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This page describes how to set up an ubuntu LTSP server with thin clients that use a different CPU architecture (for example iMacs as thin clients on an i386 server)

Preparing the Server

First you need to install the essential LTSP services on the server:

sudo apt-get install ltsp-server-standalone openssh-server

Now you need to temporary enable read/write access the the LTSP root to set up the thin client environment over the network.

gksudo gedit /etc/exports


/opt/ltsp       *(ro,no_root_squash,async)

to be:

/opt/ltsp       *(rw,no_root_squash,async)

save the file and run:

sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart

Follow the instructions on LTSPServerSetup and start the dhcp server.

Your server is now prepared for the installation of the thin client environment. Attach one of the clients to the network and boot it from an Ubuntu Live CD.

Installing the Client Environment

Install the ltsp-server package on the liveCD to get the necessary tools you need.

sudo apt-get install ltsp-server

sudo apt-get install nfs-kernel-server

If /opt/ltsp does not exist locally, make it.

mkdir /opt/ltsp

Mount the /opt/ltsp directory from the server on the client via nfs:

sudo mount <yourserverip>:/opt/ltsp /opt/ltsp

Now run:

sudo ltsp-build-client

This will install a thin client environment for the clients CPU architecture on the server. You can take a coffee break now, building the client takes some time.

After the building is finished, you can shut down the client again.

Finishing and cleaning up after yourself

Back on the server you need to do some cleanup and tell ltsp to use the right kernel for the installed Thin Client architecture. First revert the change you made in /etc/exports before and restart the nfs-kernel-server again, to make sure all is safe. Then run:

sudo ltsp-update-kernels


sudo ltsp-update-sshkeys

Thats it, now your ubuntu ltsp server should be able to serve Thin Clients of a different architecture than the LTSP server has.

Warning /!\ Note that powerpc clients need some special options in the servers dhcp setup. Here's a brief example of what you'll need:


subnet netmask {
  option domain-name "";
  option domain-name-servers;
  option broadcast-address;
  option routers;
  option subnet-mask;

option root-path "/opt/ltsp/powerpc";

if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "AAPLBSDPC" {
        filename      "/ltsp/powerpc/yaboot";
        option vendor-class-identifier "AAPLBSDPC";
        option vendor-encapsulated-options
else {
        filename    "/ltsp/powerpc/pxelinux.0";

UbuntuLTSP/LTSPCrossArchSetup (last edited 2011-10-10 14:52:44 by jasauders)