The $50 Thin Client

Imagine if you could easily share one computer with a whole class, your whole family, the whole office.

We believe this makes a lot of sense. It saves a lot of time and money. It lowers the environmental impact of computing.

The way we can make this truly compelling is with low cost USB thin clients and zero software licensing fees. So we’ve launched a KickStarter project to try to push this concept over the finish line.

We’d love to have you involved! Visit the Plugable Thin Client on KickStarter to learn more.

And to hear what others are saying, check out:

Plugable USB 2.0 Multiseat Zero Client for Windows Multipoint Server and Fedora Linux (DisplayLink DVI/VGA up to 192... Product Details $79.00

16 thoughts on “The $50 Thin Client”

  1. Hello,

    I’m an electronic engineer from Lima, Peru. I’m planning to open a laboratory for teaching some Open Source software (like Postgres) to groups of 15 persons. I just saw this dock and I want to test it, but, according to amazon, the item can’t be shipped to my address. Let me know if there is a way to buy this product.

    BTW, I also I’m a developer for the Xendra project which is a peruvian ERP and as it is an ERP I would like to test the Thin Client with my POS software.

    Also, is it possible to use as a server a debian based PC? (Debian is our favorite linux flavor).

    Let me know ASAP a way to buy this product.

    Thank you and I hope this item make a gol on the market. By now we are using ATOM based machines to run our ERP and it goes smooth, but your thin client is cheaper than the ATOM based machine.

    Greetings,

    1. Just for the benefit of others – we’re working with Juan to find a shipping option that will reach him cost-effectively in Peru.

      Getting single units (for trials or replacements) is the challenge, along with customs duties – larger shipments make the shipping cost more manageable.

      We’re also going to keep enhancing options for international shipping, based on feedback — e.g. we have a new $410 level on the kickstarter for 5 UD-160-M thin clients (the bigger model that comes with a power adapter).

      Thanks again!
      Bernie

  2. Hi Bernie,

    I have acquired my two UD-160-A docking stations thru a friend living in the US and went home in the Philippines last December 2010. This was the method I used to purchase the product since Amazon cannot deliver the hw to my country. I have tested them to work with Ubuntu 9.04 and introduced USB multiseat in schools and planning to show it in other organizations.

    I am planning to test my docking stations with Fedora 17 and I have read that DC-125 is getting updates for the kickstarter project to work with F17. Is UD-160-A also getting updates to work with F17? Are my docking stations will still work with the final release of F17?

    Thanks a lot!
    Rene

  3. Hi Rene – Thanks! It’s awseome that you’ve been working with our older Ubuntu 9.04 USB multiseat stuff (http://plugable.com/2009/11/16/setting-up-usb-multiseat-with-displaylink-on-linux-gdm-up-to-2-20/)

    Yes, the UD-160-A also needs to be updated for Fedora / Kickstarter. But those updates have already made it through our supply months ago. So all new units bought now via any source, already have the udpates.

    For your units from December 2010, I think you’re good, but if you have any trouble let us know.

    We’re going to be posting a Kickstarter update today (#3) with details on getting current hardware working with F17 Beta. There’s only one main step – disable SELinux. But look for that update.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Rene – Wonderful! Thanks for letting us know! Everyone would love pictures, I bet, if you have any and can post a link to them. Thanks again!

  4. How do you used this in a home or office? If the “server” is centrally located you will still be 15 feet or more from the server if you have more than two seats/rooms.

    How do you have a centrally located server that is more that 5 meters away from one or more seat/room/office and use the DC-125?

    Is there an ethernet solution? Can USB work over distances of 30-50 feet or more?

    1. Hi Jason – it’s USB, so we pitch it as only a one-room solution. USB extension cables can do 10 meters per hop (http://plugable.com/products/usb2-10m/) typically for multiseat, you can have 2x 10 meter hops, then a powered USB hub, then the DC-125, then the attached devices. That puts you at USB 2.0′s limit of 5 deep on hubs and devices. Here in the office, we have two adjacent rooms running DC-125s and UD-160-Ms off the same server, because they’re close enough for that. Hope that helps – thanks!

  5. So since this project didn’t achieve funding via Kickstarter, what is the status of it? Is it being put back on the shelf, or are there other plans to go forward with it?

    1. Hi Chris – Thanks for asking! Work is progressing, just at a slower pace (not driven by any KickStarter commitments or financial support). See http://plugable.com/category/terminal/ for the latest. We have several people and groups doing deployments now with our hardware and Fedora 17 (largely out of the box – a few configuration changes greatly help performance/scalability). You can simply buy a Plugable DC-125 or UD-160-M today, plug one or more into a Fedora 17 system, and it will work. Please contact us if you have any questions or requests: support@plugable.com. We’ll help however we can. Thanks! Bernie

  6. Hi

    I was wondering if i install free linux CAD system such as Draftsight on Fedora then plug in the docking station, would my second user get the same software without installing? Anyway, how does multiseat works? Does the application (multiple users) with graphics intensive task like CAD do processing on GPU then send the graphics to the USB docking station?

    Thanks

    1. Yes, as long as the software allows multiple users on a Linux system to use it simultaneously, that’ll work, and that’s exactly what it’s for!

  7. How can i know it will work with multiple users? If i can open multiple windows with the same application, does it means it will work with multiple user? Or the only way to know is to test it out?

    1. A good test would be fast user switching. Log in as one user on your Linux box. Run the app. Then (without logging out) switch to another user and also run the app there. If you’re able to keep the app open for both users without problems — that should be a good confirmation that there’s nothing the app does which intentionally (or unintentionally) limits simultaneous use.

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