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    How to create a Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTSPserver with 32bit thin clients

    Submitted by The Fan Club on 13 July 2011

    This guide is based on the comprehensive LTSP documentation done by the

    Ubuntu Community -Ubuntu Community Documentation - UbuntuLTSP

    This guide is intended as a relatively easy step by stepmostly graphical (GUI) guide to:

    Set up a basic Ubuntu LTSP server on Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04x64 (64bit)

    Configure Ubuntu 32bit thin- and fat clients with internet access. Last updated : 15-04-2012


    Ubuntu 11.04/11.10/12.04 x64 machine with two network adaptors to actas your main LTSP server.

    1 x Network switch / hub 1 x Router with internet connection Thin client computer. This can be any network boot enabled machine, or a

    Virtual machine like VirtualBox. SeeHow to create a VirtualBox Ubuntu

    LTSP Thin Client.


    Connect the Ubuntu 11.04/11.10 x64 machine to the internet on onenetwork adaptor. (in this case a wifi connection to internet)
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    Connect the other available network adaptor to a Network switch / hub.(This is where thin clients will connect)

    1. Change your available network adaptor IP toa fixed entry.

    Most local network already use the 192.168.0.xx range of IP addresses,but the default install of LTSP relies on this range being available. In thistutorial we will set up the LTSP network on the 192.168.1.xx range.

    You also need a separate network adaptor with internet access during theinstall process.

    The LTSP server install wants to install it's own DHCP server, so if youhave a router with it's own DHCP server it could cause conflicts if in the

    same network IP range.

    So what to do is change your unused LAN port's IP address to a fixed IP inanother IP range. For example my setup has a router with a DHCP serverrunning on, and provides the Internet access on the system. I

    changed my other LAN adaptor's IP to , this will be used for

    the LTSP network.

    NOTE: For some reason the DHCP server does not want to start correctlyon system startup if the network adaptor's IP is not set in the network

    interfaces config file. (see 1d. below)

    1a. Go to Network Connections and select the LANnetwork adaptoryou intend to use for your thin clientnetwork and click edit.

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    1b. Change your adaptor to useManual IPand set anew fixed IP for the adaptor and save.

    This will be your LTSP server IP.

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    1c. Set the fixed IP for the network adaptor the classicway to ensure the DHCP server starts correctly.

    Add the information for your network adaptor that you selected in 1c. asshown below.

    We added eth0 with a static IP of

    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces

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    1d. Change the Network Manager config file to allowcontrol of your network adaptor with fixed IP.

    For some mysterious reason if you enter the IP manually in the interfacesfile, Network Manager ignores them and you cannot use the Network

    Manager to control the adaptor any more. So we have to enable it.

    Change the "managed=false" to "managed=true" as seen below. Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo gedit /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

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    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo gedit /etc/ltsp/dhcpd.conf

    4. Select the network interface/s for the DHCPserver

    Add the network devices you would like the DHCP server to run on. In thiscase we changed the value of INTERFACES to include eth0

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    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo gedit /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server

    5. Restart the DHCP server

    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo /etc/init.d/isc-dhcp-server restart

    Tip: previous ubuntu versions need to use : sudo /etc/init.d/dhcp3-server


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    6a. Optional step to configure a Fat Client not

    a Thin Client before build This step is only needed if you intend to use your LTSP server for Fat

    clients, rather than Thin clients or both. For more information between the

    differences between Thin and Fat clients and configuration


    This step edits the LTSP build client configuration file to install Ubuntudesktop and create LTSP Fat client image.

    NOTE: only software installed in the Fat client image will be available tothe client, and internet access for each client needs to be configured as

    the clients will not share the server network connection to the internet as is

    the case with the thin clients.

    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo gedit /etc/ltsp/ltsp-build-client.conf

    Here you can customize your installation image for Fat clients. We will only install the standard Ubuntu Desktop system to run on the

    client side for now. We can install more software to the image later, this is

    to get a basic Fat client image built.

    Add the following to the file and save.# ltsp-build-client.conf - many other options available

    # The chroot architecture.


    # ubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-desktop are tested.

    # Ubuntu 12.04 LTS working perfectly with Unity and

    Unity 2D.

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    6b. Optional step to disable NBDcompression

    NDB compression is enabled by default in Ubuntu 12.04 to speed up clientdisk access and boot times, but takes a much longer to generate a

    compressed image file. During development work is might be easier to

    disable this feature and re-enable it when the setup of the client image is


    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo gedit /etc/ltsp/ltsp-update-image.conf

    Add NO_COMP="-noF -noD -noI -no-exports" line to disable compression.Enable the compressing by adding the # symbol, or delete the line


    Make sure the file now looks like this example below and save.# Configuration file for ltsp-update-image

    # Do not compress the client image. Comment out the line

    below to enable again.

    NO_COMP="-noF -noD -noI -no-exports"

    6c. Build the i386 (32bit) LTSP Thin/Fat Client

    This step builds the 32bit Thin Client Ubuntu 11.04 image needed to bootthe thin clients on the network.

    This step downloads and installs all the 32bit Ubuntu client elements.Could take a while.

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    Open the Terminal Window and enter :sudo ltsp-build-client --arch i386

    Tip: to set up 64bit thin clients leave out the '--arch i386' part and

    enter: sudo ltsp-build-client

    7. Reboot your new LTSP server to completeLTSP server install

    At this point your Ubuntu LTSP server should be up and running. You should be able to boot a Thin Client via the network. You could also set up a Virtual Machine to act as a thin client for testing

    your server. See:How to create a VirtualBox Ubuntu LTSP Thin Client.

    Tip: After reboot make sure that the DHCP is running correctly. Open a

    Terminal Window and enter:

    sudo /etc/init.d/isc-dhcp-server status

    Tip: If after this point you change your IP address on the LTSP server you

    need to enter the following :

    sudo ltsp-update-sshkeys

    sudo ltsp-update-image --arch i386
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    8. Set up Thin Client Admin user

    Replace the adminname with your admin user name.

    sudo -s -Hchroot /opt/ltsp/i386

    useradd -m adminname -G sudo

    passwd adminname



    Lock the admin account's passwordsudo chroot /opt/ltsp/i386 passwd -l adminname

    Update the client imagesudo ltsp-update-image --arch i386

    9. Set up a Thin Client User Account

    9a. OpenUsers and Groups

    Make sure you have gnome system tools installed as this has beenremoved in Ubuntu 12.04.

    sudo apt-get install gnome-system-tools

    In Ubuntu 12.04 search for Users and Groups under applications afterinstallation.

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    9b. ClickAddto add new user account

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    10. Boot your Thin Client from the UbuntuLTSP server

    Connect your Thin Client computer or Virtual Machine to your LTSPnetwork Switch/Hub.

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    Alter the Thin Client Machine BIOS Boot settings to boot from LAN /Network.

    Boot the machine. If all is set up correctly you should see the following Ubuntu LDM login

    screen on your Thin Client.

    You will be able to login with your newly created Thin Client username andpassword.

    11. How to configure, update and auto loginThin / Fat Clients

    Click here for How to configure, update and auto login Ubuntu 12.04 LTSPFat Clients