OpenBSD Journal
Home : : Add Story : : Archives : : About : : Create Account : : Login :
Thin client solution based on OpenBSD
Contributed by phessler on Fri Oct 26 14:01:20 2012 (GMT)
from the bang-the-drum-all-day dept.

OpenBSD developer Robert Nagy writes in to tell us about how they use OpenBSD at work:

The m:tier thin client is a small application written in Python that can be executed as a window manager replacement. It provides a clean UI for the thin client hardware in order to allow the user to easily execute all the needed applications. We have been using thin client hardware from IGEL to have a simple and usable hardware base for our thin client. The machine itself is a really simple i386 machine with enough power to support most of the needs. As usual, we have chosen OpenBSD as the operating system because of its simplicity and the fact that it’s the most secure and sane operating system out there.

In most areas thin clients are being used in offices where there can be a central server which is used by the clients to boot using pxeboot for example. In this case every time the machine gets rebooted, a clean environment will be provided for the users. Our goal was to create a thin client which can be updated and managed over the internet, but still keeping the ability to have a clean environment after a reboot. In order to achieve this we have modified the rc(8) system of OpenBSD to use memory file systems on the those parts of the system where writing data somewhere is necessary. In our setup /tmp, /home, /var/log and /var/db is always a memory filesystem. All of these memory filesystems are created on boot to have a clean start except for /var/db which gets synchronized with the on-disk data before it is being used by anything. After the filesystem setup we make sure that we populate the /home directory properly for the “thin” user, which is being used by the thin client to launch an X server and the thin client software itself.

ttyC5   "/usr/bin/su - thin -c /usr/X11R6/bin/xinit" xterm on secure

install -d -o thin -g users -m 750 /home/thin
cat < /home/thin/.xinitrc
xsetroot -cursor_name left_ptr
(cd /usr/local/thinclient; ./thinclient)

As you can see the rc.local can be used to populate the home directory for the thin user to have all the necessary configuration files. After rc.local has finished running, the rc(8) script makes the whole / filesystem read-only because we do not need to write to it at all. Doing this also ensures that if the machine gets reset there will be no need to run fsck(8) and that our system will always be consistent with what we want.

The thin client software is really simple and by default it includes support for three default applications: OpenNX, Remmina and Chromium. These are the most commonly used application types on a thin client because most of the time users only use these clients to connect to other machines or just to browse the internet.

The client also has two indicators so that the user can see if the network connection and a VPN connection are up (if configured). The client regularly watches network traffic on the configured interface and also checks IPSec flows to indicate if there is a VPN tunnel running:

The client also includes a clock and a date indicator and support for rebooting and shutting the thin client down.

We have chosen OpenNX and Remmina to support remote connections to other machines because these programs include basically all needed protocols: NX, RDP, VNC and so on.

In the background a puppet client is running checking a master server over the internet using the machine’s UUID to authenticate itself to the puppet master server in order to get updates over the internet. Since the / filesystem is mounted read-only each time an update has to be applied the filesystem gets remounted read-write so that the changes can be made and then it gets remounted read-only to protect the consistency of the system.

For more details on this delightful system, please check out the homepage at


<< EuroBSDCon 2012 wrap up | Reply | Flattened | Expanded | OpenBSD 5.2 released >>

Threshold: Help

Related Links
more by phessler

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod 2/34)
by Predrag Punosevac (Oko) ( on Sun Oct 28 20:41:51 2012 (GMT)
  Great post! Is there any chance that we see soon m:tier thin client in ports tree? Could you also explain the rational behind using OpenNX and Remmina? I was not aware of Remmina before so I did a bit of search. It appears that Remmina does support NX protocol although relaying on OpenSSH rather on proprietary forked SSH version. Is there anything wrong with it? I am a heavy user of OpenNX and occasional user of VNC (SSVNC) and RDP. Having a single client for multiple protocols is very appealing to me.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod 5/29)
by mkucharski (mkucharski) ( on Mon Nov 5 02:18:09 2012 (GMT)
  Robert, what are you using on the server side of NX?
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod 0/14)
by Anonymous Coward ( on Thu Sep 8 01:22:37 2016 (GMT)
  Je peux dire que le comparateur cigarette electronique est la meilleure solution pour ca
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod 1/11)
by Anonymous Coward ( on Thu Sep 8 22:53:48 2016 (GMT)
  La cigarette electronique est là pour aider à arrêter de fumer
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod -1/13)
by Anonymous Coward ( on Thu Sep 8 22:54:49 2016 (GMT)
  Ecigplanete est la meilleure boutique pour acheter des cigarette electronique au meilleur prix
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod -1/13)
by Anonymous Coward ( on Thu Sep 8 22:59:52 2016 (GMT)
  Energyk est la societé numéro 1 qui vous fourni des chaffagiste - plombier - debouchage - electricien - vitrier - serrurier
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod 1/11)
by mxffiles ( on Tue Feb 7 06:28:48 2017 (GMT)
  This is a very good post which I really enjoy reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this. Software mxf Software mxf converter free download to convert HD camcorder files. ts converter convert ts video files to avi, mp4, wmv, mov mts to avi mp4 mov mkv iMovie, FCP/FCE with mts converter, so to convert mts files for your PC and mobiles. mod converter and convert tod files just free download mod video converter. m2ts
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: Thin client solution based on OpenBSD (mod 0/0)
by Zian Ananda Rizky (zianida) ( on Mon Apr 17 09:36:12 2017 (GMT)
  desain nan modern membuat penampilan Anda lebih sempurna dan gaya MARIBEL Marmar Purple marmarpurple maribel19835 TAS WANITA MARIBEL KUALITAS PREMIUM TERLIHAT ELEGANT JUKA SUDAH DI PAKAI DRILL MURAH MULAI DARI Rp 20 000 pen tas kanvas pen tas parasut jual tas kipling mini original. wordpress20150519 drill murah mulai dari rp20000 19 Mei 2015 DRILL adalah yang terbuat dari kain drill yang biasa lucu kanvas grosir kanvas lucu unik Tas Sekolah Backpack Ransel wattpad259847513tas sekolah tas backpacktas ransel Read spunbond murah from the story Sekolah jual jansport mini original. Backpack Ransel by KhuTony Khu Tony with 86 reads dompet acak plastic Kanvas Murah Desain Custom Kanvas tas kanvas net kanvasmurah desaincustom kanvas murah di tas kanvas net dengan pembuatan custom sablon maupun polos Melayani pemesanan blacu canvas dan spunbond Quincy klik tautan ini. Tegga blanja m blanjaitem beli quincytegga14562904 Quincy Tegga 20 Rp 70 000 Rp 199 000 64% Pilih Jenis Warna Hitam Hitam 259 Ter Stok tersedia 39 Dapatkan Kupon Disini Jumlah Polos Harga Murah Berkualitas Sablon Jogja Murah sablonjogjaid201602 poloshargamurah berkualitas Konveksi jual kipling mini original. Jogja Murah polos satuan murah harga sablon Jogja produksi Jogja Sablon Jogja Bikin furing Harga kain furing POVILO Wanita Kino povilobelanja tas kinobrown Kino merupakan hasil kerja keras kami dalam menghasilkan sebuah wanita yang berkualitas tinggi fungsional namun dengan harga yang klik tautan ini. Beli Emina Online Terlengkap Emina Prelo preloemina Temukan 100 Koleksi Emina Bekas Terbaik Harga Termurah Dapatkan Emina hanya di Prelo App Beli Online ratusan Seller exo produksi fashion dan merchandise recyclepinshoptas exo spesifikasi bahan kain kanvas hitam size 35cmx40cm sablon jual cath kidston mini original. rubber penutup resleting Be Sociable Share! Tweet Efek Rumah Kaca Toko Helm Cakil Murah ukmmarkethndclothing efekrumahkaca Efek Rumah Kaca di Toko HND CLOTHING dengan harga Rp 85000 cari produk UKM Punya Indonesia di ukm market Marketplace UKM 1 di Tas Model Terbaru klik tautan ini. Harga Murah tas sale Beranda model terbaru 2017 kualitas super dan premium Kami menjual koleksi LV import dengan Grosir LV Super Premium Model Terbaru 2017 Toko t as mode co collection tas Harga Grosir LV Super Premium Model Terbaru 2016 Koleksi Katalog Gambar Wanita Merk LV jual ransel branded kw murah. Kualitas Import Cantik Murah tas cantik info Nama Barang LV JESICA MONO Slempang 3room murah edisi November 2016 Harga Rp 190 000 200 000 Anda Hemat Rp 10 000 5 00% Tas LV Terbaru Murah Damier Azure Ebene Speedy tas supermurah lv Jual LV Wanita Import Model Terbaru 1 Super Semi model tas ransel kulit wanita. Premium Classic Online dengan harga Grosir Koleksi terlengkap TAS SEMI PREMIUM SEMI ORI Rinshop Where rinshopshop tas semi premium semi ori Fashion Bag Family replika Child Fashion Bag Chanel Life Style Hermes women Kesehatan Gucci orang tua Health Tas Terbaru 2016 1 Super jual ransel sekolah anak smp. Premium tas 99tas Harga terbaru 2016 kualitas 1 super premium kulit matang ada banyak pilihan model lv di toko batam Jual Terbaru 2016 Import Batam tas batam jual tas terbaru 082174121717 WA Terbaru Terbaru Murah Jual Import Harga harga lv semi premium Harper 09VL693QB import tas model ransel sekolah anak terbaru.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

[ Home | Add Story | Archives | Polls | About ]

Copyright © 2004-2008 Daniel Hartmeier. All rights reserved. Articles and comments are copyright their respective authors, submission implies license to publish on this web site. Contents of the archive prior to April 2nd 2004 as well as images and HTML templates were copied from the fabulous original with Jose's and Jim's kind permission. Some icons from used with permission from Kathleen. This journal runs as CGI with httpd(8) on OpenBSD, the source code is BSD licensed. Search engine is ht://Dig. undeadly \Un*dead"ly\, a. Not subject to death; immortal. [Obs.]