Faculty-RO

Wyse

Introduction

CSE began experimenting with Dell/Wyse thin-clients in the Spring of 2014 as candidates to replace our aging thin-client fleet in our Baldy 21 Introduction to Programming lab.

CSE has long used thin clients in this space

Administration

Logging in

Wyse thin clients (because they are running an embedded form of linux) can be accessed remotely with your favorite ssh program:

intrepid:~ kpcleary_local$ ssh root@thin-client-1.cse.buffalo.edu
Password:
thin-client-1:~ # 
The root ssh password is the CSE mainline linux password.

From the local console there are two accounts that can be used to login. The default account is an un-privileged user account that has access to all the pre-configured connections. This account is set to log in automatically. Additionally this guest account will re-login even if a user logs out of the guest session. A little clock icon will appear next to the login prompt showing the time until the automatic login reinitializes.

To login with the root user at the console an administrator must:

  1. Log out of the current un-privileged session
  2. Click cancel to terminate the auto-login sequence (Timer set for one minute)
  3. Login with user "admin" and the mainline root password

Updating Firmware

Adding desktop connections

Product Selection

History

CSE has a long running history with the use of thin-clients and desktop virtualization. Even back before thin-clients were en vogue or even a distinct piece of hardware, CSE deployed "Dumb terminals", low powered, stripped-down desktop systems, that used streaming graphical protocols to a series of higher powered servers.

Starting around 2002 CSE began purchasing vast amounts of Sunray 150 thin-clients from then Sun Microsystems. In a press release last year, Oracle serendipitously announced the discontinuation and end of life the of Sun virtualization technologies.

Repeated queries from CSE to Oracles sales representatives failed to produce any equivalent products.

References

RHEL Baseline Installation

Introduction

This document describes the baselines install procedures for Red Hat Enterprise. This can be followed for either a workstation or server build as the same OS/Kernel is installed. The kickstart procedure is also explained. Kickstarting comes in handy when setting up 4 or more machines with identical hardware/install setups.

General Installation

  1. If needed be sure that any RAID configuration is complete ahead of time.
  2. Boot in to the install program
  3. Press enter to install in graphical mode or type "linux text" to install in text mode.
    • Depending on the server and the hardware circumstances text mode may be the only option available. The same configuration options are made available in both modes however the graphical mode is a bit easier to navigate.
    • Even if an install is performed in graphical mode, the system can be set to boot to a text run level later on by editing /etc/innnitab.
    • Any media tests can be skipped
    • some drives will install and the "anaconda" install program will begin
  4. Select Language and Keyboard options.
  5. Enter an installation number, click Next
    • For the CSE Server entitlement this is a125-c3ec-a121-8dc3
  6. Partition the drive(s):
    • Select to "Remove all partitions on selected drives and create a default layout"
    • Select the "Review and modify partition layout" from the bottom check box.
    • For workstation type systems it is sufficient to use the default layout with linux volume management partitions.
    • For server type machines you will want to create separate file systems/partitions for each of the major mount points.
    • For server machines remove default created volume group ("VolGroup00") by selecting it and then clicking the "delete" button.
    • Then add the mount points/File systems you will need, these will typically include /, /opt, /usr, /var, /tmp. These can each be added using the "New" button and then entering information such as mount point and size.
    • Be sure to also add enough swap space. This can sometimes be an art form but bare minimum there should be around 2.5 times the amount of ram. However for compute or application servers there should probably be at least 5-6 times the RAM capacity installed in swap space.
  7. Install the GRUB boot loader with the CSE root password
  8. Setup the networking settings
    • Select the primary NIC you will use and be sure that "Active on boot" is checked, then click the "Edit" button next to the list of available interfaces. In the interface menu be sure to disable IPV6 and set IPV4 support for manual configuration. We don't like server to be dependent on other services such as DHCP when they start up. Enter the correct IP and netmask accordingly. Click "OK" when done.
    • Set the host name manually to the fully qualified (%.cse.buffalo.edu) name of the machine.
    • Set the gateway accordingly. Given the number of subnets we have determing the gateway can be tough. Feel free to use tracert as a cheat!
    • For the DNS servers us 128.205.32.12 and 128.205.1.2.
  9. Select the appropriate region
  10. Enter the standard CSE root password
  11. Select the software you want installed
    • Start by un-checking "Virtualization" and Web server" (unless of course you plan on using the machine in question for either of those tasks) and checking off Software Delevopment. Also check off "Customize Now" on the bottom and click "Next".
    • Go through both "Desktop Environments" and "Applications" and select all the components taking care to also check off the optional extras.
    • For the "Development" Category it is enough to be sure all the major sections are checked off
    • For the "Base System" category be sure that All but the "OpenFabrics" categories are checked. All options within "System Tools" and X Windows System" should be checked.
    • "Virtualization" can be left blank unless the server is being used as a virtualization host.
    • If the machine will be used for things like web browsing and email it is a good idea to select all options under "Languages".
    • NOTE: if this server is being used for a very specific purpose such as tape backups, or DHCP, there is no need to install all of the additional libraries. These libraries/apps all come in hands when the machine is being used as a timeshare/compute/thin client/desktop type machine.
  12. Click next/ok until the installation begins. If using the install DVD there should be no need to switch CDs. Once finished click to reboot the system and remove the install media.
  13. Post install options
    • After the Linux OS has booted you will be presented with a welcome screen. Click Agree to the License and click Next.
    • Enable the firewall with access to SSH, Click Next
    • Disable SELinux, Click Next, Click "Yes"
    • Select the correct Date and Time and Click Next
    • Do not register with RHN. That step will happen in the "Post Install Configuration" section.
    • Do not create any accounts.
    • Click Try Sound Test, Then Click Next
    • Click next for the Additional CDs Section
    • Click next to end Setup and Reboot System

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)

Introduction

CSE supports a variety of UPSs which provid power backup and sanitation for a number operational, research and academic services.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSes) keep electrical hardware running for some period of time when house power fails.

Troubleshooting

New Batteries

See the attached pictures for batery wiring configs

UPSes

Location Rack Model # Serial # Battery
Bell 247 CAB-BELL-247-02 DL 3000 RM QSO240211229 APC Replacement Battery Cartridge #12
Bell 247 CAB-BELL-247-02 DL 3000 RM QSO247110415 APC Replacement Battery Cartridge #12
Bell 247 CAB-BELL-247-04 DL 3000 RM QSO239110556 APC Replacement Battery Cartridge #12

Notes

  1. It's nice to have local vendors who sell replacement UPS batteries. UPS batteries are like car batteries, and are just as heavy. Shipping charges for replacement UPS batteries would be very expensive.
  2. The Battery provides free delivery! Learned this 11/16/2006.
  3. Dispose of spent batteries by calling Tony Oswald (EHS) for pickup and removal.
  4. When we buy new batteries, write the procurement date and warranty lifetime on the battery case with a Sharpie. Otherwise, we'll lose track of whether the batteries are duds that should be replaced under warranty.
  5. When dealing with UPS power compatibility issues, record the NEMA values from each plug and socket (e.g., WS-121 NEMA L5-30P, NEMA L5-20R 20A 125V Twist Plug).

People

  1. The Battery Store. Tim Caya, Patty Caya. 2086 Niagara Falls Blvd (across from the Original Pancake House), phone (716) 743-1554, fax (716) 743-1477.
  2. Pat Dennis. Manager, CIT Repair. Reliable source of help and expertise.
  3. Aeon Miller, Dell UPS Power Config Expert.

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply
  2. http://batteryupgrade.apcc.com
  3. http://www.apc.com/support/contact/index.cfm
  4. http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=RBC12
  5. http://www.batterywholesale.com/battery-store/proddetail.html?prodID=645