Fedora 17 USB Multiseat Compatible Hardware

[Update 5/28/2012 Fedora 17 has been released and supports the Plugable DC-125 and UD-160-M/A out of the box! Download the iso image here. And the steps below have been updated to reflect all the fixes in F17 final.]

The Plugable $50 thin client KickStarter project is growing.

But we need early adopters so we have people using the solution, finding and fixing problems, and helping to spread the word. What we deliver now might not include some KickStarter extras and will be higher priced than through the KickStarter project, but it will include all the components and will work with Fedora 17 Beta.

Hardware

Interested in getting your hardware now? If you’re in the USA, here’s what will work with Fedora 17 Beta:

UD-160-M USB Thin Client
DC-125 USB 2.0 Docking Station / Zero Client

International Shipping Options

Both the DC-125 and UD-160-M may also be ordered from our Plugable International Shipping Store with $16.95 via USPS Flat Rate Priority shipping from the USA.

If you’ve never ordered and had an item shipped from the USA before via the US Postal Service, please research the rules in your country. We declare the actual value of all items, so in some countries customs and/or VAT taxes are collected, and all of those are paid by the recipient once the items arrive in country. And also note that while every shipment will have a tracking number, the tracking is generally poor once the item has left the USA.

Software

You can download Fedora 17 here. The default download (GNOME Desktop) and spins derived from it support automatic USB multiseat. KDE and other spins do not.

Install F17 to the hard drive of an available machine. For 3-4 thin clients, you can use a spare older machine – we’d recommend a minimum machine with 2GB RAM and 2 cores or 2 GHz or more. For best performance, use an Core i3/i5 class processor with at least 4GB of DDR3 RAM or more.

Any recent Plugable UD-160-A/M or DC-125 thin client you plug in should automatically pop up a new login.

Comment here or email support@plugable.com if you have any trouble at all – we’d be happy to help! And thanks in advance to the early users who help find issues and spread the word about how cool this technology can be!

[ud-160-m-post]

20 thoughts on “Fedora 17 USB Multiseat Compatible Hardware”

  1. I think there should be an effort to get this devices into brick and mortar stores like Microcenter, Frys and Best Buy.

    Will make buying easier for some people.

  2. Hi Finid – I agree! If the KickStarter is successful, it will be good evidence to potential retailers that there is a market for multiseat hardware. Thanks for your support!

  3. This worked for me after I installed git. It was not in the original Fedora package…

    Will Allik… (Linux novice)

  4. Wow – now _that’s_ what I call plug and play….

    I’ve just received an FC17 multi-seat compatible DC-125 from the US in the mail, plugged it into a FC17 Beta box (nothing special – Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM) with a 1280×1024 VGA screen on the displaylink and the fixes on this page applied and up pops the login screen. Running quite happily with two users logged in, seems to deal gracefully with plugging/unplugging
    etc.

    Colo(u)r me impressed :)

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Des! We just hope more people realize this is possible – it’s the kind of thing that you have to “see to believe” and understand how cool & useful it is.

      By the way, our patch of udlfb fixes for unplug/replug stability have just been accepted for a future 3.3.x update (see http://www.mail-archive.com/stable@vger.kernel.org/msg07996.html for details). The SELinux change is already unneeded with F17 RC3. Once F17 releases this kernel patch in a future kernel update, the other fixes on this page won’t be necessary anymore. This becomes really powerful when it is simply plug-and-play simple.

      Thanks again and let us know if you post anything (esp pictures or video) anywhere – we’ll link to them. Thanks!!

        1. And, indeed, with the release version of FC17 there is even no need to disable selinux. Everything is dandy now if selinux is left in the default “targeted” state.

  5. I just came across the plugable website. I’ve been searching for a solution for my problem for a month and haven’t found any hardware+software provider who can even answer simple/basic questions!! I hope I can get some help here. I have a (powerful) workstation, which I want to put in a “remote” server center in the office building I’m renting. I want to have only a monitor and a zero client in my office. There is only myself, so I’m not concerned with a multiseat capability – just _fast_ remote access to my computer. I can only use gigabit ethernet connection from my office to the computer at the server room (no USB connection possible for physical reasons). Do you have an ethernet-based plugable device that would be compatible with FC16 (or FC17)? If not, can you recommend me a list of zero-client hardware that would be compatible with FC? HP has a unit (which is supposed to work with userful according to the userful site), but I called HP and their zero client support had no idea what I was talking about!!!!

    Also, just in general, is a true zero client a reasonable solution for applications that use 3D CAD/CAM graphics (or does one lose smoothness due to high data transfer)?

    If you could provide any kind of hardware (and FC support) solution I’d be deeply appreciative.

    adrin

    1. Hi Adrin – It sounds like you’re looking for a remote access solution, rather than a thin client/zero client. As you notes, our products are USB-based, so nothing we offer is what you’re looking for.

      Remote access (where there’s just one user of the machine) is a more common problem than multiple users sharing a machine (which is the thin/zero client case). Remote access solutions assume you have a PC in your office, that you then run software to connect remotely to the server’s desktop. You can get a good idea of all the possible alternatives at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_remote_desktop_software. Hope that helps. Best wishes!

  6. Hi Bernie

    Thanks for the response. I _am_ looking for remote desktop access; however, the crucial point is that I am _not_ interested in having a PC locally at my office. That defeats the whole purpose for me. And since I’m not interested in having a local PC, then it seems to me that a zero/thin client is the solution (there’s not much difference between my problem and a multiseat problem from the client side of things – though from a server perspective we’d need the relevant software). Of course, a _thin_ client is a stripped down version of PC (based on the little that I understand), which is not preferable (for me) to a true zero client IF zero client performance (for graphics intensive applications) would be acceptable. Perhaps you could shed some light on this very last issue of zero client performance for 3D graphics apps

    Thanks again

  7. Hi Adrin – Because our devices are USB only, not network based, I don’t think they’re a match for what you’re looking for. I don’t know the network based thin client / zero client space well, but that’s where you’ll want to be looking.

    Sorry we don’t have what you need. Bernie

    1. Bernie,

      I’m back after traveling the internet world around (and around …) to try to understand the minimum _hardware_ requirement for my application. It then occurred to me that although your zero client (or docking station) hardware is USB and not ethernet based, perhaps there is still some hope for my need with some extra expense. I noticed that you also sell USB-gigabit-ethernet converters. Can I not just connect the zero client USB input/interface to one of these converters and subsequently connect to my remote workstation via the ethernet line? Just in case that the Fedora 17 protocols will recognize the hardware only through available USB ports on the workstation (and not the ethernet ports), I guess we can use yet another USB-ethernet converter at the server side. Would this work? Can you possibly check your hardware to make sure whether only 1 or 2 converters would be necessary if the idea is plausible?

      Thanks in advance

      adrin — PS, any hope of getting a zero-client unit based on the faster DL-3xxx hardware any time soon from your company? I’m concerned that the DL-2xx unit may be too slow for graphics intensive applications (even if there is only one user connected)

      1. Hi Adrin – USB Ethernet adapters can’t do what you’re hoping — they are only for adding an (additional) network interface to a PC. E.g. They have USB A connectors for connecting to PC (not B for connecting to device), and they require power from the host PC, and a driver running on the host.

  8. I’m confused by something…is this the same as the multiseat solution with the HP/Acer and 5 other big companies that are offering thin clients (USB/Ethernet)? If so, is this completely open hardware (all specs and all motherboard layouts)? If not then even if its a little cheaper then that’s just a pricing issue. Really not all that big a fuss is it?

    1. Hi Anshuman – it’s a different thing from other thin client efforts. Whether it’s a big fuss depends on whether price matters to the application, I guess. :)

  9. Interesting unit you have there! F17 is being discussed but “As of Linux kernel 2.6.32″ is also mentioned so I’m wondering (hoping) it will work with, say, 64bit CentOS/RHEL 6.3?

  10. Anyone having issues after updating F17? Everything was going great, two seats on x86_64 Atom box, both quick enough to be useful. Updated fedora and everything crawls .. disabled selinux and main console is usable but thin client is awful ..

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