OpenSLX: Linux Diskless Clients¶
The operation and administration of a larger number of computers is quite a lot of effort. This is also true for Linux installations. So that administration won't become the main task with your implementation and maintenance of a larger installation, there is a need for special technologies to get the problem under control. Apart from the classic method of Software Deployments and Patch Managements, Stateless approaches have the best chance to relieve the admin from boring routine tasks. On request, one installation can serve any number of Client-machines over the network. For this there is no need for any special preparation of the machines: PXE or Etherboot are sufficient to allow the machine to boot from the network. From this, additional freedom of design is achieved: Local installations don't need to loose ground, but can for example, during migration or mixed scenarios, offer an alternative to the Stateless operation.
OpenSLX deals with GPL-Software that allows installation and easy administration on hard drive free Linux Workstations. The project focuses of large installations with a similar deployment profile (So not necessarily machines with special hardware for production control etc.). This is currently implemented in Schools or Universities to have a highly flexible and stable pool environment for training courses, classes etc. On the established Stateless-Linux-Basis, another OS for training purposes, such as Windows or Linux, can effectively be distributed through virtualization technologies (currently VMplayer, later also VirtualBox or XEN).
The switch-over between different operation modes occurs at boot time, since no costly Image distribution (Imagecopy) occurs before or during the machine boot.
Plenty of good Linux distributions are available: For this reason OpenSLX doesn't choose the approach to offer its own package collection. Instead a script collection is available which many standard distributions prepare for the stateless operation. The OpenSLX package prepares a middleware for you that stays hidden from the user of a machine. So the appropriate "Look & Feel" of a distribution is maintained, the customization and changes occur in the background.
Users use their desktop to access all of their machines available equipment as usual: There are no special requirements since everything occurs locally and no costly, for example, Auto-mount chains need to happen. Playback of movies or use
of 3D-applications is also no problem. Furthermore, only this way, can the extensive performance potential of today's desktop PCs be fully used and be given exclusively to the user.
This type of Linux Desktop allows the familiar uses of versatile applications: Virtualization environments such as Virtual Box or VMware(Player) allow you to boot further Operating Systems.
Important informations for setting up a OpenSLX system:
- News in our Blog (only german)
- Installation and Download of the OpenSLX project
- Step-By-Step-Howto from the installation of the OpenSLX project to the setup and configuration of a Clients
- Configure Distribution as OpenSLX Vendor OS
- Documents in Pdf and Html including the OpenSLX-Documentation
- Mailinglists for Linux Diskless Clients
The OpenSLX system is extendable by plugins.
- auth plugin