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Hacking the WYSE Winterm 9455XL

If you're reading this page, there is a good chance that you have questions about this old thin client.

To put it simply, there is not much to this machine, but what there is requires some careful planning and perhaps a few cups of coffee to see it through.

Things to keep in mind about the 9455XL:

The 9455XL is a fun little machine, once you get to understand its quirks.

If possible, you will want to do your operating system install from a PXE image, which means you will need another system that can run a Trivial FTP server with a boot image. At the time of this writing, netboot.me provides an image I found was capable of being booted on the Winterm.

I will not get into the instructions of setting up a TFTP server, as there are far too many operating systems out there to cover explaining, and there are people who have explained it better than I can or will.

The distro of choice for my machine has been Debian. This is the only distro I have been able to successfully install and run over the last couple of years. Once, I did have Ubuntu 10.04 installed, as part of an upgrade from an older 9.x Ubuntu. When a reinstall was needed to fix a really nasty problem, 10.04 will not install, due to a newer kernel. The requirement to get an older Ubuntu to PXE install soured me on the notion quickly, and I moved on to checking out other Linux distros.

One thing this machine can be useful for is hosting an IRC client for remote usage. I compiled and installed ZNC on the unit, so I can turn my desktop machine off when I head to sleep or work, and still be able to keep up on anything needing my attention via my phone. With a little work, one can also set up X Forwarding, and run applications on the remote machine. I am looking into lightweight browsers at this point, just to have a safe browser to check out links I would not otherwise click. It also works fine for a single Gridseed Orb miner connected to the machine.

Tip: If you don't have use for a program, don't install it. The fewer things needing maintenance, the better.

series thirteen pixelechoes is designed by justin hobley in 2013, with creative commons by-nc-sa-30 licensing.