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LTSP client goes Banana Pi!

December 16th, 2014 by

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer running ARM processor that plugs into your TV/PC monitor, mouse and a keyboard, it is capable of running Linux and can be made to do many interesting things.The Banana Pi is a what Chinese ingeniousness came up with after they checked out Raspberry Pi, they made a lot more powerful knockoff. This is a “How-to” use Banana Pi as LTSP client.

There is BerryTerminal project which makes it possible to use Raspberry Pi as LTSP Thin Client, on the server you can run any distribution that can run LTSP server, it can be running CPU with x86/x86_64/whatever architecture as LTSP provides a way to run X session from the server via SSH tunnel. Biggest benefit of running LTSP is centralized user and data management, and clients can be of modest specification as all clients’ sessions are run on the server. This is a drawback as well, as the server needs to be powerful enough to handle many sessions. This is where LTSP Fat Client help, it allows running of users’ session on the client that are powerful enough, while users and data are stored on the central server allowing modest server to serve many more clients than it would otherwise. Raspberry Pi is not that capable to run full featured Linux desktop, Banana Pi with it’s dual core CPU and 1 GB RAM is just good enough to work as a Thin Client as well as a Fat Client. perfect for home, small office or school lab.

Piece of history, first ever Banana Pi LTSP terminal running openSUSE KIWI-LTSP

There is openSUSE 13.1 available for Banana Pi, it comes with XFCE desktop and many useful software pre-installed. Because I do not know how to create images for this hardware, that image is used as a base for Banana Terminal. Here are the steps to turn your Banana Pi into LTSP client.

* Download openSUSE-Bananapi-LTSP.tar.xz

* Extract the archive to get openSUSE-Bananapi-LTSP.img from it.

* Dump the openSUSE-Bananapi-LTSP.img on to a SD card, see step 5 here.

* Change settings according to your network configuration

In the second partition of SD card etc/lts.conf edit the SERVER variable to point to LTSP server in your network.

* Plug the SD card in your Banana Pi and boot it up, make sure the network is connected and LTSP server is set up properly. You have to create users on the server to use for login on client.

*  In case you have a bigger SD card, use yast2 disk(partitioner) on the client to expand the second partition. You can use yast’s package manager to install more software. The default password for root is bananapi, you may want to change that first thing after booting.

If you would like to run LTSP client on ARM7 hardware supported by openSUSE I would be happy to accept hardware donation to get it working 😉

Have a lot of fun…

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One Response to “LTSP client goes Banana Pi!”

  1. Gwayne / Mike

    I just got two banana pro’s 😉