Friday, June 09, 2006

Thin Client Success

Hurray for persistence!!! I've finally gotten the thin-client distro to
a point we can actually deploy.

My main worry (apart from the hardware fiasco i mentioned in a previous
post), was getting the network filesystem right. I was worried about
performance and all those other small things, but eventually, it seems
to a large degree SMBFS mounts solves the immediate need of our first
prospective client.

I'm impressed at the speed of stuff like Opera, Skype, etc, running over
the SMBFS mounted partition. Veeeeerrry cool stuff. What I did was
basically to modify kadischi (the Fedora LiveCD generator), to stop
immediately after building the filesystem and after running
post_install_scripts.

At this point, I run my own customization scripts, and then make a
squashfs image. I also build my initrd system from an updated ALE
(http://datavibe.net/~essiene/ale) initrd system.

I'll have to do a full overhaul on ALE, as its serving me in ways I
didn't even think of previously... another hurray for lazyness by prior
doing!!! :P My initrd image, creates a unionfs of the readonly squashfs
filesystem and some other read-write images which I use to persist
config data, and once I boot, my custom rc.d script runs and mounts my
server drives over SMBFS and I have my full system.

As at today, the config file for the mounting is just that... a simple
txt file. I'm sure the clients will want a GUI config program accessible
from the menu... if i'm not passed out over the weekend, I'll do that up
for Monday :)

For now, I'm wrapping up everything nicely, and I'll probably drive down
to do a techie demo for the techs over at our first prospective
thin-client client (huh? :P)

return;

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