all you'd need to do is install the
> initramfs-tools-tcos package in the LTSP chroot. ideally splitting
> initramfs-tools-tcos into the server-side and client-side dependencies.

One of the disvantages of TCOS is when you install a Linux distro in a
good server and use non i386 architecture (for example use amd64).

Thin clients usually must be 486 compatible and amd64 images don't work.

Becasue of this we have created a ugly script to create a chroot (like
LTSP do) but more simple:



This script is called when TcosConfig (gui to build TCOS images) detect
non i386 arch:


screenshots are only in spanish sorry :(

LTSP manages better chroot themes, TCOS have a chroot only one month
ago, always use server packages...

> might need to copy some of the generated files somewhere else where the
> tftp server can get them, but i think this wouldn't be hard to
> accomplish.

This is done in line 212 and nexts at tcos-buildchroot script.

And talking about all things, where is the standard TFTP dir?, atftpd
uses /tftpboot that not is a FHS compilant :(

> though i realise, this points out a philosophical difference between
> tcos and LTSP ... in LTSP, i would want to add TCOS support by
> installing it into a chroot built for that purpose, whereas TCOS is
> designed to be built using the host system's files.

You can take some of code (depends) of tcos-buildchroot to prepare some
hook to call from ltsp-build-client, I think that is very easy...

I think that LTSP could need tcosxmlrpc server and all of this tools.

> the advantage with TCOS is you don't have to build an entire environment
> just to support thin clients. the advantage of LTSP is you don't have to
> install packages on your server that are really only needed for your
> thin clients.  because of this, i think it's easier for LTSP to
> incorporate TCOS than for TCOS to incorporate LTSP. and probably not
> difficult to support both ways.

TCOS have some advantages too... You don't need to download same package
2 times, when you update server packages new images take updated files.

Another advantage is that in boot images thin client only have a minimal
system to exec, no extra libs. Don't test it but suppose that need less
memory and less time to boot (< 1 minute).

TCOS will take some ideas of LTSP build (for non i386 archs) and we are
using LTSPFS which is an killer-app.

Another killer-app will be usb-ip ( http://usb-ip.sf.net ) (when works),
allowing to connect any USB devices in clients and use from server.

> > > > Debian mentors packages are obsolete but in TCOS repos you can download
> > > > sources.
> > > 
> > > Ah.
> > 
> > TCOS packages are (in priority order)
> > 
> > initramfs-tools-tcos (generate bins: tcos-core, initramfs-tools-tcos,
> > tcos)
> seems to me, if you put more of the server-side stuff into
> tcos-core(mainly most of the dependencies), or make an additional
> package, it would be easy to integrate into LTSP, yet still work the way
> you currently use it.

We are working with Lliurex (Valencian educational distro based on

They work with standalone computers and some thin clients.

I have splited initramfs-tools-tcos because if you install tcos-core and
tcosmonitor in all standalone computers you can use tcosmonitor not
depending if is thin client or standalone.

Need to edit /etc/default/tcos-standalone to allow start XMLRPC server.

In LTSP chroot you only need to install:

initramfs-tools-tcos tcos-core tcos-usplash tinylogin ltspfs-client
busybox and his depends...

With a bit work we can make startup scripts and other tools to be LTSP
compatible. (When TcosMonitor born it works with LTSP, PXES and TCOS
thin clients at same time)

> > tcos-extra-modules + sis7019 (modules to make TCOs work out of the box:
> > unionfs, squashfs, aufs, sis7019)
> can the unionfs, squashfs, aufs modules from debian be used (i.e. make
> tcos-extra-modules a metapackage), or does it require additional patches
> (and if so, is it possible to get those patches included)?

Yes, can be used, but I have to put some patches to make work with newer
kernels, some of them have appear in Debian packages later (Daniel
Bauman take them from here)


> > lp-server (network printer support)
> have you managed to contact upstream about getting clarifications on the
> liscensing for lp-server? we had to remove it from ltsp because the
> liscense was not clear in order to get it into debian.

Don't know that :(

I asked me some time why lp-server wasn't packaged in Debian, and you
are telling me why now !!!

> there's two rewrites for ltsp (both named jetpipe) that provide network
> printer support (one in python, and another in C). i hope to upload this
> to debian soon.

I know jetpipe, but TCOS don't have python, I have tried to make
something in C but without any lucky:


C app will be very interesting for me.

> > > > Before uploading need to solve some issues with LTSP developers and
> > > > ltspfs packages to not duplicate packages in archive...
> are the most recent packages still a problem for you? it still installs
> the udev rules, but they are essentially harmless. i don't remember what
> the other issues, if any, were.

I don't test new packages yet, maybe I will test tomorrow.

> live well,
>   vagrant

Thanks Vagrant.



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