[Ilugc] X-terms out of old computers
- From: sriram@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (P. Sriram)
- Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 14:49:55 +0530 (IST)
On Mon, 9 Sep 2002, Mano K wrote:
Can anyone give me info on the feasibility of running old 486's with 16 mb
ram (or slightly better ones like P100s with 32mb) as X Terminals connecting
to more powerful application servers?
very much feasible. more than the cpu, it will be the ram and the graphics
performance which will count. 16mb ram maybe too tight to run the xserver.
you may come out ahead by using some older versions of linux which are
much less memory hungry.
There is a howto on this at tldp.org but i want to know how many terms can
be connected to, say, a P4 2ghz with 512mb ram for a reasonable performance?
Applications used would include word processing, internet browsing and
for these type of applications, cpu usage is quite low - typically, 3-5%
per user is quite acceptable. so, you can service something like 20-30
xterms with this type of machine. ram requirements are typically 30-50 mb
per xterm, but depends on the application. you can do a simple weighted
sum of the ram requirements of the applications to arrive at a number.
if 10% of users run word processing at 50mb per instance, 40% run browsing
with 60mb per instance and 50% run email at 20 mb per instance, the
weighted sum is (0.1*50 + 0.4*60 + 0.5*20 =) 39mb per user (hey, i just
thought up some numbers randomly and it nicely falls in the middle of my
30-50 range.. honest...). leaving about 100mb for other system things,
your 512mb machine can support about 10 users before things start getting
tight/slow. if you want to be conservative, you can assume higher cpu
loading (and go with one cpu per 10-15 users) and give more ram per user,
enough to cover the largest application comfortably - may be as much as
100mb per user.
And what does it take to build our own X-terms with the barest minimum
hardware? Is the requisite hardware available in India? Forgive me if am
over ambitious :-)
you could put together a current model for something under rs.25k. get a
celeron motherboard with 128mbram (i would advise 256), a dax/dlink/compex
network card with pxe boot rom (better supported; may be harder to find.
netware boot roms are more commonly available), cabinet/power supply and a
monitor of your favourite size and you are in business. of course, this
machine could be more than an xterm, since that 1ghz celeron is not a
total dud. you could make a whole diskless linux workstations out of
and, there is no such thing as being over ambitious with this (or any
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