Thin-client operating system openthinclient 2020.2: Farewell to 32-bit

With the 2020.2 version of its thin client operating system, which has now been presented, openthinclient GmbH is cutting off old braids and saying goodbye to 32-bit platforms. In addition, the software was given the ability to boot over the network via UEFI-PXE even on newer hardware. The previously maintained support for 32-bit devices is no longer available, openthinclient 2020.2 only works on Intel-compatible 64-bit thin clients or PCs.

As a substructure, openthinclient uses a Debian 10 (Buster) adapted to the purpose, on which, among other things, the connection to the terminal server FreeRDP 2.2 and the Citrix Client 2009 with plug-ins for Zoom and Teams are available. RDesktop 1.8.6 is available for working with older Windows servers up to 2008. In pure cloud environments, Chromium is used as a browser, Firefox has been removed by the manufacturer.

The software is available in two versions. On the one hand as a server installation for central management of the thin clients with the Linux-based operating system. They are available either as an installer (Linux and Windows, approx. 170 MB each) or as a virtual appliance (HyperV and VMare, 2.7 or 2.9 GB). On the other hand, with the client-OS-on-a-stick version, openthinclient has a live system in its portfolio that can only be installed on USB sticks. In addition to the OS and the apps already mentioned, this includes its local management. It can be used via the integrated OpenVPN in order to be able to securely access the company servers from branches or from the home office with a thin client.

The openthinclient environment can be managed via a clear management interface.

(Bild: openthinclient)

The creation, booting and administration of a new thin client takes place via the central openthinclient management GUI within a few minutes. Depending on the configuration, the clients boot an adapted thin client operating system over the network or load it as an image from the USB stick. Typical server-based computing applications such as Citrix or RDP are then started. The thin client then accesses the virtual desktop and users can start their work. Settings such as user rights, approved applications, etc. are made via Citrix Workspace Environment Management or the Terminal Server Manager.

Both the management server and the on-a-stick variants can be tried out free of charge – and without support. possible. For both you have to register and make a € 0 purchase, which is a bit cumbersome. The on-a-stick variant can be tried out for 30 days, the management server can be used permanently for free by up to 49 clients. The paid licenses start at 60 euros per year for openthinclient-on-a-stick.

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