[mythtv-users] Thin client frontend

Dan Littlejohn dan.littlejohn at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 22:05:31 UTC 2010

On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 4:36 PM, Tortise <tortise at paradise.net.nz> wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Brian Wood" <beww at beww.org>
> To: "Discussion about MythTV" <mythtv-users at mythtv.org>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2010 5:31 AM
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Thin client frontend
>  I'm not sure if there would be any advantage to running a Myth frontend
>> centrally, since a FE doesn't need much in the way
> of resources to run, unless you had a LOT of frontends and central
> administration would reduce the admin effort.
> I run about six to ten FE's (depending how one defines these).  The admin
> load is a draggg so a central model has some advantages in reducing repeat
> updates downloads, which are significant volumes and in frequency terms as
> well, presuming one does these.  A firewall running a proxy server such as
> squid could be a part solution however that only reduces the Internet
> traffic cost and does not stop the update requirement.  (Although should
> make it somewhat faster for subsequent updates)
> When mythbuntu had the thin client network setup interface it was easy to
> run and test, and I did, however the updates and new stuff meant that
> necessarily got dropped.  I gather its still easy enough to do, but haven't
> applied myself to that, in part because I also recall that the thin clients
> interfaces were much more security conscious and doing anything outside
> their own user rights was a real pain, so they were fine as a Myth FE, but
> if you wanted to start doing some stuff over the LAN then it rapidly became
> a pain.....   Send me the perfect solution....?  Another consideration is
> start up speed, I found the thin client FE's started much quicker than I was
> expecting over the LAN, I'm not exactly sure why that is, but perhaps its to
> do with serving the files is faster than reading the files?  The quickest FE
> start that I've found is Resume from suspend, in my case using CF myth FE
> installs.  These could run minimyth but I expect I'd have less FE
> flexibility than a full mythbuntu FE and I am not sure how behind minimyth
> tracking is, last I looked it was pretty current.....  I guess it depends on
> what you come to work out that you want / need.
> On a slightly different tack, LAN networks running over fibre might add a
> new dimension of possibility here?
> On a significantly off thread comment it would be nice to be able to access
> a central (that is same instance) FE from multiple machines to have
> coordinated FE's all doing the same thing, which is a variation of some
> previous discussions here about this mode of operation.  The LAN throughput
> would likely be a problem though for this and other models discussed would
> be more likely to work on lower LAN specs.
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I have a underpowered PC with netboot for my frontend and I don't think I
would do it any other way.  It is whisper quiet and avoids all the weird
problems going off the ranch with a thin client might have.  I have had this
setup for 10 years+.  If I had multiple frontend clients and needed to
upgrade I would upgrade the server and only one copy of the frontend netboot
image, then copy that frontend image for all the other frontends.
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