Cheap terminals for FreeBSD

Nagy László Zsolt nagylzs at
Mon Aug 7 22:17:49 UTC 2006


I need to setup an environment where some users (10 to 20 employees) 
will use terminals to run programs. They need to run a few popular 
programs: thunderbird, firefox, adobe acrobat, openoffice and gaim. This 
site will be a customer service. We decided to reduce the costs by using 
Open Source software and cheap terminal computers. This is a good 
solution because most of the users will read messages and images on the 
screen and they can share the same processor and memory. I know that I 
can setup a computer and use its X server as a terminal for another 
computer. This solution still requires new (or used) computers. I would 
like to reduce the costs to the minimum. Here are some key questions 
that I could not answer:

- Is there a more cost-effective solution? (Something that I did not 
think of)
- How much RAM will I need? Will FireFox Thunderbird and OpenOffice load 
shared objects and reduce the overall memory usage? Or should I reserve 
256MB of memory for each client?
- Do I need to use gigabit ethernet? Or is it enough to use a normal 100 
Mbps wired network? I heard that there can be bandwidth problems when 
using many terminals, but I do not have experience.
- Are there any pitfalls that I need to be aware of?

It would be perfect to provide links to some articles or manuals - I do 
not need anyone to write detailed instuctions and do my job. I'm asking 
for help because the handbook was not very useful in this case. I only 
found this:

It does not help too much, and there is no know-how. I need to know what 
hardware I need to buy.

Thank you


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