After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, I’m proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February.
As we wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP’s history, we also released LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 on the same day.
Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available in my PPA.
For other distributions, I’m expecting packages to be available very soon. If you want to check out the code, it’s on Launchpad.
It would take a lot of pages to describe all that was changed during these two years so I won’t even try to do that 🙂
Instead, I’ll simply give you a short overview of what one can do with LTSP nowadays:
- Boot a Debian/Fedora/Gentoo/Ubuntu environment using PXE (dhcp + tftp) and connect to an application server using SSH and X11.
- Either run the whole session remotely or run select applications locally to use specific hardware or advance 3D capabilities
- If running Ubuntu, run everything locally and only select applications remotely (that’s called Fat Client)
- Support for RDP sessions using rdesktop
- Working local block devices like harddisks, floppy disks and cd-rom drives (thanks to ltspfs)
- Easily extensible thanks to an amazing plugin infrastructure, providing hooks pretty much everywhere
- Multi-lingual support in LDM and most of our scripts
- Scalable to thousands of thin clients, at least on Ubuntu, thanks to LTSP-Cluster
- Complete documentation, in the LTSP handbook
- Active and supporting community, mostly on the various mailing-lists and #ltsp (freenode)
Now, to quickly summarize what changed between 5.1.99 and 5.2, here’s the changelog I used in the Ubuntu package:
- Improve fat client support (a lot faster)
- Update nbd-proxy for stability
- Rewrite of ltsp-update-image
- Updated sound configuration
- Lots of optimizations
- Added ssh and whiptail screen script
LDM was made a bit faster in 2.1 and a few ltspfs bugs have been fixed as well as lot of optimization and code cleanup (in both cdpinger and ltspfsd).
Measure boot time on Ubuntu Lucid is under 10s on an Atom-based thin client (1.6Ghz, Hyper-Threated with 512MB of DDR2). That’s just blazing fast !!
Once again, thanks to everyone who made that possible. I’m really impressed by all the changes made to LTSP over the past few years and I really love being a part of it.