Testing how to setup dietpi as a thin client


Still blown away by your system here. Very exciting the work and detail you’ve put into this.

I use Raspberry Pi’s in our office as thin clients for the past 3 years. With each new version of the Pi our thin clients get better and better. Basically our Pi thin clients are simple in that they either do one of the following:

  1. We autoconnect a thin client to a Windows virtual machine using a cron script that auto logs the user into their workstation desktop. These thin clients are used by many people in our office as they need to move from workstation to workstation to do their jobs. The Pi thin clients are always connected to it’s workstation so I use a bash script to read an file that lists the VM to connect to based on the Pi thin clients hostname. My script runs in cron every minute so if the thin client ever gets disconnected from it’s virtual machine it will auto reconnect. This is useful as I will patch our Windows virtual machines during our weekend maintenance window and I know that when the patching is finished and Windows comes back from it’s reboot, the Pi thin client will auto connect back to Windows ready for the shift on Monday. If anyone is interested I’d be happy to share my bash script file…I’m by no means a bash expert but it’s been working well for us since I built it over 3 years ago.

  2. The second way we use our Pi thin clients is to allow people who are assigned a specific Windows computer to do their work. These would be the office secretary, bookkeeper and the owners. They remote into their Windows virtual machines using a little tool I found called RDPGui http://rpitc.blogspot.ca/2013/09/freerdprdesktop-gui-client.html. It presents a GUI login window that in my opinion looks very professional and awaits the user to put in their credentials to login to the Server they are assigned to use. There is a dropdown that will allow the user to select the computer to login to as well (all settings for RDPGui are in an .ini file).

I’m very interested in using your dietpi as my new thin client operating system. Having my thin client run entirely in RAM, and it would appear that dietpi also has a watchdog timer installed, this dietpi system seems perfect for a setup of a thin client system. To use dietpi as a thin client I’m doing the following setup:

  • I use rdesktop so I’ve installed that on dietpi with no issues (apt-get install rdesktop)
  • I’ve added a light LXDE desktop to my dietpi.
  • I’ve added a non-root user to my dietpi (gave it sudo rights in case needed).
  • I’ve installed RDPGui by downloading and unzipping the files to /usr/bin/ folder. For this to work I’ve also installed apt-get install python-qt4.

So here are my questions after all this backstory:

  1. How do I login to my LXDE desktop into my non-root user account that I created?
  2. How do I add the RDPGui to my autostart file so it displays on the desktop when I start my Pi? Again, this is when the dietpi auto logs in using my non-root user.
  3. For my testing of a workstation that uses my script to autoconnect from cron…do I login with my non-root user account and add to my crontab -e the necessary bits to execute my bash script at the interval I choose? I see that dietpi has a dietpi-cron option but no fr[/list]eeform ability (only hourly, daily, weekly…etc).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


I have read your post about thin client project and I’m quite interested to try it out. I like to request for the bash script file you have been using. Big thanks, :slight_smile: