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OpenSuse's Kiwi-LTSP: Easy Thin Client Server - Snake Oil or Fountain of Youth?

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LDM LoginIT solutions companies have been generating lots of buzz regarding thin clients basically since the early 1990s, but have yet to really penetrate into many suitable environments. These relatively cheap computer appliances carry broad promises like energy efficiency, space efficiency, centralized maintenance and centralize data storage. These claims could sound like the computer industry equivalent of snake oil. Kiwi-LTSP, a combination of KIWI imaging technology and Linux Terminal Server Project, is one open source solution for thin client servers.

Why do thin clients or terminal devices matter? For general consumers, home users and office computer users thin clients should have no visible impact. This is nothing new, as companies like Sun, HP, Dell, Wyse and Citrix have always promoted thin clients, dumb terminals and the like from a support perspective. Check out Sun, HP and Wyse product descriptions here, here, and here respectively. In my own experience supporting Windows desktops in an Enterprise environment we were always looking for ways to improve maintenance and customer experience without user interaction.

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