This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (June 2020)
|Developer(s)||Donald A. Cupp Jr. Tobias Paepke|
6.2.2 / 2019-11-11
|Type||Thin client Software|
|License||GNU General Public License|
Thinstation is a free and open source Linux implementation of a thin client operating system. It only requires standard PC hardware and can boot directly from the network via PXE or Etherboot from a TFTP server, or from local devices such as Hard disks, CompactFlash drives, USB keyrings and CD/DVDs. The minimum requirement is an i686 class CPU and RAM dependent on the intended use, typically 64–256 MB.
From version 6.0, Thinstation will only support 64 bit processors. 
Thinstation is a standalone system, that does not require any modification of the server as long as the server accepts remote client connections. This is true for:
- Microsoft Windows Server (2000, 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2) using RDP via rdesktop and FreeRDP.
- Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 versions for single user login (Remote desktop).
- Citrix servers using ICA
- Linux, Unix servers using X (XDMCP), NX (NoMachine, FreeNx, 2X, Neatx), ThinLinc (Cendio), View Open client (VMware), SSH, Telnet and other text terminals.
A Thinstation boot image can be created in two ways (really only one with two paths).
- You can download the development environment with the DevStation Installer, which will set up a nice build system for you on real hardware or a virtual machine that runs on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, or a Unix computer.
- You can clone the development environment to an installed Linux Distro of your choice.
Comparison with LTSP
Thinstation resembles Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) but:
- unlike LTSP, Thinstation is independent of NFS (Network File System) – although NFS can also be supported.
- unlike LTSP, Thinstation supports non-Linux servers such as Microsoft Windows and Citrix.
- LTSP comes integrated with several Linux distributions whereas Thinstation is an independent project.
Thinstation started as a fork of Netstation in May 2003, hosted on SourceForge. It was originated by Miles Roper from New Zealand and joined by Paolo Salvan (Italy) and Mike Eriksen (Denmark). Shortly after Trevor Batley (Australia) joined the core staff, contributing TS-O-Matic and was the project leader of ver. 2.3, that didn't materialize. Marcos Amorim (Brazil) is heading a future version based on OpenEmbedded. The present version 5 is developed mainly by Donald A. Cupp Jr. (USA) and is based on Crux Linux ver. 2.7. Tobias Paepke (Germany) joined the development of ver. 5.
- IDG On-line Magazine Techworld (2007) (in Swedish)
- C't Computer Magazine, issue 3, page 202–205 (2007) (in German).
- Linux Magazine Especial, issue 02 (July), page 67–72 (2007) (in Brazilian Portuguese).
- IXBT Web Magazine (2009) (in Russian).