Thin Client Deployment at The City of Largo

Dave Richards of the City of Largo, Florida gave an interesting presentation at SCO Forum 1999 on how the city has deployed a thin client, server-centric solution. This has enabled the City of Largo to operate more efficiently at a greatly reduced cost and with much lower maintenance and support overhead.

The City is upgrading from a rack of SCO OpenServer servers to UnixWare 7. In addition, they are converting their thin client desktops from XDT3 to KDE (the K Desktop Environment). The City of Largo is an excellent example of server-centric thin client computing deployed mixing commercial and Open Source software.

Both the SCO OpenServer and UnixWare 7 releases of KDE 1.1.2 contain alternate kpanel binaries and configuration files. These are tailored for use in environments where KDE is pushed out to thin clients from SCO servers. Often in this situation the thin clients will utilize a local window manager to reduce network traffic. It's also common that these clients will be diskless and/or wireless. For these reasons, the kpanel functionality has been configured alternately for use with thin clients. To use the thin client kpanel, simply replace the /usr/local/kde/bin/kpanel binary with /usr/local/kde/bin/kpanel_nc and /usr/local/kde/share/config/kpanelrc with /usr/local/kde/share/config/kpanelrc_nc. You will also need to add appropriate lines to /usr/local/kde/bin/nc_logout to logout a thin client user.

Here is Dave's Slide Show. Click on any thumbnail to view the full image. Click on the 1st thumbnail to start the show. The first slide provides an overview of the architecture - 6 SCO OpenServer 5 servers (recently upgraded to UnixWare 7 servers), 1 RedHat Linux server, 1 SGI Irix server, 1 NT Windows Terminal Server supporting a variety of thin clients and X terminals over a variety of connection mechanisms and application servers including Tarantella. Subsequent slides are simply pictures of the client hardware and screen shots.

Here's a brief description of each of the slides:

Slide     Description
=====     ===========
1         Network Diagram. 
2         NCD Explora 450 in use, KDE desktop.
3         NCD Explora 700 in use, KDE desktop
4         "Thin Client" really is thin. ;)
5         Wyse 5355 running Tarantella native client
6         Same
7         Same
8         Same, ports available on 5355
9         Experimental, WinCE device, running Tarantella.
10        Same
11        Same, but wireless
12        Same, wireless
13        Screen KDE from UnixWare, WordPerfect from SCO OpenServer
14        Screen, GroupWise from SCO OpenServer
15        Screen, Panther development system on SCO OpenServer
16        Acrobat, Xanim, Netscape, LICQ, GAIM from Linux
17        Domestic Violence System, on SCO OpenServer
18        Pawns Module, from AIX w/ Informix
19        Recreation Module from SCO OpenServer w/ Oracle
20        tkIRC from SCO OpenServer
21        WindowsTerminalServer with UIS/WinCenter

Dave is willing to provide additional information and answer questions on the City of Largo's thin client deployment. E-mail Dave Richards at