Asking for a friend.
My friend has a work environment that's windows based where all the PC's in the building I guess could be called ''dumb terminals''? Where they only have software to connect to a central server, and that's where they log into a desktop and the operating system is installed and so forth. They hold no programs or whatever and if you pull the network cables like he showed me the system goes blank. They hold no other operating system is how he described it. Dumb Terminal is the closest I could think.. term from back in the 90's maybe?
Anyway, I was wondering, because he is wondering, if there is something similar for him in Linux? He doesn't have money to upgrade his computers with extra drive space or anything. But what money he does spend, is spent on hard drives and ram on the server I think it is?
Is this feasible or is he talking out of his ass, and is there something similar in Linux he could deploy? Something I can give him to look into or something...
God I feel like such an idiot for asking this...
I think you're talking about PXE boot systems? or is it all virtualized? In either case, both are doable.
Virtualizing would be a matter of personal preference when it comes to the details. Theres many ways to skin that cat.
changed thing to think, in the title. Hopefully that was right.
As I understand it, there's no os on the systems people log into. It's just a monitor, with a very small tower and a login promt.
They log in, and their desktop appears. And they can log in from any computer, and their desktop will be the same. Even their programs work.
Am I explaining this right?
Sounds like PXE to me then. PXE means the OS is downloaded each time the computer is booted. I believe everything else is just roaming profiles on the server. I'm pretty sure openldap can be configured to make that happen, but I'm far from an expert on the topic.
I'm sure that this can and does work on *nix. The details to getting it done I'm not sure about. My previous link will get the computers booted via PXE. Getting roaming profiles working should be as simple as having a share where everyones /home directory is stored and then configuring the users to be roaming in "Active directory".
Of course it seems simple on paper but implementation can always be a pain.
The term you're likely wanting to use is thin client. Let me see if they're any FOSS solution and for thin clients.
Like mentioned by others, you'll want to pxe boot your machines from an image server, which serves up some (*nix) OS. For persistent storage you may want to consider some kind of file server, otherwise when you reboot, adios data.
Can't vouch but FOSS-cloud returned on google search. Just Linux everything.
It's probably a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) environment, running on thin clients.
Citrix & Microsoft are big players in the VDI space, and Citrix do also have a Linux desktop solution. I have no experience of it however.
Go google "VDI", "Thin Client" and "Citrix" and go from there...