NetworkWorld: Diskless Linux terminals [Linux Terminal Server Project]

“Users looking to further network expansion at low cost should
also be aware of the work done by the Linux Terminal Server Project

“The LTSP is an open-source development effort run by
programmers and network integrators to create a network of diskless
Linux workstations. It began last August, and the technology
recently won first place at the First Annual Linux Solutions Awards
last September, sponsored by LinuxToday.com.”

“Diskless Linux terminals consist of a box containing an X86
processor, at least 16M bytes of RAM, a network interface card
(NIC) and a boot ROM. The boot ROM makes the initial network boot
and file system mount to the server, which allows the Linux kernel
to download to the terminal’s RAM. The only major pieces of
software that run on the client side are the Linux kernel and
XFree86 (X Windows). All applications are run from the server.”

“The terminals make good clients for e-mail, Web browsing
and data entry programs running from the Linux terminal server.
Some drawbacks to the system are a lack of advanced management
tools for managing clients and the lack of network printing
(A printer can be attached to an individual
client’s printer port, however).”