The officially official Devuan Forum!

You are not logged in.

#1 2024-04-02 05:53:44

Registered: 2019-09-24
Posts: 119  

How does LTSP work ?

------------ update ------------
Devuan uses LTSP5 (not the ltsp19 from 2019 onwards) .(see related announcment of that change).

For documentation for newbies ,like me, i think the best entry point so far that i have searched is :

Devuan wiki / LTSP5

Also since ltsp5 is a devuan stable package and not in debian stable see:
devuan git page of ltsp5


I try to understand how LTSP works and ideally make it work in my Devuan system and it would be also cool to test devuan thin clients with qemu. Ideally i would like to administer a couple of home devuan pcs from my computer minimizing the fuzz to must admin each of them individually.
So i would prefer to install software in one system and the network-clients to access a unified root filesystem shared by all users but of course with access restriction do each user.

I found in the internet a distinction between ltsp with thin cilents and ltsp with fat clients(1).

It seems that an LTSP server offers (creates certain types) of images of installed systems to clients . And a client can use ipxe to boot with those images.

And a client while running an image (lets say Devuan stable) will be used AS a standalone pc with the difference that the filesystem resides in the LTSP server .

If my description covers correct the casual way ltsp is used today then the server is not a unix server for user in a traditional sense with each user having a home folder under a common root fs and sharing all the server's installed software but each client is practically another root filesystem installation with  the ltsp server acting as a file server ?

And then each user of a fat client must be his own sysadmin ? I mean , the LTSP server's sysadm is responsible only for setting a central server for distro images and the 'file server' ?

I guess a crucial question that helps to differentiate various setups it what are the responsibilities of a user ? Do we have one sysadm and many users or do we have one sysadm and many other 'sysadms'.
(1)By fatclient i refer to a pc that has cpu and main memory and can run programs but it does not necessarily has a secondary storage.

(a) How to create a Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTSP server with 32bit thin clients  // 2011 LTSP5 tutorial .

Last edited by chomwitt (2024-04-04 12:55:52)

Devuan(Chimaera)(Daedalus)  DS+WM: XorgX11server+StumpVM


#2 2024-04-02 15:31:08

Registered: 2018-05-31
Posts: 281  

Re: How does LTSP work ?

I take it you've visited the LTSP pages?

About 15 yrs ago I managed to set up an LTSP server and to boot a client from it. Don't fool yourself, it's quite a job to set up the entire infrastructure: DHCP, FTP, DNS and only then LTSP as such. Effectively, you're setting up a very localized but complete mini-ISP. It can be done, I did, but it's worth getting pretty comfy on the CLI, cause you'll use it a lot. It also requires, due to DNS and DHCP, a physically separate network. Technically you might be able to get stuff working on your existing network, but only if you have unrestricted access to the router of your home network. Basically, you need to know what you're doing and if you do, you didn't have to ask wink


#3 2024-04-02 19:46:42

Registered: 2019-09-24
Posts: 119  

Re: How does LTSP work ?

isnt that strange? Unix is multiuser. Unix uses simple tools to do the job. What do i miss ?

Devuan(Chimaera)(Daedalus)  DS+WM: XorgX11server+StumpVM


#4 2024-04-02 22:32:12

From: Battery Point, Tasmania, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 1,189  

Re: How does LTSP work ?

"the job" ?


#5 2024-04-03 10:49:29

From: Ortenau
Registered: 2021-04-25
Posts: 101  

Re: How does LTSP work ?

I worked on such an X installation back in 1987,88. Simple graphics, small network traffic. , low res pixel-centric graphics with no rendering necessary.
Drawing electrical schematics.

What do i miss ?

about one week of work , including the learning curve.

I did that once under S.u.S.E. (<=7.3, < Y2003) . It included compiling a stripped partly non modular kernel for the clients, which had the network card driver compiled in. Once that works, it can pull other modules from the server. All what was not needed, was not compiled to obtain the smallest kernel.
And the distributed X11 server / xclient architecture is interesting .
Nice if you have many many many clients , no distributed maintenance.
I dont know, how this is today with wayland. see here : … land_and_X
Lots of rendering today, lots of network traffic today, if distributed and wrong distribution of graphic load..
Power up the client :
(DNS) and only then LTSP ,
and then X11 client server.
And then login on the Thin client

The devil, you know, is better than the angel, you don't know. by a British Citizen, I don't know too good.
One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels. By Henry David Thoreau, WALDEN, Economy. Line 236 (Gutenberg text Version)
broken by design : … bug=958390


#6 2024-04-04 06:01:41

Registered: 2019-09-24
Posts: 119  

Re: How does LTSP work ?

I just realised that devuan has ltsp5 . Not the newest ltsp incarnation. 

Announcing LTSP 19.08   
LTSP has been redesigned and rewritten from scratch as part of a GSoC 2019 project,
The new LTSP comes with a new goal:
Linux Terminal Server Project helps in netbooting LAN clients from a single template installation that resides in a virtual machine image or a chroot on the LTSP server, or the server root (/, chrootless). This way maintaining tens or hundreds of diskless clients is as easy as maintaining a single PC.

I.e. the focus now is in ease of maintenance, not in recycling old hardware. New technologies like diskless fat clients with UEFI, Wayland etc are supported, while thin client support is now reduced to "remote desktop with xfreerdp / x2go / VNC".

The old LTSP will now be called LTSP5 (it was first released in 2005), to distinguish it from the new versions that follow the year.month numbering.

..and i may add that newest ltsp has a systemd depedence.

A link to ltsp site would create confusion since the installation guide there refers to the newest ltsp.

So should i try to use a possible unsupported version or maybe try x2go ?

Last edited by chomwitt (2024-04-04 07:15:08)

Devuan(Chimaera)(Daedalus)  DS+WM: XorgX11server+StumpVM


Board footer