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Ubuntu LTSP should provide a quick and effective method to install a diskless workstation that runs all applications locally from within the NFS exported root.


LTSP cuts down on administration overhead, and has proven to be popular in education, and is becoming more popular in the commercial sector.

Diskless Fat Clients will allow an administrator to use powerful workstations as diskless machines, maintaining the benefits of easy administration.

Use Cases

  • James is administarator in a school and wants to set up a multimedia lab on the P4 2Ghz/512MB machines he has lying around on the shelf. He installs ltsp-server on hus ubuntu server, runs "sudo ltsp-build-client --workstation" on it and immediately has a running setup of netbooted diskless workstations running.
  • Mark has a thin client lab and got new powerful client hardware donated he uses to replace all the old powerless thin clients, he installs ubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-auth-client in his thin client chroot and is able to make use of the processing power of the clients.


  • Provide netbooted diskless workstation support in LTSP

Design and Implementation

A new plugin for ltsp-build-client will be created, very similar to the demo plugin outlined in the HowtoWriteLTSP5Plugins wikipage but instead of installing gdm and firefox to get a webkiosk system it will install ubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-auth-client. Documentation needs to be written to point out that the diskless workstation setup will only work hand in hand with a network authentication service (/home needs to be mounted from a remote server, users need to be authenticated against a network authentication service)


To be placed in /usr/share/ltsp/plugins/ltsp-build-client/Ubuntu/30-workstation

case "$MODE" in
        add_option "workstation" "`eval_gettext "a netbooted diskless workstation mode."`" "advanced" "false"
        if [ -n "$option_workstation_value" ]; then
            # set an environment variable we can pick up later
        if [ -n "$WORKSTATION" ]; then
            LC_ALL=C chroot $ROOT apt-get $APT_GET_OPTS install ubuntu-desktop edubuntu-auth-client

            # make the necessary directories writeable to the booted client
            echo 'rw_dirs="$rw_dirs /var/lib/gdm"' >> $ROOT/etc/defaults/ltsp-client-setup


LTSPFatClients (last edited 2008-08-06 16:37:24 by localhost)