Regarding Fat Clients...

For us in Ontario, Canada, we can obtain PCs for free from Computers for 
Schools (CFS) . Given that most arrive with 2 GB RAM (some with 1 gb) - they 
are ideal for use with LTSP. They are powerful enough, and almost in all cases 
perform just fine. Setup on client side is merely setting up PXE boot first in 
BIOS boot order....and have yet to see in the last 5 years a PC that does not 
run well or that is not supported by LTSP.  Most of the CFS PCs these days are 
Dells or HPs, and all work great for this.

We found the combination of Centrify Express (most of our clients have an AD 
server in the school)  and LTSP PNP to work reliably, and work the first time 
with near zero configuration after installation. With AD authentication, the 
students have one set of credentials whether using Windows or LTSP, as most of 
our  schools work with both.

To be clear, there is no OS running on the PC's disk, unless we have dual use 
Windows / LTSP systems. Our LTSP clients network boots are all server based.

So why fat clients?

1. same hardware can do Windows and LTSP, if needed

2. ready supply of free PCs - this does not seem to be the case for thin client 

3. I believe - but am not sure - that the fat clients help in off-loading 
processes that may run on the server. We easily have 60+ PCs running off an 8 
GB RAM LTSP server (VM) with no performance issues.

Steve Marfisi
Fossie Consulting
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