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Setting up the X Terminals
Setting up the 486 PCs as graphical X terminals was fairly straightforward, consisting of just a few steps:
I'll discuss each of these steps in turn.
Installing a minimal Linux system:
Since our existing Linux systems run Debian Linux we chose to use it for these PCs as well.
On each system, we installed just the basic Debian system from floppy, which provides a very bare-bones Linux system with networking support. No user accounts were created, since none are needed (since no users actually log into the machine itself). A complete list of installed packages necessary to run the X server is listed here.
Next, Debian packages of XFree86 3.3 were loaded on each system. We loaded the base X11 libraries, the X extensions, the S3 X server (since the PS/Valuepoints have 2-meg S3-based video card), and all the X11R6 fonts.
Finally, we installed a few additional packages for convenience,
including basic networking utilities (
Configuring each PC to start up X:
The first step was configuring X to run locally on each PC. An XF86Config file was created for the machines using the standard 'xf86config' utility, with a couple of considerations:
Once we were satisfied with the configuration of the X server, we then tested if it could connect to a workstation running xdm (xdmserver in this example):
X -quiet -query xdmserverwhich gives us the standard xdm login window for xdmserver:
So, we now know everything is basically working. If we just want the PC to talk to a single workstation, then we are basically done. The only remaining step is to make sure that X is started upon bootup. We can do this with a script in /etc/init.d/xterm.
On a Debian system, we install it with 'update-rc.d xterm defaults 99'. (The procedure for Redhat, Slackware, etc., is similar). We then reboot the machine to make sure it starts X upon boot.