Colin Mattoon colinm at nwc-radio.com
Fri Feb 27 18:17:12 EET 2004

However, RULE, by virtue it's lightweight footprint, would be quite
suitable as the Linux distribution installed on older machines with
small hard drives that execute nothing except a local X server and
basic networking -- and that query an XDMCP server automatically after
booting to the networked CLI runlevel by running an rc.local script.
Basically just "X -query <the-IP-of-the-XDMCP-server>" and you have a
thin client without the necessity of  network booting, dhcp, TFTP, or
LTSP server -- or of swapping over the network.

Older hardware can be more difficult to network boot than most people
want to deal with. However, a P60 with 16 MB RAM and a 200 to 500 MB
hard drive works quite well as an inexpensive  X terminal if it (along
with a dozen or more similar machines) queries a PIII or better.

I provide an office productivity environment this way today using
Slackware and Debian.  RULE would be a more familiar environment for
the network administrator in an operation that wishes to standardize
on an official RedHat or Fedora installation on the XDMCP server, and
would faciltate recycling of older PCs as X terminals. One PIII or
better with 512MB RAM, and a large hard drive(s), acting as XDMCP/file
and print server, running a firewall on the external interface, and a
dozen or more old first generation Pentiums as locally booted X
terminals, and you have a very capable office computing environment
that will easily support KDE, Gnome, etc.

RULE should be more useful in that sort of model than it would be if
the same office used RULE to create a dozen locally executing
workstations with a NFS/print/gateway server.


Colin Mattoon 

On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 09:41:34 -0500
"Jason Bechtel" <jasonbechtel at care2.com> wrote:

> Thanks for your thoughts on this, Eugene.  I'd
> like to continue the thread and make some comments.
> You and Ingo are both right to doubt the utility
> of RULE as an LTSP client.  RULE can certainly be
> used as a client to a terminal server, but it
> wouldn't be an "LTSP client", per se, because it
> wouldn't use the LTSP network booting process. 
> I'll get into this more later...  RULE is
> basically a streamlined GNU/Linux OS installed
> locally.  It can use ssh, telnet, X, XDMCP,
> Citrix, RDP, VNC, and any other remote connection
> software just as well as any other GNU/Linux
> workstation.  You are right to think that RULE
> could use local applications and server
> applications simultaneously.  This can be
> achieved with things as they are, however.  No
> RULE-LTSP hybrid needs to be created for this to
> happen.
> RULE could certainly be the basis for an LTSP
> server, though.  Most people use modern, powerful
> machines as their LTSP servers.  If you want to
> do LTSP on older hardware, however, RULE would
> make a nice server install base.  It would just
> need to be configured to install all of the
> necessary server packages for LTSP (DNS, DHCP, etc.).
> One correction: LTSP does not have as a goal to
> use light apps.  LTSP allows you to run all of
> the modern bloated apps on a big beefy server in
> the closet while sitting at a P100 w/ 32MB RAM at
> the front desk.  The tendency for people to use
> lighter apps and desktops with LTSP is purely a
> cost-benefit tradeoff.  Rather than spend $1,000
> more on server hardware, just use IceWM instead
> of KDE.  This is not part of the goal of LTSP,
> however.
> RULE and LTSP do share the goal of using older
> hardware at the workstation.  There has also been
> some interest on the LTSP list in the past from
> people interested in netbooting their firewalls
> and other low-resource appliances.  It's possible
> that there is room for some collaboration between
> the projects, but probably not to the degree that
> you envisioned.  Here's the part where I talk
> about what makes a client an LTSP client...
> LTSP clients are the epitome of the "thin
> client".  The only thing unique to the client is
> the MAC address on the network card.  This is
> what the server ultimately uses to identify the
> client in the LTSP configuration.  Because
> absolutely nothing is installed on the client,
> clients can be swapped out with minimal fuss. 
> Software management is also easier.  Since
> everything is running on the server, you only
> have to upgrade, patch, update, and tweak the
> server!  You don't need Red Carpet or some
> complex set of shell scripts to update every
> machine on the network.  So, RULE really only
> fits into this scheme if it's used as the server.
> Jason
> ---- Begin Original Message ----
>  From: "Eugene Wong" <disposable_eugene at hotmail.com>
> Sent: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 23:01:03 -0800
> Subject: RE: [RULE] LTSP (was: minimum hw
> requirements)
> >From: Ingo Lantschner <ingo.lists at vum.at>
> >Subject: [RULE] LTSP (was: minimum hw requirements)
> >Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 11:39:43 +0100
> >How do you see the cooperation/relation
> (technically) between "The RULE 
> >Project" and LTSP?
> >
> >* RULE as base for the LTSP-Server?
> >* RULE as the base for the LTSP-Client (propably
> not, since this should be 
> >a floppy - or?)
> >* RULE as solution for the single-WS whereas
> LTSP is for Classrooms?
> >* other relations I did not mention?
> Hi Ingo, & all.
> I don't think that I see RULE as a base for the
> client because RULE seems so big by comparison.
> However, it would be kind of useful to be able to
> all RULE to attach to the network & be able to go
> into client mode. Maybe the user could just
> reboot, & make a selection @ the LILO prompt or
> GRUB prompt. Another interesting client option is
> to just have the user run a normal console on
> "<Alt><F1>", & a client connection on <Alt><F2>".
> This could allow him to upload & download, & ssh
> on the 1st console, & actually have full access
> to the applications on terminal server with the
> 2nd console. With these kinds of options, RULE
> becomes a powerful tool for old laptops.
> Since they already have a terminal server, they
> probably don't need RULE as a terminal server. I
> wouldn't know, though.
> I think that RULE & LTSP should work together
> because they definitely have some common ground.
> Both groups want to use light applications to get
> the job done. Both are trying to make use of old
> hardware. They could share experiences to avoid
> overlapping. If they were 1 project, then there
> would be more servers available to mirror the
> same page.
> If they did join together, then maybe they could
> have various installation versions:
> * server
> * workstation
> * terminal server
> * terminal client
> * firewall
> * customized system
> * docking bay [use PLIP to connect to old laptops
> to give better Internet access, & upload &
> download files]
> These are just my thoughts.
> ---- End Original Message ----
> Stop baby sea turtles from being crushed!
> http://www.care2.com/go/z/11745/1008
> _______________________________________________
> Original home page of the RULE project: www.rule-project.org
> Original Rule Development Site http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/rule/> 
Original RULE mailing list: Rule-list at nongnu.org, hosted at http://mail.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/rule-list

Original home page of the RULE project: www.rule-project.org
Original Rule Development Site http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/rule/
Original RULE mailing list: Rule-list at nongnu.org, hosted at http://mail.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/rule-list

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