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I'm probably just talking out my ass here, but is network booting over Wifi possible? It would be SO cool to have a thin client which didn't need wires. Thanks....
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  1. #1
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    Net boot over Wifi


    I'm probably just talking out my ass here, but is network booting over Wifi possible? It would be SO cool to have a thin client which didn't need wires.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Thin clients have been around for a long time. 30 years ago I worked on what was called a dumb terminal connected to an OS370 mainframe a 1000 miles away. Graphical user interfaces made that sort of thing less feasible but advances in software have made it possible again - Sun had a system where even the GUI was delivered over ethernet - I don't know if it would work over wifi or not. It was expensive but the thinking was that because a company would manage a central server many of the costs and problems with managing large installations of PCs would go away. Chrome OS is a variation on the thin client - the user interface is pretty much a web browser.

    It's hard to say how thin a client could get - you are going to need enough in the client to boot and connect to the internet and download a minimum of software. Likely drivers for connected devices (keyboard, mouse) would need to be local.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, so is it possible over Wifi or not?

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    You talking about doing a PXE boot (AKA Pixie boot) in general answer is no. It is rumoured certain motherboard with certain wifi cards will do it, but hit and miss. The only one people say supposedly supports it is MacBook Airs.

    Sun's were great at this lots of options for network booting and even doing installs from a CD drive on another machine across the network.

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    A company I worked for did a trial of the Sun system and it went really well, over big pipes. IIRC they took the mpeg approach to delivering gui which is to say only transmitting the changed portions of the viewport. Timing is everything and my sense is software as a service obsoleted Sun's efforts to some degree.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm View Post
    A company I worked for did a trial of the Sun system and it went really well, over big pipes. IIRC they took the mpeg approach to delivering gui which is to say only transmitting the changed portions of the viewport. Timing is everything and my sense is software as a service obsoleted Sun's efforts to some degree.
    Sun had a lot of ideas ahead of their time. I forget their term for it, but they used to have network boot that could still have a local drive for swap and other things so at runtime not everything had to go over the net.

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