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Can Linux stop global warming?

Sep 27, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A privately held German company with offices in the U.K., U.S., Cyprus, and Malta is touting its Linux-based thin-client technology as a climate change remediant. “2X Ltd” says businesses can halve computer-related electrical consumption by replacing PCs with Linux-based thin clients and its centralized management software.

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2X claims thin clients consume up to 50 percent less power than PCs. Citing research from Europe's largest applied research center, Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the company posits that if British businesses began replacing PCs with thin clients, they would save 78 Million GBP (approx. $154 million U.S.) in electricity costs, while reducing CO2 emissions by 485,000 tons a year.

The “ThinClientServer 5” stack's web-based interface
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2X's “ThinClientServer 5” thin client management software suite appears to include a boot server supporting PXE boot and Etherboot (which requires no network interface card support), along with user management software with a browser-based user interface. The suite is available in a free “PXES” version, and in a supported, commercial “Enterprise” version that adds the ability to connect to Citrix servers. Also available from 2X are an “ApplicationServer” product for Windows Terminal Services-based applications, and a LoadBalancer for greater scalability.

Visit the Linux thin client showcase
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The ThinClientServer 5 stack is said to support thin client devices from multiple vendors, including VXL, HP, Neoware, Wyse, and Maxspeed. Old PCs that lack netboot capabilities, meanwhile, can boot from a floppy, CD, hard drive, or USB key, retrieving user-specific settings over the network once the user logs in, just as the thin clients do.

Touted features in the newly available release 5 of ThinClientServer include:

  • Redundant storage of configuration and settings data
  • Load balancing and high availability for PXE booting
  • 2X ThinClientOS USB disk boot and installer
  • Lower memory requirements
  • Sound software emulation support
  • Screensaver and locking support
  • Jet Direct print server support

John Haskins, GM of 2X's U.S. operation, stated, “Thin client computing is the only solution for effective IT energy, cost, and administration management. With 2X ThinClientServer 5, companies can familiarize themselves with the technology and prepare for the deployment.”


Commercial versions of ThinClientServer 5 are available now, priced at $600 for 25 clients, $1200 for 50 clients, and $3700 for 250 thin clients. The free ThinClientServer PXES edition is available in RPM and DEB packaging after a brief registration, here. Also available free after registration are manuals, installation guides, and technical overviews.

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