Setup of Wireless LAN for thin client network

Tabris darkpeace at
Sun Nov 16 18:12:23 EST 2003

Please remove me from this mailing list ASAP


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Liu" <satimis at>
To: "Jim Carter" <jimc at>
Cc: <wireless at>
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2003 3:05 PM
Subject: Re: Setup of Wireless LAN for thin client network

> Hi Jim,
> Thanks for your detail advice.
> >On Fri, 14 Nov 2003, Stephen Liu wrote:
> >
> >
> >>I am running a thin client system - LTSP/K12osn.  Each diskless desktop
> >>workstation is without hard drive.  They are connected to the server via
> >>a switch and running X server (X window) from the latter on their screen
> >>and booted with a rom on NIC.  Notebook connection is also possible
> >>booted from floppy with a booting image installed.
> >>
> >>Now I am prepared to convert the system to Wireless LAN.  According to
> >>suggestion for diskless desktop workstation it is possible.  For
> >>notebook chance is remote.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >A number of years ago UCLA-Mathnet used a similar arrangement to good
> >effect (on wired Ethernet).  However, as the cost of discs and
> >general-purpose PCs went down we decided it was more cost-effective to
> >US$600 PC's on people's desktops, and to keep them updated by
> >locally-written scripts.
> >
> >
> Thin client system is ideal for reviving those obsolete PCs, in addition
> reducing the administration cost.  You need to update the sever only not
> all workstations.
> One question popup to my mind for fat-client system could update the
> server simultaneously/collectively updating all desktops?  That is if I
> install a new package on the sever could it be installed on all desktops
> simultaneously/collectively?  Thin client system can avoid this
> problem.  As time elapses it is not so easy to find obsolete PCs.  Then
> the cost of a new thin client desktop won't have much difference to a
> fat client desktop.  If such point mentioned hereof could be solved the
> cost of administration can be reduced dramatically.
> - snip -
> >I encourage users to do on the local machine:
> >    xterm -e "slogin -X serverhost"
> >(using an alias or a menu item for the principal servers).  This puts
> >of the resource usage, for the xterm, on the local machine.  But when
> >use graphical apps on the server such as maple, matlab or mathematica,
> >X-windows service is available.  But we tell them to run matlab on the
> >local host too; our license scheme allows that.
> >
> >
> Could you please explain in more detail on ;
> xterm -e "slogin -X serverhost"
> Thanks
> >On the wireless issue, the kinds of setup info (ESSID, WEP key) that's
> >needed could easily be included on a boot floppy, but I doubt that a boot
> >PROM would have the flexibility to handle this.  But who knows, you may
> >have found a vendor with a smart boot PROM.
> >
> >
> If I have the booting image I can burn the ROM myself.  Another problem
> is I have not discovered a wireless lan card with rom socket on the
> >If only a few people will use the system at a time, it should work OK.
> >Certainly at home and at work I use my laptop with X-windows across the
> >wireless net (though when possible I use the local xterm method) , but if
> >you have 50 to 100 workstations I'm afraid that they would fight for
> >bandwidth.  In comparison, your wired network switch can handle multiple
> >connections simultaneously, so the total throughput is several times the
> >nominal network bandwidth (10 MHz or 100 MHz), provided the users are
> >distributed over several servers.
> >
> >
> Yes bandwidth is another question.  I will not put all desktops go
> wireless except in one or two location where it is difficult to lay
> cable.  My major interest confines on laptop booting.
> >One possibility is a hybrid system: run wires to most of the clients, but
> >for two or three that are impossible to reach, use wireless.  On the
> >notebook computers, I would recommend using a general-purpose operating
> >system so the users have freedom to do general-purpose work on them.
> >I have a user support page for setting up a wireless card:
> >
> >
> Thanks for your link.  I went through "SuSE Linux 8.1" section briefly.
> However I could not resolve if it is a thin client where can I have the
> new config stored.
> has a booting image for floppy (I haven't tested it yet.  Only
> read it on a posting).  It boots the thin client and in turn boots the
> wireless PCI card which has a PCMCIA to connect the sever.  Whether the
> design of "Setting Up Your Wireless Network Card" is similar to ltsp.
> Thanks
> B.R.
> Stephen

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