by June 30, 2004 0 comments

In our last issue we discussed how to boot diskless thin clients in PCQLinux 2004 using LTSP (Linux Terminal Service Project). (Refer to Remote Booting PCQLinux 2004, page 128.) Now we will tell you how to do the same on a Windows 2000/2003 Server with

Thin clients are dumb terminals that use the processing power and resources of another machine, namely the Terminal Server. Normally, in order to use Windows Terminal services, you need clients that already have a hard drive and an OS running. With LTSP, however, you don’t need the hard drive. If you have lots of outdated machines, then you can use this setup to give them new life. Some cyber cafes also use this kind of a thin-client setup. Having said that, let’s see how to implement this setup. 

Network administrators
Make use of your outdated machines by converting them into thin clients

First, you would need atleast a PII or Celeron machine with 64 MB RAM, and a network card that has a PXE boot ROM. On the server side, you need a machine running Windows 2000/2003 Server and another machine running PCQLinux 2004. The configurations of these machines depend upon the number of clients you want to connect to them. 

Do a full installation of  PCQLinux 2004 on a machine. Configure its network settings from the GUI by selecting Start>System Tools>Networks. This will open a window showing you the status of active/inactive network cards. Double click on the network card and select ‘Statically set IP address’ and give the IP address and the default Internet gateway address. From the same window, select the DNS tab and give the DNS address of your ISP. Save the settings and exit the program. Open a terminal window and give the following command where the first line asks you for the root password.

# wget -q -O – /ltsp_installer | sh

It will directly connect your machine to the LTSP site and run the latest LTSP installer off the Internet. The installer will ask you to provide the install path, so give

While LTSP is being downloaded, download ltspcfg-0.5-0.noarch.rpm from http://belnet. Next, go to, and copy the entire text from this page and paste it into any text editor.
Save it with the file name ‘build_x3_cfg’. 

Install and run ltspcfg on the PCQLinux 2004 machine as follows. 

# rpm –ivh ltspcfg-0.5-0.noarch.rpm
# ltspcfg 

dhcp.conf file
ddns-update-style none;
default-lease-time 21600;
max-lease-time 21600; 
option subnet-mask;
option broadcast-address;
option routers; #<– Router or Gateway IP
option domain-name-servers; #<– LTSP Server IP
option domain-name “ltsp.pcquest.local”; # <–domain name 
option root-path “”; #<– NFS Share
option option-128 code 128 = string;
option option-129 code 129 = text;

subnet netmask { 
range dynamic-bootp; # <– DHCP IP Ranage
filename “/lts/2.4.22-ltsp-2/pxelinux.0”; #<- Boot image File

The configuration screen provides three options, out of which only the first two work, because the software is still in beta. Select the second option ‘Configure the services manually’. This will show you eleven options (services). Select all services one by one and enable them by pressing Enter. This will automatically configure the selected services. 

To configure the DHCP server for remote boot, open the /etc/dhcpd. conf file and add the lines as shown in dhcp.conf file box. 

Here, put in the IP addresses as per your machines’ configuration. Once you’re done, restart the DHCP service as follows.

# service dhcpd start

To configure diskless thin clients windows, open a text editor and edit /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf file and make the following changes to it. (see the box lts.conf file on page 43) 

Here, too, make the entries as per your network settings. 

There is a small bug in LTSP-4 that needs to be fixed. For this, copy the script file ‘build_x3_cfg’ you created earlier to /opt/ltsp/i386/etc, and issue the following commands. 

# chown root:root /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/build_x3_cfg
# chmod 0755 /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/build_x3_cfg

lts.conf file
RDP_SERVER = #(IP of Windows 2000/2003 server running Terminal services) 
XSERVER = i810 #(for Intel graphics card) 
X_MOUSE_DEVICE = “/dev/psaux”
X_MODE_0 = 800×600 
SCREEN_01 = rdesktop

If you are using Windows 2003 Server, Windows Terminal services will be up and running by default. In Windows 2000 Server, however, you’ll have to add it separately. Please note that these are time-limited demos. You’ll have to purchase the client-access licenses at the end of this period. During the installation, you will be given two options: Remote Administration or Application Server Mode. Select the second option, and then you’ll get: Permission Compatible with Window 2000 User or Permission Compatible with Terminal Server 4.0 users. Select the first option and proceed with the remaining installation. Once installed, set permissions for the users. This part is the same for both Windows 2000 and 2003 Servers. Open ‘Server Management’ from Administrative tools, and from the right panel of the window that opens, click on User icons and select the user you want to give permission to use Terminal services. Right click the user icon and open its properties. Here, select the ‘Member of’ tab and add the ‘Remote Desktop Users’ group. Do this for all the users you want. 

You are now ready to boot the diskless thin clients from the Terminal server. The client will boot using its PXE LAN card. It will first connect to the LTSP server, which will in turn connect it to the Windows Terminal server. If successful, you’ll get the Windows 2000/2003 server login screen on the diskless thin clients.

Sanjay Majumder

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