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Best LINUX for RDP

By PCSupportUK ·
I want to recycle my old PC's as thin clients. I have some (but not much) knowledge of linux, I have a windows 2003 terminal server and a load of old Pentium 2 desktops and would like to know the best linux distro to use (for old PC's) and how to configure it to pick up an IP address from DHCP then start an RDP client session to a specific server. This must all happen without user interaction and will preferably drop back to the RDP logon when the user disconnects, I don't want them getting into the background linux at all.

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by Nico Baggus In reply to Best LINUX for RDP

Any linux will do.
Probably Damn Small Linux is enough (+ rdesktop)

or a thin client version of linux:
Thin station:


What you realy need besides Linux + base
libraries and networking stuff is an X server
( or XFree86) and rdesktop.

For running a rdesktop captive system you just
need to run dhcp + X + rdesktop and if X or
rdesktop dies kill and restart both.

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by PCSupportUK In reply to

Thanks for the links, I found Thin Station as well and am going to take a good look at it.
Do I still need X Server if I am RDPing into a Win 2003 Terminal Server?
What I really need is advice on locking Linux down so that it connects straight to the TS without any user interaction and they don't go into linux when they disconnect from the TS session.

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by Nico Baggus In reply to Best LINUX for RDP

Yes you need the X server because you need
something to supply mouse & keybord input to
rdesktop and you need the output of rdesktop

You definitely dont need a session manager
whatsoever. No KDE, no Gnome, no xflt etc. etc.

If you make a script like:

startx ..... &
export DISPLAY=:0.0
rdesktop -F <remotehost. etc. etc. etc.
goto loop

and even the startx part probably can be trimmed
to just a call to X. with proper parameters.
(allow unix pipeline, no internet
connections) ....

Almost nothing else can be done on this system.
It will become a little more work if you want to
display a little menu and want to select a task
from there.

All you really need is a X server and rdesktop.
and optionaly a simple menu system.
This might be a better help: setup a kiosk.

I haven't done this my self. But the
instructions seem to be strait forward.
This kiosk is running mozilla, if you put
rdesktop in its place it is probably all done.

Hope this helps.

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by PCSupportUK In reply to

Thanks for expanding upon the first post it will be a great help.

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by PCSupportUK In reply to Best LINUX for RDP

This question was closed by the author

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PC TSC is probably what you need

by jonathanbrickman0000 In reply to Best LINUX for RDP

This project is probably what you need:

Its purpose is to convert PCs to terminal server clients as easily as possible. Uses Tiny Core Linux as base, with installation and configuration highly automated.

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