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HP Thinpro update and mass deployment

A new version of HP thinpro 5.2 has been released some months ago, the OS used for HP thin client t510, t610, t5565, t5745. I used the classical netcat+dd to install it on the test environment. You can find the image on the HP ftp ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/tcdebian/images/ T6X52011.dd.gz

There are great improvements

  • The filesystem used is btrfs, which allows to make snapshot on the filesystem.
  • The freerdp package has been updated to a newer version, more stable
  • The utility to duplicate on a USB key the whole image has been completely rewritten.

Setting a thinclient with the new OS

For the initial deployment, you can use the next steps of my article, just replace the URI variable with the original HP file T6X52011.dd

After booting the thinclient, configure it with all options you want, and connections you have to provide to users.. When done, use the HP thinclient utility to save the whole image to a USB key. The thinclient will reboot, and after a while, will ask you to insert a empty USB key. At the end of the process, you'll find on the Key, in the /images directory a new image file to deploy. Save this file to your web server, I set mine on http://192.168.1.100/srcd-tx/ThinPro-T6X52011-2016-02-16.dd for the next part of the article

Deployment

For upgrading the whole park, I used my PXE install to automate the deployment. Basically, I used these steps:

Details of the installation:

The PXE configuration pxelinux/default has a new entry:

 LABEL thinpro52
   KERNEL systemrescue-4.6/rescue64
   APPEND initrd=systemrescue-4.6/initram.igz scandelay=5 dodhcp setkmap=fr netboot=http://192.168.1.100/systemrescuecd-4.6/sysrcd.dat ar_source=http://192.168.1.100/srcd-tx/ autoruns=0 ar_nowait

The kernel is sent to the thinclient through PXE/TFTP, and load the initrd by tftp too. The real CD image from systemrescuecd is loaded by http. After booting, the rc.local start a script named autorun, available on http://192.168.1.100/srcd-tx/

 #!/bin/bash
 #
 # e.blindauer 20160202
 URI="http://192.168.1.100/srcd-tx/ThinPro-T6X52011-2016-02-16.dd"
 
 echo Starting to write the image...
 wget "$URI" --progress=bar:force -O - | dd of=/dev/sda
 
 sync
 echo "Reboot in 5s"
 sleep 5
 reboot

This script get the image file from the same server, and write it to the hard drive. There is no progress information, because the dd version is a little too old for using the status=progress option

At the end, the Thinclient is rebooted and ready to run

For upgrading the whole parc, you need to start each Thinclient on network through PXE, and select the thinpro52 entry on the boot menu, or use a dedicated config file for targeting your thinclient

Modifying the OS

If you need to modify the Thinpro OS, there are some tips

To write on the system, use fsunlock to set the disk on R/W, and fslock to set it RO again

All the configuration for connections are stored on the manticore registry (a HP Software). Use mclient to access it. Each entry in the client connection had a UUID

List them all:

 mclient -q  get 'root/ConnectionType/freerdp/connections

Add a key:

 mclient create "$i/linux" bool; mclient set "$i/linux" 1; mclient commit;

Where $i contain a connection UUID

Conclusion

Althrough some part of the system are closed (hp-* tools), and no real public informations from HP on Thinpro, this update is nice, and can be easily deployed. The OS is accessible for modifications.

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