Ubuntu Further Results, I think I am getting somewhere.

Well, I finally got my thin client booting. In the process I learned more about Linux than I ever thought. The next few blog posts will be dedicated to explaining the path that I took.

Hardware: Wyse S30 Thin Client 64mb Flash Drive / 128mb RAM

First I tried Ubuntu, amazingly it would boot and run on the thin client. The problem was not until after the install. For some unknown reason the thin client would not boot off of the USB stick using Grub. Although I had Grub installed in the MBR of the USB stick, the bios in the thin client would not boot using this strategy. I found this peculiar due to the fact that I could boot the Ubuntu Installer from Usb. Investigating the issue, I found that the Wyse bios seemed to only boot from USB when using Syslinux and a Fat32 partition as opposed to Grub and an EXT2 partition. As a last ditch effort, I also tried configuring the boot partition as Fat32, but Fat32 will not support the required file options for the Linux Kernel to boot. This led me to take what I thought was a clever path and it is something I have done on other *nix systems in the past. I tried installing Grub to the MBR of the internal flash drive. Then I could set up the initrd with USB drivers that could then load my USB stick. The problem with this was that I could never seem to get Ubuntu to recognize the internal ATA drive properly. It was at this time I knew I needed to find a distro that allowed more initial configuration than the Ubuntu Installer would allow me.

These problems will lead me to Gentoo! More to come in 3-5 days.

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I never knew Ubuntu could be this hard

Well, I am officially irritated! I have been plagued with everything from a bad memory stick to bad hard drives. I am slowly chipping away at the issues, but for the life of me there are a few that are keeping me perplexed. I have some memory sticks that will boot on my thin client when they have one linux distro, but not with another. Although they will both boot on my laptop.

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Installing Linux on Thin Client

Well I started the install of Linux on my Hardware: Wyse S30 thin client. What a challenge this has been! It seems that I have been plagued with hardware and software issues over the last week. My first try at install failed due to the fact that for some reason Ubuntu would not load properly. I aborted that and started to install Gentoo my favorite linux distro, only to find I had a bad memory stick! I think that Ubuntu would have worked, but the bad memory stick was causing strange behavior. For now I have made the switch and I am going to try Gentoo.

Why am I doing this? Well the plan is to use the thin client as my primary print and file server to conserve power. The thin client draws around 6watts and the external hard driver draws about 3 watts. A total of less than 10watts as compared to the 200+ watts that my full server draws. I will only power my main server on once per week to conduct full archived backups of my data, the rest of the time all files will reside on the thin client.

Let me know if you have any thoughts about the setup, in my future blog posts I will be discussing some of my friends solutions to this same problem.

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