Tip

How to configure Wyse terminals without console interaction

Wyse thin clients have become significant with the rise of the virtual desktop. Wyse has been in the thin-client market since the 1970s, mainly focusing on Citrix integration. Now that virtual desktop infrastructures are gaining popularity, Wyse has surpassed its competitors by supporting not only Citrix but also VMware View and other desktop virtualization systems. But to take advantage of this openness, you need to know how to configure Wyse thin clients.

When I work with a customer to implement Wyse thin clients as part of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment, we often discuss the network boot feature. Since the Wyse thin client is basically a stripped-down operating system, the device is controlled by a configuration file and a flashed boot OS. These two components can be upgraded and modified in two ways: local device console manipulation or network boot configuration.

Network boot configuration is the preferred method for rolling out numerous thin clients because it requires the least amount of work. The administrator only needs to unbox the terminal, connect all the cables and power the device on. If the administrator configured the local console, they would need to configure each terminal individually, which requires more effort.

The following are the three most common Wyse terminals:

  1. V10L -- Wyse thin operating system

  2. V50L -- Linux-based OS

  3. V90L

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  1. -- Windows XPe-based OS

Each of these models can be configured through network configuration. This method consists of the following subtypes:

  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) boot with options configured

    • Supports the V10L and V50L

  • The Wyse Device Manager Software (WDM)

    • Supports all Wyse terminals

The "DHCP boot with options" is considered the automatic method of configuration for the V10L and V30L.When a terminal is powered on and attached to the network, it will grab a DHCP address. This DHCP communication also has one or two options configured. These options direct the Wyse terminal to look at a preconfigured FTP site. The options that need to be configured include:

  • DHCP Option 161 -- The IP or hostname of the FTP server

  • DHCP Option 162 -- Path of the FTP directory for the Wyse files

On this FTP site is the configuration file, WNOS.INI, and possibly new firmware to be placed in the appropriate directory. If the base directory is to be used, then Option 162 is not needed. Once the Wyse terminal downloads the configuration file and/or the flash image from the FTP, it will load these files. A reboot is needed if the flash image is include.

In addition, if the background image for the device is included in this directory, the configuration file can be set up to point directly to the VMware or Citrix Connection Broker. Therefore, when a user goes to the console, it is already set up with a login screen. If the terminals cannot be supported with the DHCP boot options, then Wyse's WDM software can act as the PX boot server and enable remote configuration of all Wyse terminals.

The popularity of VDI has driven the thin-client market to simplify and enhance administrative features. Wyse has had this functionality for years, but now that VDI is becoming standard for IT environments, questions about simple items such as network booth options are going to become very common.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brad Maltz is CTO of International Computerware, a national consulting firm focused on virtualization and storage technologies. He holds certifications from VMware and EMC for many technologies. Brad can be reached at bmaltz@iciamerica.com for any questions, comments or suggestions.

This was first published in November 2009

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