[Thinlinc-technical] [External] Re: Raspberry PI 4 Client?

Jens Maus j.maus at hzdr.de
Thu Sep 12 09:55:45 CEST 2019


we are also a academic organization that have switched from good old SunRays (which Oracle destroyed unfortunately) to a ThinLinc solution several years ago. At that time we evaluated all kind of solutions to replace the old SunRay hardware and have found the „intel NUC“ to be a perfect match in terms of functionality and price (there are cheap Celeron versions). Concerning a ThinClient operating system we in fact developed our own solution (called thinRoot) which is now based on using „Buildroot“ as a basis for a thin linux-based operating system. This „thinRoot“ operating system is provided as PXE bootable images (only ~ 80MB in size) which we put on our centralized PXE/DHCP servers from which all our intel NUC based ThinClients boot up purely using a RAM-disk and thus don’t require any expensive SSD/harddisk for local storage. After boot up of this „thinRoot“ environment a GUI-based chooser is then presented which allows to either directly connect to Windows Terminalservers (via RDP) or to use the included ThinLinc Client to connect to our Linux Terminalservers.

Within our organization we have rolled out this environment for more than 150 intel-NUC based ThinClients where the majority actually directly connects to Windows Terminalservers via RDP and the rest constantly connects to our centralized Linux-Systems using the embedded ThinLinc client. And as this „thinRoot“ environment is actually quite flexible (due to using buildroot as a basis) it would in principle also allow to generate RaspberryPi images which you could then use with your RaspberryPi thin client hardware.

For more information on „thinRoot“, feel free to have a look at the corresponding GitHub project pages here:


Best Regards,


> Am 10.09.2019 um 20:07 schrieb Ken Mandelberg <km at mathcs.emory.edu>:
> On 9/9/19 4:11 AM, Samuel Mannehed wrote:
>> Hi Ken,
>>> I'm surprised to see no reference to the Raspberry Pi, particularly
>>> the new Pi 4 which seems to be a good deal more capable than the
>>> earlier Pi's. Wouldn't that make excellent cheap client hardware for
>>> thinlinc?
>> I agree with you that it is an interesting client device and the
>> ThinLinc client can most certainly work well on a Raspberry Pi.
>> The reason you can't find a mention of it from us is that the operating
>> system you run on your client is what matters.
>> Best regards,
> We are a university academic department phasing out Sunray appliances which Oracle/Sun hasn't supported for quite a while now. What was compelling about the Sunray was using it as an appliance. What ran in the Sunray was invisible and maintenance free, other than new firmware downloads from the Sunray server.
> Presumably the commercial thin clients you support are like that, but they are more expensive than seems justified in the age of Raspberry Pi. It would be nice to have a barebones thinlinc download for the Pi, with no more or less than what is needed to be a dataless thinlinc only client.
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Dr. rer. medic. Jens Maus
Research Associate / Wiss. Mitarbeiter
Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research
Department of Positron Emission Tomography
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)
Bautzner Landstr. 400, 01328 Dresden, Germany
Ph: +49 351 260 2757 (@HZDR)
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