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Setting up Thin Clients (LTSP) on Novell Linux Desktop

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By James Tremblay

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Posted: 14 Dec 2005

PROBLEM: No documentation regarding installing LTSP on NLD so that users see a recognizable desktop solution.


Since there is no specific documentation to guide someone through the process of building a thin client network with NLD we decided, since my co-worker and I wanted it, that we would create one.

Here it is.

Novell Linux Desktop Installation

While installing Novell Linux Desktop, you will get to a screen called "Installation Settings". When you are at this screen, click on the "Software" section, and then the "Detailed Selection" button. Ensure that you have selected these packages for installation:

    a. DHCP

    b. DHCP tools

    c. DHCP server

    d. Perl-libwww-perl

    e. Make

    f. Gcc

    g. Gcc+

    h. Kernel-syms

    i. Kernel-default

    j. tftp

2. It is suggested to configure the machine with two NIC cards both using static IP, the thin client side or private NIC should use an address ending in .254, activate and run all updates.

Installing LTSP from the ISO image

1. Download the ISO image from Save it on your system. For this example, we'll put it in /tmp.

2. Make sure you are either logged into a terminal as root, or you've switched to super user using 'su -' (Notice the '-', it's important).

3. Mount the ISO image, using the loopback device:

    mount -o loop /tmp/[ISO Image Name] /mnt

4. Install the ltsp-utils package. The ltsp-utils package is included on the ISO image.

You can install the ltsp-utils RPM package by executing the following commands:

    cd /mnt

    rpm -ivh ltsp-utils-0.11-0.noarch.rpm

You'll end up with ltspadmin in /usr/sbin.

5. Run ltspadmin as root.

6. From the main menu in ltspadmin, choose:

"Configure the installer options"

7. Specify the pathname to the files:


Notice that the value MUST be in the form of a URL, and also, notice that there are 3 slashes '///'. The first 2 slashes are part of the URL specification ("file://"), the 3rd slash is for the root directory on your server.

8. Leave the remaining options as is.

9. Install ALL of the packages.

10. Unmount the ISO image from /mnt by executing this command:

    umount /mnt

The client-side sound support is already built into the ltsp-core packages, but you will still need a package installed on the server, to setup the environment to re-direct the sound to the workstation.

To set up the services

1. To begin load 'ltspadmin', Choose the 'Configure LTSP' menu item, which will cause it to run the ltspcfg utility. Use this utility to setup the services.

2. This will check for all the necessary services and at the end hitting [ENTER] will return you to the main menu.

3. At the main menu choose 's' the shows the status of all the services. It may be necessary to go into YAST > Network Services > TFTP server and enable it. If so in order to change the status of the service in 'ltspadmin', exit the utility and restart it.

4. Now go to 'configure the services manually'.

5. Now 1 'runlevel' is for the server console, if you are ok with the CLI choose 3, if you want the GUI choose 5.

6. Now 2 'interface selection' is for choosing which card to bind DHCP services to, usually the second NIC is the Private\client side, type in 'eth1' Verify this setting in YAST > System > sysconfig editor > network > DHCP > DHCP server > DHCPD_INTERFACE it should read 'eth1' same as ltspconfig.

7. Now 3 DHCP configurations. This creates the sample dhcpd.conf.sample file. You can skip this one.

8. Now 4 TFTP configurations. Sets the TFTP deamon to start at boot. You can skip this one too.

9. Now 5 Portmapper configurations. Usually already enabled

10. Now 6 NFS configurations. This usually errors asking that 'nfslock' be enabled first. Do this in YAST >System>Runlevel Editor>nfslock>enable>finish. Return to ltspadmin and run 6 again. All should be well.

11. Now 7 Xdmcp configurations. Choose 'yes' for full GUI login. Choose 'no' at the second prompt to keep the server secure.

12. Now 8 create /etc/hosts. Choose 'yes' to add names.

13. Now 9 create /etc/hosts.allow. Choose 'yes' to add names.

14. Now 10 create /etc/exports. Choose 'yes' this creates the default LTSP NFS exported directories.

15. Now 11 create lts.conf. Choose 'yes' to create the default. This sets the environment for the clients. It may need to be edited later to resolve, amongst other things, display resolution errors. Quit ltspadmin.

16. Now edit the dhcpd.conf file and make sure it looks something like this:

default-lease-time 3600;
max-lease-time 7200;
ddns-update-style none;
option subnet-mask;
option broadcast-address 10.x.x.255;
option routers 10.x.x.254;
option root-path "10.x.x.254:/opt/ltsp/i386";
option option-128 code 128 = string;
option option-129 code 129 = text;
option host-name = concat ("ws", (binary-to-ascii (10, 8, "", substring (leased-address, 3, 6))), ".ltsp");

shared-network WORKSTATIONS {
    subnet 10.x.x.0 netmask {
    range dynamic-bootp 10.x.x.214 10.x.x.253;
    use-host-decl-names       on;
    option log-servers        10.x.x.254;

    # trick from Peter Rundle <>
     if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient"
        filename      "lts/2.4.26-ltsp-3/pxelinux.0";
          # NOTE: kernels are specified in tpboot/lts/pxe/pxelinux.cfg/
        filename    "lts/vmlinuz-2.4.26-ltsp-3";


17. Now that DHCP is ready to run, tell the DHCPD to start at boot. Choose YAST > system > Runlevel editor > dhcpd > enable > finish.

18. Reboot and test. All should be well!

James Tremblay and Matt Seaton

Mandatory Disclaimer: This article is provided as an example of how we got this working on our test setup. It is not the final word on the subject and it should be noted--use this information at your own risk. No warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied. We are not responsible for any damage resulting from your implementation of this information. Again, use this How-To at your own risk.

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