Linux Thin Clients



  • Licensing counteracts any savings with Windows but what is the deal with Linux thin clients? I have client computer labs that are low priority machines that need higher security for web browsing. Thin/Zero Clients seem like a really good money saving opportunity for this situation...or is it?

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes. These computers would only be used for basic web browsing. I'd like to save a ton of money here and take those more expensive computers for use elsewhere.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    Licensing counteracts any savings with Windows but what is the deal with Linux thin clients? I have client computer labs that are low priority machines that need higher security for web browsing. Thin/Zero Clients seem like a really good money saving opportunity for this situation...or is it?

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes. These computers would only be used for basic web browsing. I'd like to save a ton of money here and take those more expensive computers for use elsewhere.

    For basic web browsing, why not a Linux machine loaded with Chrome or Firefox that reverts all changes when it reboots?

    You could use pretty much any computer for that.

    Edit:

    You could also take a look at the Jide Remix Mini (http://www.jide.com/en/mini)... I've got the tablet, and it rocks.



  • @dafyre said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Licensing counteracts any savings with Windows but what is the deal with Linux thin clients? I have client computer labs that are low priority machines that need higher security for web browsing. Thin/Zero Clients seem like a really good money saving opportunity for this situation...or is it?

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes. These computers would only be used for basic web browsing. I'd like to save a ton of money here and take those more expensive computers for use elsewhere.

    For basic web browsing, why not a Linux machine loaded with Chrome or Firefox that reverts all changes when it reboots?

    You could use pretty much any computer for that.

    Edit:

    You could also take a look at the Jide Remix Mini (http://www.jide.com/en/mini)... I've got the tablet, and it rocks.

    Not a bad idea. I can install any distro on the remix?



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    @dafyre said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Licensing counteracts any savings with Windows but what is the deal with Linux thin clients? I have client computer labs that are low priority machines that need higher security for web browsing. Thin/Zero Clients seem like a really good money saving opportunity for this situation...or is it?

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes. These computers would only be used for basic web browsing. I'd like to save a ton of money here and take those more expensive computers for use elsewhere.

    For basic web browsing, why not a Linux machine loaded with Chrome or Firefox that reverts all changes when it reboots?

    You could use pretty much any computer for that.

    Edit:

    You could also take a look at the Jide Remix Mini (http://www.jide.com/en/mini)... I've got the tablet, and it rocks.

    Not a bad idea. I can install any distro on the remix?

    The Remix device runs RemixOS, their own heavily modified version of android. I don't have any experience with the Mini, just the tablet.

    I know someone else on the forums has the mini, I just can't remember who.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!

    That is the cost on the invoices. I am not the person ordering them and they are through a vendor. I have tried to get the guy to change vendors but he won't.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    @dafyre said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Licensing counteracts any savings with Windows but what is the deal with Linux thin clients? I have client computer labs that are low priority machines that need higher security for web browsing. Thin/Zero Clients seem like a really good money saving opportunity for this situation...or is it?

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes. These computers would only be used for basic web browsing. I'd like to save a ton of money here and take those more expensive computers for use elsewhere.

    For basic web browsing, why not a Linux machine loaded with Chrome or Firefox that reverts all changes when it reboots?

    You could use pretty much any computer for that.

    Edit:

    You could also take a look at the Jide Remix Mini (http://www.jide.com/en/mini)... I've got the tablet, and it rocks.

    Not a bad idea. I can install any distro on the remix?

    Processor
    1.2GHz quad-core cortex A53 (64-bit) Allwinner

    Nope. Only those built to run on 64bit ARM RISC architecture and compatible with this system setup. So... almost none.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!

    That is the cost on the invoices. I am not the person ordering them and they are through a vendor. I have tried to get the guy to change vendors but he won't.

    So if you can't change how you get desktops, what's the point of the conversation as you can't change your desktops?



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    These computers would only be used for basic web browsing. I'd like to save a ton of money here and take those more expensive computers for use elsewhere.

    You never use thin clients for web browsing, makes no sense. Thin clients have their own web browsers because that's the most common client. You'd just browse directly from whatever devices you have.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!

    That is the cost on the invoices. I am not the person ordering them and they are through a vendor. I have tried to get the guy to change vendors but he won't.

    So if you can't change how you get desktops, what's the point of the conversation as you can't change your desktops?

    I put together a presentation and I need to get accurate numbers to approach them with to attempt to change their minds but I want to do it in the best way I can--which is why I reached out to ML



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!

    That is the cost on the invoices. I am not the person ordering them and they are through a vendor. I have tried to get the guy to change vendors but he won't.

    So if you can't change how you get desktops, what's the point of the conversation as you can't change your desktops?

    I put together a presentation and I need to get accurate numbers to approach them with to attempt to change their minds

    Then the point about the $500 Windows machines remains, right? Either they care about saving money and you can change their minds or they don't care and this is pointless.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!

    That is the cost on the invoices. I am not the person ordering them and they are through a vendor. I have tried to get the guy to change vendors but he won't.

    So if you can't change how you get desktops, what's the point of the conversation as you can't change your desktops?

    I put together a presentation and I need to get accurate numbers to approach them with to attempt to change their minds

    Then the point about the $500 Windows machines remains, right? Either they care about saving money and you can change their minds or they don't care and this is pointless.

    So you think a normal desktop trumps a zero client in this scenario and that is the best recommendation for me, correct?



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    So you think a normal desktop trumps a zero client in this scenario and that is the best recommendation for me, correct?

    For casual browsing I'd put the list of things that make sense in roughly this order...

    • Chromebox / Chromebook
    • Normal Linux Desktop
    • Windows Desktop
      --------- The line where we go from generally useful to really never useful ------
    • Linux Terminal Server
    • Linux VDI
    • Windows Terminal Server <-- what you are calling a thin client
    • Windows VDI <-- what you are calling a zero client


  • Anything that goes back to a server is pretty much useless as you are building a complicated system to do a task that is simpler than the infrastructure needed to do it. It's like buying a car to drive you to the barn so that you can walk back to the house. Web browsing is the simplest thing that machines do today. Every simple device does it well.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    So you think a normal desktop trumps a zero client in this scenario and that is the best recommendation for me, correct?

    For casual browsing I'd put the list of things that make sense in roughly this order...

    • Chromebox / Chromebook
    • Normal Linux Desktop
    • Windows Desktop
      --------- The line where we go from generally useful to really never useful ------
    • Linux Terminal Server
    • Linux VDI
    • Windows Terminal Server <-- what you are calling a thin client
    • Windows VDI <-- what you are calling a zero client

    Thanks!



  • I'm not saying that Windows desktops are the "right" answer, I'm saying that they make way more sense than what you are considering. The are simpler, cheaper and much easier to adopt.

    But the issue you say that you have is that someone is in control of funnelling money to super expensive workstations and has the power to stop you from buying anything that is cheaper. So if that is the case how does buying thin clients, Linux desktops or other things get you around their ability to control what is purchased? Surely if you can do any of those things, you could also buy more sensible Windows desktops. So the problem that you are facing is an organziational one and you are trying to tackle it with technology but that won't work. The blockade remains.

    More importantly, if the business doesn't care that it is losing money (or actively does care and this is funnelling money somewhere which is pretty much what is expected in a non-profit) then IT should not care. IT's job is not to set the priorities for the business, only to support the priorities that exist. Sounds like they have a priority (to get money to this one company) and you have a different one (to save money)... that's not a healthy mismatch of goals.



  • There might be a use case where a non-profit could use $1,100 workstations, but it would be super rare and definitely any standardization around that signals corruption. No IT person, secretary, manager, etc. should have those. Maybe you do engineering or medical work and need it for something, maybe even on half of your machines. But for a non-profit to standardize on machines that cost more than 99% of people need as a "default" that you can't get around.... I think you can see where this has gone.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    There might be a use case where a non-profit could use $1,100 workstations, but it would be super rare and definitely any standardization around that signals corruption.

    Hey, as long as they don't call it "profit", any and all extra moneys get to go home with those deal makers! It's gotta go somewhere, and if we leave it sitting around, it will spoil.... right?



  • @RojoLoco said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    There might be a use case where a non-profit could use $1,100 workstations, but it would be super rare and definitely any standardization around that signals corruption.

    Hey, as long as they don't call it "profit", any and all extra moneys get to go home with those deal makers! It's gotta go somewhere, and if we leave it sitting around, it will spoil.... right?

    The business model around here is don't spend anything and then spend everything. It's counter-intuitive. The more we give back the less we can justify next year. Even with giving back money though they never say yes to things we actually need. I can't really defend it so imagine I just nodded in agreement with you.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    @RojoLoco said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    There might be a use case where a non-profit could use $1,100 workstations, but it would be super rare and definitely any standardization around that signals corruption.

    Hey, as long as they don't call it "profit", any and all extra moneys get to go home with those deal makers! It's gotta go somewhere, and if we leave it sitting around, it will spoil.... right?

    The business model around here is don't spend anything and then spend everything. It's counter-intuitive. The more we give back the less we can justify next year. Even with giving back money though they never say yes to things we actually need. I can't really defend it so imagine I just nodded in agreement with you.

    That's all fine.. but that means your idea of saving them money or even giving a presentation on how to save money isn't valuable as the goal is to waste it, not to save it. They already have a way to save a ton of money that they are avoiding to justify getting more money from wherever they get it. Fine, so that makes your proposal and project go against the interests of the business.



  • @wirestyle22 all that is just part of the reason I'd never work at a non profit.



  • @RojoLoco said:

    @wirestyle22 all that is just part of the reason I'd never work at a non profit.

    Same here, I actively avoid them. I believe that they are conceptually corrupt and have no place in an ethical society. If they were regulated to the point that they could be nothing but vehicles for organizing for-profit services to meet the goals of the non-profit that would be one thing. But being able to have staff I think is wrong and should not be allowed. It's why I don't donate and don't support any taxes going to non-profits. If they believed in their mission they'd be for profit.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    @RojoLoco said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    There might be a use case where a non-profit could use $1,100 workstations, but it would be super rare and definitely any standardization around that signals corruption.

    Hey, as long as they don't call it "profit", any and all extra moneys get to go home with those deal makers! It's gotta go somewhere, and if we leave it sitting around, it will spoil.... right?

    The business model around here is don't spend anything and then spend everything. It's counter-intuitive. The more we give back the less we can justify next year. Even with giving back money though they never say yes to things we actually need. I can't really defend it so imagine I just nodded in agreement with you.

    That's all fine.. but that means your idea of saving them money or even giving a presentation on how to save money isn't valuable as the goal is to waste it, not to save it. They already have a way to save a ton of money that they are avoiding to justify getting more money from wherever they get it. Fine, so that makes your proposal and project go against the interests of the business.

    My first responsibility is to improve everything, which I am trying to do. They say no to everything throughout the year and then yes to everything at the end. I'm just going to capitalize on that to make things better and do my job. I wish I had more control. I'm working entirely without a budget at the mercy of people who don't understand what is required but think they do.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    Also, what thin/zero client computer do you recommend purchasing? We currently spend about $1100 per workstation but it shouldn't be one type of desktop for all purposes.

    This isn't a useful number as a machine that is fully capable of being a great end node would only be several hundred dollars. Even enterprise desktops with Windows 10 Pro OEM would likely be under $500. So thinking of workstations in terms of $1,100 is very misleading. That's more than my gaming rig!!

    I must just be over buying. The last HP EliteDesk 8300 G1s from 2 years ago cost me $800 for Windows 8.1 Pro with an i5, 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB HDD, and 3 year warranty. And I still needed to add a monitor on top of that.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    My first responsibility is to improve everything, which I am trying to do.

    That goes against the "I can improve things but someone else has the veto power that improvements are the mission." You already had the opportunity to improve things but aren't allowed to. So while someone might have told you in words that that is your job, their policies make it very clear that that statement was untrue.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I must just be over buying. The last HP EliteDesk 8300 G1s from 2 years ago cost me $800 for Windows 8.1 Pro with an i5, 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB HDD, and 3 year warranty. And I still needed to add a monitor on top of that.

    Most SMBs over buy, but $800 isn't bad. That's a HUGE percentage less than $1,100. And you are NOT a non-profit. And you DO have imaging and similar needs. $800 is like 40% less!



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    My first responsibility is to improve everything, which I am trying to do.

    That goes against the "I can improve things but someone else has the veto power that improvements are the mission." You already had the opportunity to improve things but aren't allowed to. So while someone might have told you in words that that is your job, their policies make it very clear that that statement was untrue.

    If you give me a ruleset I'm going to do everything I can to use it to my advantage within my moral and legal boundaries.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wirestyle22 said:

    My first responsibility is to improve everything, which I am trying to do.

    That goes against the "I can improve things but someone else has the veto power that improvements are the mission." You already had the opportunity to improve things but aren't allowed to. So while someone might have told you in words that that is your job, their policies make it very clear that that statement was untrue.

    If you give me a ruleset I'm going to do everything I can to use it to my advantage within my moral and legal boundaries

    Which is exactly why you should be thriving in a private company that works for profit.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @RojoLoco said:

    @wirestyle22 all that is just part of the reason I'd never work at a non profit.

    Same here, I actively avoid them. I believe that they are conceptually corrupt and have no place in an ethical society. If they were regulated to the point that they could be nothing but vehicles for organizing for-profit services to meet the goals of the non-profit that would be one thing. But being able to have staff I think is wrong and should not be allowed. It's why I don't donate and don't support any taxes going to non-profits. If they believed in their mission they'd be for profit.

    To this end, a local non-profit hospital had to build another hospital so they could spend their "non-profits" instead of lowering prices. We now have a 96 bed hospital that sits 80-90% empty because we don't need it.



  • @wirestyle22 said:

    If you give me a ruleset I'm going to do everything I can to use it to my advantage within my moral and legal boundaries

    Doing things to YOUR advantage would result in actions such as these:

    • Doing as little work as you can get away with.
    • Taking kickbacks (not moral by most standards, but moral by the standards of most non-profit managers)
    • Doing nothing to rock the boat or risk exposing the corruption of others or of the system
    • Keep your head down and hide.

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