By: Frank Tuzi
Administrators interested in a cost-efficient, powerful, and easy-to-manage thin client server should consider Diskless Remote Boot in Linux (DRBL), a server-based open source application that lets organizations deploy GNU/Linux across many clients. DRBL lets clients boot a Linux image over the network, so client hard drives can retain their own operating systems, or clients can do without hard drives altogether.
We installed DRBL at my school, Tokyo Christian University (TCU), last year to replace an aging infrastructure of 15 Windows ME clients. These systems could not run a number of new applications, and users could not save any profile settings or store any documents in the system. Also, the system administrators only upgraded the labs between semesters because of the time involved. DRBL resolved all three of these problems.