Solaris 10 Diskless Clients

A non-blogging heathen and I spent a few hours yesterday setting up a Solaris 10 diskless client. The client was a Dell Optiplex box with 256MB RAM. Everything worked fine until we realized we forgot to plug in the mouse and the X server complained.

Note to self: 256MB RAM running Gnome with a swap drive over a network is like banging your head against the corner of your desk: painful. :)

Two notes to remember: "svcadm enable bootparams" and "svcadm enable rarp". Otherwise your diskless client will also be OS-less.

One cool thing: snoop shows NFSv4. Yyyyeeeaaaahhhh, baby.

Comments:

I am curious -- can a regular windows PC be a 'diskless' client with the proper software? How would this be done? I can see a lot of use for this as a browser solution.

Posted by diana on February 13, 2005 at 01:42 AM PST #

Bite your tongue :) More seriously, thanks for posing the question. I have no idea if Microsoft can do this. I'm an open standards guy. The diskless client setup described in this blog entry is with JDS on Solaris 10, with the browser being Mozilla.

For some compute node configurations, the diskliess client approach makes some sense. But for user desktops, take a look at the Sun Ray thin client approach. Much easier to manage.

Posted by John Clingan on February 13, 2005 at 03:10 AM PST #

Let me clarify -- what I was asking is could a live CD be made that would boot as a diskless client for Solaris. The advantage of this would be you would not need to buy WindowsXP -- you run off the Live-CD and server. It would be a better way to use old windows clients, since you wouldn't use windows.

With PCs getting so cheap it would be easy to envision one full up server running Solaris and a bunch of 'diskless clients' booting from a CD and running off the server.

Imagine how much easier it would be to run a household with a few PCs if you didn't have to install, update, backup all the the clients.

A way to recycle Windows 98 machines ???

Posted by diana on February 15, 2005 at 12:11 AM PST #

Correct, you would not need to buy Windows XP (because you don't even have a disk). In fact, if you PXE boot, you don't need a floppy or CD-ROM either.

Posted by John Clingan on February 15, 2005 at 10:56 PM PST #

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