The X terminals
The minimum usable X terminal is a 386/sx 25mhz with 4 megs
of ram. While not that fast, it makes a usable station
to run a web browser (such as netscape). Image will display
fast enough. Scrolling won't be fast though (some wave effect).
While the machine display slowly, the application server
has no problem feeding it. The machine operates slowly, but
without any pause. As such it makes a confortable station.
One must note that 386 computers are older than the Linux
project. We have found that few have unsupported video
adaptors (or less than capable ones). Unfortunatly, finding
replacement video adaptor for those machines is not easy.
Those machines are generally using ISA slots.
- Recommended X terminal
- While faster is always better, we have found that a 486 computer
using a Vesa local bus or PCI video adaptor offers a very good
performance. Redrawing and scrolling is crisp. For example
a DX/2-66 with a ATI Mach32-2meg is a cool station, running
smoothly in 64k colors mode.
- Memory and disk drive
With 16 megs of ram, you do not need a hard drive at all
on the X terminals. With 4 or 8 megs, we recommend
setting a small swap file (8 megs). The installation kit
will do it for you. It will create the swap file in the
No Linux software is installed on the harddrive, so the
machine may be both an X terminal and a normal DOS/Windows
The key here is not that much the CPU but the available ram.
We have experienced very good result with a Pentium 133 driving
4-6 X terminals. Depending on the programs used, memory between
96megs to 128megs is required.
Note that again, faster CPU and more RAM is always better
but a lowly P133 with enough ram is a good performer. Most
people have experienced with P133 and 16 megs. Throw some
Desktop users (office tasks) work by chunk. They load a file
and then read and then type a little and then preview. With
4-6 users, this means that they will seldom use the server
CPU at the same time. This is why they will get in general
excellent performance. Even if they do, you will find that it
does not show that much, thanks to Linux efficient multi-tasking.