Test-driving IGEL’s Universal Desktop Converter

Changing jobs and some other projects have kept from writing but I found a little time to write about a cool re-purpose project I’ve been working on.I often find myself in the position that I need to do some work that doesn’t require a lot of horsepower like checking a site, writing a long email or connecting to a RDP or Citrix session. I’ve been looking  for a way for me not having to always boot-up my powerful and power hungry pc.

If you look around on ebay you’ll find a plethora of thinclients in all shapes and sizes. I had one lying around with reasonable
hardware specs but it was running Windows XPe which is well…limiting to put it mildly.
(Apologies for the pictures, I’ve been using the WordPress editor and somehow it messes up the dimensions of the picture when I use anything else then medium)

The thinclient has an Intel motherboard, Atom N270 CPU, 1 GB RAM and a 1 GB Flash DOM module.
the thinclientP1010995

Options and more options

A google search on thinclient software pointed me to several options that I sunk my teeth in. I tried Thinstation but it required a lot of fiddling to get it up and running.
My second attempt was openthinclient. I ran the Consus (Management appliance) for a couple of weeks in my lab. I like the setup plus the fact that it’s opensource but the packages are not quite there yet since they moved from
Minerva.
So my thinclient sat in a corner as the months went by until I read a news bulletin about IGEL’s new Universal Desktop Converter version 2.

IGEL had a free 3 license giveaway to test the software so after contacting a reseller (thank you Square One) I received a license and
links to the goodies.

Installation

After wrestling with thinstation and openthinclient, installing UDC2 was a breeze:
– Grab a decent size USB thumbdrive, browse to the Software & DocumentationSoftwareUDC2Stick directory and start the UDC2Stick.exe as administrator to create an installation usb drive
usb2stick

Start the Thinclient and set it to boot from USB
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Warning about some limited hardware support but no biggie, sounds seems to work fine on remote connections
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Luckily the installer is happy enough with the 1 GB flashdrive that was already present in the thinclient
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Get a cuppa and it’s done!
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Open Sesame

Open Sesame
After booting the UDC2 software is not that happy without a license so it doesn’t show its full potential. SSH is about the only
thing you can do.
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So make sure that you’ve placed the license file in the licenses folder on the USB drive. I didn’t so after correcting this,
re-inserting the usb drive was enough to start the correct procedure
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Now when you open the Setup again you’ll see an amazing array of connecting possibilities.  Almost everything ever invented is right at your fingertips. From PowerTerm to Firefox and from SSH to Horizon View and Citrix it’s all there!
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I was even able to connect to an Oracle Java Global Desktop using the Firefox browser!
The software also comes with IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) which will offer you central management for all thinclients. (haven’t played too much with the management side but what I’ve seen from it looks impressive with secure and site-independent remote administration of all devices all from the comfort of a single VM). I did use it to update my thinclient to the latest version which was super easy, just download the latest version and push it out to your clients:
igel-Updating-firmware-04

Conclusion

IGEL UDC 2 software is cool! ..plain and simple. The installation is quick and the connection options you get with this operating system is second to none (depending on your license of course).
Only problem I still face is a decent way to only share my keyboard and mouse between my thinclient and my PC. Any tips are appreciated 🙂


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TAGS:  IGEL, UDC

 

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