Trying to build a Ubuntu to fit on a thin client

Hi guys!

I have a new project, I assignment was given to me…

Find a way to build a Linux image for Wyse C50LE Thin Client - C7 1 GHz - FLASH 1GB - RAM 1 GB…

We got them (20) for free for our community center.

Originally, it is supposed to run with SUSE SLED 11 embedded but it is too restrictive so I have to find an other OS…

I want to build an Ubuntu image able to run remote desktop or VMware Horizon 7 thin app that would fit inside a 1 Gb hard drive…

SUSE made it, why not Ubuntu?

Any ideas?


Perhaps use either Lubuntu/Xubuntu for the base?

They both have really lightweight DEs, so perhaps if you remove everything from them that you don’t need, you might be able to get it into that 1GB.

I’m by no means an expert, so I may be trying to go about this the wrong way, but it might be worth a look.

I hope this helps somehow! (^-^)/

When you say assignment, do you mean this is course homework? That might be putting people off answering…

Either way I can’t really help much, but I thought the usual thing to do with these sort of machines was to setup ltsp with a read only thin client image stored on the server. That way you are not restricted to 1gb storage space.

1gb is not much in Ubuntu, even for a cli only install it will be a struggle.

If you really have to create an image to be installed on the client, then using a lubuntu live ISO as a starting point would be a possibility. The compression used reduces the space needed to below 1gb.

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Welcome to the forum @bouzzi. Currently Ubuntu 16.04 mini installed with no GUI is 1093588 kilobytes in size. Unless you can find a embedded OS based on Ubuntu, what you are asking may not be possible.

I have a feeling that bouzzi has given up already, which is a shame because it sounded an interesting project. As Steven points out a standard install would not be possible with one of the *ubuntus, but it could be done with something like puppylinux, or utilising squashfs (which is what I meant when I was talking about lubuntu ISOs).

The limitation is not the hard drive size, or the amount of ram, its the CPU power and graphics card. Rightly or wrongly the usefulness of a computer nowadays is determined by its ability to run YouTube videos and script heavy webpages. I have my doubts whether an acceptable level of performance will be possible in either of these things, especially the video.

Another possible complication is you might need a non pae kernel for the VIA C7 CPU.

I would treat the 1gb storage as if it was a USB flash drive. There is lots of information on the net about creating a bootable USB drive, and customising an ISO. That would be my starting point to test performance and see if it is a worthwhile project. Community computers sound like a great idea, but will they see the use to justify the efforts maintaining them?

EDIT: useful stuff here

Puppylinux might actually work. We have some Wyse Thin Clients at my place of employment. I've not had the opportunity to see what their specifications are, but even with an embedded version of windows xp, they are extremely slow. A $35 Raspberry Pi would be a better choice to run a desktop environment.

However, @bouzzi might be interested in the following links.


Thank you guys for your interesting hints… I’m sorry I didn’t give quick response to each of your ideas but be sure that I will read all about them…

No Veggrower, I’m not giving up yet, their is a solution sowewhere and somehow I’ll find it… With your help and everyone ideas and suggestions I’ll get…

I have tried Puppy(Slacko, Tahrpup), Damn Small Linux (DSL), Linux from scratch, Phoenix OS, Archlinux,… they didn’t work, the 1 Gb hard-drive is not big enough or the hardware on the WYSE C50LE was not detected on most of these distros…!

I still have some more distros to try …

I tried different builds with thinstation with friends at the community center this week but we didn’t find the right one yet… We still have issues detecting parts of the stuff we are working with…
We might get somewhere… soon! …I hope !

Thanks for your help…

I let you know when I get it to work as I expect…


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What are the hardware problems? According to the parkytowers site I linked earlier you shouldn’t have pae problems. You might need to install the latest openchrome video driver.

Have you tried a lubuntu ISO and installing to a USB flash drive or other external hard drive? How does it run?

hi, im also having the same trying to install ubuntu on wyse c50le with 1 gb ram
i tried with even xubuntu but it didnt work out
ubuntu minimal showed an error like it couldn’t install the the kernal on the machine
can anyone help me with it
@bouzzi if have found a solution already can you tell me that