X Windows Terminal

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X Windows can be used in a Server-Client relationship. By setting up your X Windows Server you allow the use of all the programs on that computer to all the client PC's.

There are many advantages of running client computers in this manner:

  • They don't even need a hard drive.
  • It's silent as there are no moving parts
  • The solution saves power as your computers are very thin.
  • Everything can be backed up centrally.
  • Boot times for client PC's are the fastest around.
  • Clients don't need much CPU speed, memory, etc. Because of this they would be very cheap. You could get away with using a Pentium 100Mhz with 32MB ram, no hard drive, no CD-ROM, no Floppy and a fanless power supply. You just need a ethernet card with a PXEBOOT ROM. (XDM mode)
  • Central management of applications, users, config

From the Beginning

I've based this document on FreeBSD 6.1.

Install FreeBSD 6.1 as per usual. I've setup my mount points as this:

 Part    Mount        Size
 ad0s1b  Swap         (equal to how much memory I have in my machine)
 ad0s1a  /            512MB
 ad0s1d  /var         1G
 ad0s1e  /tmp         512MB
 ad0s1f  /usr         2GB    min.
         /diskless_ro 512MB
         /diskless_rw 1GB    min.

I selected 'A' for auto and then deleted /usr and created /usr as 2g.

Select User-X install. Yes to Ports if you have the room.

Select SSH Server and NFS Server in the installation process, for the rest of the options go with the default.

NOTE: If you forget to add any of the labels above, you will have to reboot as you cannot add labels to your boot drive when you have booted off it. So boot of the installation CD and use the configure -> label option in the sysinstall screen to add these labels to your boot drive. You may need to retype the mount points for /, /var, /tmp and /usr by hitting 'm' on each label. Once you have created these labels in the 'Disklabel Editor' then you can hit 'w' to write them to the disk. answer 'yes' to the next question, hit 'ok' to the warning message. Now quit and reboot. Add them to fstab (/dev/ad0s1g /diskless_ro)

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