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 Thin Client for Java 
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Post Thin Client for Java
I am new to Ignition. I am blown away by this product.

I work for a company that has a large installed base of another HMI package. The costs are out of sight with it.

Since Ignition is server based, what are my options for thin client? What does it take to run the necessary Java in a thin client environment?

Can you suggest any prepackaged thin client hardware that might be runing Linux with necessary Java and browser. Naturally I am looking for fanless, flash or SSD based solution.

At some point we might consider booting from a server, but not initially.

Thanks for any help.


Dennis Womack


Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:14 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Good question - we are actually working on creating a custom Linux distro optimized to do the minimum amount of work necessary to run an Ignition client, which is:
1) Run a basic windowing system
2) Run Java SE 5 or 6

Not quite sure when it'll be ready however... of course if you're familiar with linux there is nothing stopping you from seting up linux on an industrial touch-pc yourself.

On the Windows side, the lowest we can go is XP Embedded (no CE) because we need to run JavaSE, not JavaME.

I know that some of our integrators have had success with Wyse terminals runnning XP embedded.

Hope this helps,

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Carl Gould
Co-Director, Software Engineering
Inductive Automation


Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:12 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
I am looking for something like the JackPC or similar from www.chippc.com.

I have inquired of them as to the availability of java SE 5 or 6 running on their platform.

Take a look at their stuff.

My application for Ignition is initially a dashboard showing critical production data.

Thanks


Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
The JackPC looks pretty cool, but a bit anemic. 128MB ram is going to be rough running the Ignition client. Their EX-PC looks a lot better, but of course it is larger and presumably more expensive.

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Carl Gould
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Inductive Automation


Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:12 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
How much RAM would you reckon would be necessary for web client in linux?

Reckon is southern thing.


Dennis


Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:31 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Well of course it is going to depend on the complexity of the project, but lets assume the most basic of projects for a dashboard.

Honestly I'm not sure without some experimentation, because I don't have an intuitive sense as to how lean a stripped down Linux installation will run. I would like to see 512mb, but it wouldn't surprise me if you could get away with less.

Sorry for the equivocation, this ultra-low end is somewhat new territory.

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Carl Gould
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Inductive Automation


Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
I am currently testing an Atom unit from Habey. Passively cooled with heat pipes that are embedded in a fined die cast case. It also has the NVidia ION chipset. I also used a OCZ Vertex 30GB solid state drive (smallest I could find, but only $80 after all the rebates). I used a 2GB memory module. The whole package was around $490 with shipping.

Currently testing with Ubuntu 9.10. By using UNetbootin it installed in around 8 minutes (of course all the service packs took longer to download and install). It will boot up and be ready to run in about 15 seconds (5 of that is waiting on the BIOS).

So far it seems to run very well for a client. You will notice it is a little slower than a desktop at unpacking the jar files, but once the interface is up it seems to do well.

Some links:
The Habey PC from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

The OCZ SSD from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820227393

The RAM from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231163

Check out the other stuff from Habey (some looks very interesting, they have a passively cooled Core 2 Duo):
http://www.habeyusa.com/products.php?id=112


The next items to try are KUbuntu. I have read it is supposed to be a little more optimized than Ubuntu. I also want to try SUSE, since they have a configuration website where you can build your own image with any additional packages you may need (like the java runtime). Anyway, I am still new to Linux so I am sure there are more people around that can comment on which one makes the fastest client for use with Ignition.

Darren


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:42 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
That looks like a great little box for running the Client - or heck, even the Gateway for a Panel Edition installation.

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Carl Gould
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Inductive Automation


Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:24 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Darren,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. It helps.


Dennis


Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:46 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Do not know if anyone is following this, but so far my experience with Kubuntu is less than impressive. I have had some issues getting things to work that I got working fairly easily in Ubuntu (things like VNC, XRDP, SSH and Java). The command line APT-GET did not seem to work very well. The graphical installer seemed to work OK. KUbuntu is nicer looking, but seems to use the same amount of resources, so I am going to switch my client back to Ubuntu.

Does anyone have any Linux recommendations for a Ignition client that may be better than Ubuntu? The main items I am looking for is small, fast and easy remote administration. So far, it looks like Ubuntu has been the easiest to work with. May eventually try Damn Small Linux, but for right now I am burned out on installing different versions of Linux.

Darren


Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:09 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Ubuntu server edition?

If you want off the shelf I think that's about a small as you get. Koppnix map be a good solution as well. Never tried it.

Other then that I think your looking at a build your own.


(Ducks from all the other Linux users touting their fav's)


Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:33 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
We just finished an install with Ignition running on Windows 7 on a Dell desktop, and four Wyse thin clients with Hope Industrial touch screens as the clients. All you have to do to the thin clients is load Java (takes about 5 minutes total for each client), and that is it. The clients come with 1GB of flash RAM and they run great.


Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
To: scott_stc
Do you have a model number or part number for the Wyse thin client you used?
What OS is the thin client running?

Thanks for the report, it really helps.


Dennis


Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:12 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
We use the Wyse C90LEW thin client, with the Hope Industrial HIS-ML17-STAE, 17" touch screen monitor. All we had to do was load java and the touch screen driver onto the thin client (no big deal). We set the screen resolution of the project in Ignition to 1024x863. This is a real easy setup and works great.


Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:31 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
To: scott_stc

The LEW is Embedded Windows based, have you tried one of the Linux versions? Did the unit come with Embedded Windows and a license for it?

Have you tried to use one of the Wyse Linux based thin clients?

Thanks, I am gathering knowledge.


Dennis


Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:19 am
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