How To Use a Raspberry Pi as a Thin Client

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As you may know, it’s impossible for Windows to run on a Raspberry. However, you can configure the Raspberry Pi as a thin client and access a remote desktop.

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What to Do with a Raspberry Pi 4

So, if you want to know how to use Raspberry Pi as a thin client then you are at the right. The process isn’t that immediate but it is completely doable. This piece gives you information on running Windows on your Raspberry Pi.

As one of the basics, you can use your Raspberry Pi to access a virtually created desktop from configuring a Windows computer as a server. The activity described is known as a thin client and the Raspberry Pi is very capable of achieving this.

Let’s now learn how to use Raspberry Pi as a thin client.

Things You’ll Need

  • Raspberry Pi 2 or Raspberry Pi 3
  • An empty Micro SD Card
  • Windows computer
  • Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor for the Raspberry Pi
  • Consistent power supply

After acquiring the above detailed utilities, you’ll also need to download the WTWare software on the Windows computer. WTWare is Raspberry Pi’s thin client operating system. And after installing this software, your Window’s desktop apps will run in a tenacious session.

Additionally, the WTWare software is optimized for network boot, which means that it supports booting from local media for Raspberry Pi. Similarly, this software is compatible with common RDP servers and offers additional support to a variety of local hardware.

If you don’t have a pre-formatted or empty SD Card then you can still use the WTWare software to format it. Once downloaded, you should install the WTWare on your Windows computer followed by inserting the Raspberry Pi’s micro SD card into the computer.

Afterward, you’ll need to run the WTWare software from the Start menu, and select the SD boot card for the Raspberry Pi menu option. You then need to ensure that you’ve selected the right disk letter for the SD card before clicking next.

Moving forward, the next step gives you the option of choosing between two types of thin clients, including:

Network Boot – The Network Boot configures the SD card for network boot on both the Raspberry Pi 2 and the Pi 3. Additionally, this type allows you to configure a single boot from the SD card to program the Raspberry Pi 3 to boot without it.

Local Boot – This type of thin client boots files directly from the SD card.

If you are just starting out, it would be best to consider the local boot and progress to the Network Boot after gaining some experience of the practice.

Configuring Thin Client’s Network Settings

After deciding on the type of boot, the next step is configuring the thin client’s network settings. This is done by moving to the network tab and specifying a static IP or a DHCP IP address for the Raspberry Pi. But if you prefer using Wi-Fi then you have to pick the Work over Wi-Fi selection.

Click next and proceed to selecting your preferred configuration settings, which you’ll find default settings. At this point the configuration settings are fine and you can leave them that way. Moving on, once you click next from the previous stage you’ll find a checkbox written: Save parameters into config.txt file. This section means that you have the privilege of editing the configuration of your thin client later on.

The final “Next” click will take you to the Password to enter terminal setup menu, which is the final step before commencing installation. So, set your password and check “Yes” for agreeing to the warning, while waiting for the data to be written on the SD card.

Configuring the Raspberry Pi Thin Client

Once the SD card receives all the data, you can now eject it and insert it into the Raspberry Pi that you are using. And because you’ll insert the disk when the Raspberry Pi is turned off, turning the Raspberry Pi will boot it into the Terminal management screen.

At this stage, you’ll then use the Network media selection to choose between Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and set the credentials as appropriate as possible. However, if the Configuration files are set to be received correctly, you’ll move onto the Connect for configuring option.

This is where you set the wireless network again then confirm that the configuration file is set. Once you are through with that, you only need to log in to the RDP virtual desktop session. This is the point you can now start using the Raspberry Pi as a thin client on Windows or any other installed app.

Benefits of Using Raspberry Pi

Today, companies and other major business organizations are looking to use the Raspberry Pi in their commercial-grade VDI plans. But most importantly, it’s essential to first understand how capable and reliable the Raspberry is.

And as it’s a known fact, the Raspberry Pi device is designed to support small-scale VDI projects but this doesn’t limit it from offering complete wholesome solutions.

But how, you may ask. And others even regard the Raspberry Pi a tool that’s suitable for only personal use. This is indeed the case, and there are some common examples like using it as a:

  • Home automation controller
  • Gaming console
  • An adaptable device for writing documents, reading emails and even use to play videos

However, the Raspberry Pi offers so much more compared to what most users have been able to adapt it with. The following are some of the benefits to enjoy from the Raspberry Pi:

  • Affordable – It is incredible that you get to save some bucks as you get all the other benefits of Raspberry Pi.
  • Perfect for most digital workspaces – This gives you flexibility as you are not limited to working on specific digital workspaces.
  • Has multiple interfaces, including HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, and Ethernet – This dynamism will allow you to easily share data with the available variety of connectivity interfaces.
  • Supports Multiple Remote Display Protocols – It is indeed convenient for you to have such ability.
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