News

Please check here from time to time for the latest ThinLinX News including TLXOS & TMS release information

ThinLinX is proud to announce that we have recently become a Raspberry Pi Design Partner

Link to RPI Website Thin Clients

Tuesday March 26 2024

Breaking News, for our customers that don’t want to self assemble a RPi 5 you can now buy a RPi 5 turn key hardware solution with TLXOS pre-installed available at this link

https://makerbright.com/thin-clients.html

Tuesday February 20 2024

# IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ:
TLXOS 5.x has been released, including both a new Long Term Stable version (5.0.0) and a progressive version (5.2.0).
TLXOS RPi 5.0.0 LTS does **NOT** support the Raspberry Pi 5 – you must install RPi 5.2.0 for that.
You cannot upgrade directly from TLXOS 4.x to 5.x using TMS.  You must upgrade via a bridging upgrade that we have named “version 4.99.99” (it isn’t really that, it’s just a rearrangement of whatever version of TLXOS 4.x you are already using) before attempting a TLXOS 5.x upgrade.
You can, of course, choose to reinstall from scratch using a TLXOS 5.x installer / SD card imager instead, which will not require the intermediary 4.99.99 upgrade.
If you have a short attention span, you can probably skip the rest (but if that’s the case you have probably stopped reading already!).
## TLXOS 5.x DESIGN CHANGES
TLXOS 5.x differs from TLXOS 4.x in four major respects:
1. It no longer has a dedicated Maintenance Mode disk partition, nor a separate Maintenance Mode kernel.  The /boot partition has been enlarged to use all of the space formerly dedicated to the /tfm partition, and Maintenance Mode now takes the form of an alternative easy userspace (/boot/tfm.img), i.e. it uses the same kernel as Normal Mode.  This arrangement makes better use of the limited space allocated by TLXOS 4.x, and thereby allows us to provide a TMS-driven upgrade strategy that doesn’t require a complete reinstall.
2. Unlike TLXOS 4.x, which had forever-fixed sizes, 5.x is designed to cope with future enlargement of /boot and /actualroot filesystems (within reason – you will still need to have sufficient unallocated and/or reclaimable disk space).  For maximum upgrade reliability, we have kept TLXOS 5.0.0 LTS sizes exactly the same as those of TLXOS 4.x.  TLXOS 5.2.0, however, is much larger, on account of reversion to an uncompressed ext2 root filesystem (we only switched to compressed Reiser4 in late 4.x as a space-saving desperation measure – uncompressed filesystems are faster to access).  The minimum practical disk(/SD card) size for TLXOS 5.2.0 is therefore now 4 GB, although there is an alternative solution for old x86 devices with 2 GB SSDs (see below).
3. Support for 32-bit hardware is now deprecated.  Only TLXOS 5.0.x LTS (and possibly its successor LTS release) continue to support Raspberry Pi models earlier than the Pi 3 and very old PCs with 32-bit only CPUs.  TLXOS RePC >= 5.2.0 is fully 64-bit, which has eliminated the need for a separate SFF edition, so we have discontinued that after 5.0.0 LTS.  TLXOS RPi now has an alternative fully 64-bit variant, which you may want to consider using if you do not need VMware Horizon Client (see below).  TLXOS RPi >= 5.2.0 does not support Pi <= 2 despite temporarily having dual 32- and 64-bit kernels (see below).
4. Maintenance Mode now provides better upgrade progress feedback, both in TMS and on the device console.  Progress of TMS-initiated upgrades is now shown on the device console, and both TMS and device console now show percentage completion of filesystem write operations, as well as downloads.
For other significant differences, please read the 5.0.0 and 5.2.0 Release Notes https://help.thinlinx.com/knowledgebase.php?article=95 and https://help.thinlinx.com/knowledgebase.php?article=100 respectively.
Although we don’t have a DIY hotfix capability yet, nor universal licenses, both are coming later in TLXOS 5.x.
## WHAT HAPPENED TO TLXOS 5.1.0?
We skipped it.
The Debian 11 (Bullseye) release that we were planning to use as the basis for the progressive release of TLXOS 5.x was already obsolete when we started work on 5.x, and because TLXOS 5.x development and testing dragged on for so long, we had enough time to adequately develop and test a successor release (5.2.0) based on Debian 12 (Bookworm) in parallel.
Moreover, Raspberry Pi 5 support was added only to Debian/Raspbian Bookworm, and some of this (e.g. Mesa) could not be backported to Bullseye.
We therefore decided to go with Bookworm rather than Bullseye for the progressive TLXOS 5.x release, and keep 5.1.0 in reserve for a future LTS upgrade.  5.0.0 LTS, which is still based on Debian 10 (Buster) might therefore prove to be a somewhat short-lived LTS sequence.  Unlike 5.0.0 LTS, the hypothetical 5.1.0 LTS would (mostly) support the Pi 5 and have a larger disk footprint similar to 5.2.0.
Please note that unlike mainline Debian/Raspbian Bookworm, TLXOS 5.2.0 continues to use X11, not Wayland, and a 4k page size.
## WHY IS 5.0.0 LTS’ KERNEL SO “OLD”?
We couldn’t use a 6.1 kernel in TLXOS 5.0.0 for two reasons, both of which are related to our goal of minimizing the risk involved in a 4.x to 5.0.0 LTS upgrade by retaining TLXOS 4.x sizing:
1. Reiser4 patches are not available for any kernel later than 5.16, and Reiser4 is needed for compression, without which root filesystems will not fit in the space provided by TLXOS 4.x.
2. More recent kernels such as 6.1 are significantly larger, and would not fit in the combined space provided for /boot and /tfm filesystems in TLXOS 4.x in the RPi and RePC cases.
Consequently, we recommend that customers do **not** use 5.0.0 LTS for any PC hardware that has been purchased new in the last 1-2 years, due to the fairly high probability that the 5.0.0’s 5.15 kernel does not support certain chipsets in your PC (in particular, Intel Integrated GPUs and WiFi).
In future LTS releases (either 5.0.x or 5.1.x), we will cease to match TLXOS 4.x sizing and include a later version kernel.  This won’t prevent 4.x to 5.x LTS upgrades, but it will result in a higher upgrade failure risk if you are using low capacity storage (<= 4 GB) or very old releases of TLXOS 4.x.
## HOW CAN I SWITCH FROM SFF TO REPC?
We’re still working on that.
TLXOS (more accurately, tms_client) will already accept a SFF license proof token as sufficient to operate RePC – it has done for some time now – but we have not yet made the necessary changes to accept RePC license requests (in the absence of free RePC licences) on our license server.
We’ll get this done ASAP.  In the meantime, you can try installing or upgrading to TLXOS SFF 5.0.0 LTS – this might still be adequate for your hardware.
## RASPBERRY PI 5 SUPPORT PROBLEMS
Unfortunately, neither Citrix Workspace App nor VMware Horizon Client officially support the Pi 5, and we’ve had to make some compromises to get them to work at all.  In TLXOS RPi 5.2.0, we had to downgrade Workspace App to version 20.12, because all later versions crash when running under a 64-bit
kernel, and there is a known problem whereby Horizon Client (which won’t even run on a Pi 5 without an additional workaround we came up with) will crash when using USB redirection under a 64-bit kernel.  We had wanted to provide a single 64-bit kernel for TLXOS RPi 5.2.0, but in order to avoid the latter problem
wherever possible, we were forced to include a secondary 32-bit kernel for Pi 3s and 4s.
For customers who require a later version of Workspace App and are not using Pi5s (which is incapable of running the 32-bit kernel), we will provide a Workspace App hotfix.
Customers who require a later version of Workspace App and have no requirement for Horizon Client can install an alternative fully 64-bit version of TLXOS RPi 5.2.0 that comes with an ARM64 version of Workspace App 23.11 that does not have the crash problem, which only occurs when running 32-bit ARM binaries under a 64-bit ARM kernel.  Horizon Client cannot be provided for the 64-bit TLXOS RPi 5.2.0 variant because VMware have not ported Horizon Client to ARM64 yet.  TLXOS RPi 5.2.0 and TLXOS RPi64 5.2.0 look like the same thing to TMS, so you can only use TMS to deploy one or the other, not both (downloading 64-bit RPi 5.2.0 will overwrite TMS’ copy of 32-bit RPi 5.2.0, and vice versa).
Unfortunately at present there is no way to avoid a Horizon Client crash on the Raspberry Pi when a device eligible for USB redirection is present, other than changing “Redirect USB” to “No” in the TMS or TLXconfig GUI.  This means that access to client-connected USB storage devices will not be possible, since the ARM port of Horizon Client lacks support for client drive redirection (i.e. USB redirection is the only way to achieve this).
Also, the usual ThinLinX boot screen with the progress bar won’t display properly on the Pi 5, which has to do with the old version of Plymouth that we are using not properly supporting DRM framebuffers on ARM platforms (and therefore falling back to the text mode tribar), but we didn’t regard this as a high priority problem and haven’t yet spent much time on trying to fix it.
## USING REPC LIVE TO INSTALL REPC ON A TINY SSD
RePC Live now uses a ZISOFS (Linux-specific compressed ISO9660) root filesystem, which achieves even better compression than Reiser4 on account of being read-only.  This allows DIY installation of RePC 5.x onto SSDs that would otherwise be too small to use, such as the 2 GB SSDs in some very old HP thin clients.  To do this, image a USB stick with RePC Live and boot this, then use TMS to install an SSH public key (see https://help.thinlinx.com/knowledgebase.php?article=7), SSH to the device as root, and run a command to copy RePC Live directly to the internal SSD, e.g.
dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sda bs=1048576 conv=fsync
If all goes well, you should then be able to unplug the USB stick and boot TLXOS directly from the internal SSD.
## EFI-BOOTABLE REPC ISO
The RePC 5.x ISO images now use rEFInd to provide an EFI boot capability, in addition to the existing ISOLinux Legacy boot capability.  This allows you to use a real or virtual DVD to install RePC 5.x on new (in particular, Intel-branded) hardware that has a UEFI-only (“Legacy free”) BIOS, or on a virtual machine which has been configured for EFI rather than Legacy (a.k.a. “BIOS”) boot.  We still recommend that wherever possible you use the USB installer instead.

Tuesday January 23 2024

We expect to release TLXOS-5.0.0 and TLXOS-5.2.0 in early February 2024, these releases have taken much longer than anticipated but well worth the wait.

Tuesday November 28 2023

Since our first Raspberry Pi 5 samples arrived on the 17 October we have been busy working on adding RPi 5 support to our upcoming TLXOS-5.1.0 and TLXOS-5.2.0 releases. Our upcoming TLXOS-5.0.0 is our Long Term Release (LTS) replacing the current TLXOS-4.11.1, which initially will not support the RPi5, you will need to install TLXOS-5.1.0 or TLXOS-5.2.0 for RPi 5 support. The good news is we have had TLXOS running on the RPi 5 for about a month now, the performance is excellent in the remote desktop modes of RDP, Citrix HDX and VMware Horizon Blast in both Single and Dual display modes as well as local Web Browser, local Media Player and Digital Signage modes.

We have only just received the RPi 5 Official case and Active Cooler which can easily be fitted by removing the integrated fan and plastic fan support piece, replacing that with the Active Cooler fan which comes complete with a large integrated Heatsink, this has been designed to fit perfectly in the RPi 5 Official case. We have now added software to control the various Fan speeds of the Active cooler which we wanted to do prior to the releases

We will be uploading comprehensive release notes but for now the major changes are

TLXOS-5.0.0 LTS = Buster with 5.15 kernel, exact same partition sizes as 4.x for ease of upgrade, no Pi 5 support which will be added later

TLXOS-5.1.0 = Bullseye with 64-bit-only 6.1 kernel, supports Pi 5 but not for GL (because: Bullseye version of Mesa, is near impossible to upgrade), Pi 3/4 continue to use fKMS so that hardware H.264 can be used.

TLXOS-5.2.0 = Bookworm, still under final development, planned to use Xwayland instead of X11, FreeRDP3 instead of FreeRPD2

We normally release TLXOS for the entire RPi range at the same time as our X86 Architecture Intel and AMD Small Form Factor Factor and our Re-Purpose PC releases. This has contributed to delays in the releases which are very ambitious with many changes to the current release, which has required a great deal of testing

We expect to release TLXOS-5.0.0 and TLXOS-5.1.0 in the next few weeks with TLXOS-5.2.0 being released in early 2024

Thursday September 28 2023

The BIG news out today is the Raspberry Pi 5 was released, we have been aware of this upcoming announcement for some time which is one of the reasons we decided to delay the release of TLXOS-5.0.0 and TLX-5.1.0. We expect to receive some sample RPi5 units in the near future, once we have these we expect the integration of the changes required for TLXOS to run on the RPi5 to be completed fairly quickly, in plenty of time for the general hardware release in late October

Wednesday August 2 2023

Finalizing testing of TLXOS-5.0.0 has taken longer than initially anticipated, we now expect to release by the end of August, we will also be releasing the TLXOS-4.99.99 firmware upgrader which will allow customers to upgrade their current 4.x.x versions of TLXOS to the new layout scheme used in TLXOS-5.0.0 without losing the current configuration of installed devices, see below for full information on the new layout scheme. If possible we will release TLXOS-5.1.0 at the same time as the above releases, otherwise a few weeks later

Wednesday July 12 2023

We have today released TMS-8.4.2 which fixes a number of minor bugs, this version has some other features that won’t be available until we release TLXOS-5.0.0

Saturday July 1 2023

We are finalizing testing of TLXOS-5.0.0 which we now expect to release by the end of July, we will also be releasing the TLXOS-4.99.99 firmware upgrader which will allow customers to upgrade their current 4.x.x versions of TLXOS to the new layout scheme used in TLXOS-5.0.0 without losing the current configuration of installed devices, see below for full information on the new layout scheme. We expect to release TLXOS-5.1.0 in about two months

Friday April 28 2023

We are in the process of the final testing of TLXOS-5.0.0 and TLXOS-5.1.0 prior to the anticipated release date of the end of June

We’ve decided that TLXOS 4.x is no longer suitable as a Long Term Stable (LTS) release – particularly in the SFF and RePC cases – due to it being forever limited to at most a 5.4 Linux kernel, on account of rigid sizing of /boot. The 5.4 kernel is too old to support the latest hardware, and kernel developers are no longer bothering to backport support for new hardware to it (on account of it now being two longterm releases out of date).

Consequently we now intend to release TLXOS 5.0.0 as a new LTS baseline, this being more-or-less a continuation of TLXOS 4.11.x with a layout change, i.e. still based on Debian 10 (Buster). At the same time, we’ll release TLXOS 5.1.0 as a new progressive release, based on Debian 11 (Bullseye).

In other words, we’ve reneged on our earlier promise that TLXOS 5.x will be exclusively Bullseye-based. Everything else remains mostly as previously advised. Upgrading from TLXOS 4.x to 5.x will not require TMS v9, and support for the new firmware format will be added later.

  • TLXOS 5.0.0 will – if possible – include a more recent kernel that still supports Reiser4, e.g. 5.15. TLXOS 5.1.0 will include a significantly more recent kernel, e.g. 6.1, and will probably revert to use of an uncompressed Ext2 root filesystem, on account of the current lack of a Reiser4 patch for 6.1 (and also because compression is no longer needed in order to fit within rigid TLXOS 4.x sizing).
  • TLXOS will no longer have a separate Maintenance Mode partition (or Linux kernel). Maintenance Mode will be merged into the /boot filesystem, as an alternative initramfs that will use the same kernel as Normal Mode.
  • TLXOS installation will become more flexible with regard to filesystem sizes. Upgrades will be able to enlarge the base root filesystem (/actualroot) as needed, and if necessary will repartition to enlarge /boot also, although this will necessarily result in loss of midlayer (/config) data, i.e. reset to default settings.
  • TLXOS 5.0.x will still support 32-bit-only Raspberry Pi models (v1, original Pi Zero, and Pi 2 v1.1) and 32 bit-only PCs, but TLXOS 5.1.0 and later will not. TLXOS RePC 5.1.0 and later will be fully 64-bit only, and TLXOS SFF will be discontinued after 5.0.x; a means to transition from SFF (NUC32 / NUC64) to RePC will be provided. TLXOS RPi IoT will be discontinued after 5.0.x also, and TLXOS RPi 5.1.0 and later will use a 64-bit Pi kernel with a 32-bit userspace, which will not run on the original Pi 2 (only the Pi 2 v1.2, a rare model, or the Pi 3 (including CM3 and Zero 2) or later).

We (still) intend to achieve the TMS 4.x-5.0 transition by means of a TLXOS 4.x update with a TLXOS 5.x compatible Maintenance Mode image that, when booted, will apply an irreversible TLXOS 5.x layout conversion, i.e. it will merge the Boot and Maintenance Mode partitions. This will put your devices in a kind of “version 4.99” state, from which you can upgrade to 5.x, but not downgrade.

In TMS 8.4.0 we delivered two of the features that were originally listed as “likely” for inclusion in TMS 9.0.0:

  • Introduction of basic policy, i.e. association of saved profiles with TMS device groups, such that TMS will require any known client to conform to the saved profile linked to the device group of which they are a member, when they check in with TMS.
  • Overhaul of Digital Signage to use out-of-band rsync content synchronization (pull-based) instead of clumsy in-protocol content synchronization (push-based). This will be much more efficient, although clients will require direct access to the rsync service on the TMS server. The older scheme will still be available via a legacy option.

We will probably implement the following formerly-TMS9-likely features prior to TMS 9.0.0:

  • TLXOS licenses will be consolidated into a one-license-fits-all solution, i.e. you will be able to run any edition of TLXOS using a common entitlement.
  • Improved VPN capabilities, including password-based OpenVPN and Wireguard.

The following features currently remain deferred until TMS 9.0.0:

  • Encryption of updates (TLXOS firmware, tms_client, hotfixes) will be removed, and the firmware format will be simplified to be a zip file containing binary firmware object(s) and metadata file(s) in a format that ThinLinX will publicly document, along with optional GPG signature(s). This will allow customers to create their own hotfixes. TMS will check GPG signatures against an approved keyring and report whether or not the update passes signature checks.
  • Upgrade of boot[/TFM] and root filesystems will be completely separate, allowing upgrade to a newer Linux kernel (and Maintenance Mode image) while remaining at the same base firmware version.
  • Rewrite of TMS for internal client-server separation and multi-session capability, i.e. an “always on” background service/daemon component and one or more on-demand GUIs. TMS was not designed for this, so it is a very extensive and ambitious rewrite. TMS GUIs will be able to run on a different host than the service/daemon, and you will be be able to run two or more concurrently.
  • TMS 9.0.0 will introduce the concept of a “filestore” database, whereby downloaded updates, and files installed by the user, will be permanently stored in a hash tree such that clients can request download of such objects by hash rather than by name. This means that files installed using TMS’ “File->Install File” option (e.g. SSH keys and CA certs) will be part of a saved profile, and client devices will automatically download these if they are missing.

Thursday February 2nd 2023

Today we have released TLXOS 4.11.1 which will be the last release in our current TLXOS 4.x.x series, the next release will be TLXOS 5.0.0 and TMS 9.0.0

TLXOS 4.11.1 contains a number of bug fixes and updated version of the remote desktop software listed below

  • FreeRDP 2.9.0
  • Citrix Workspace App 2212
  • VMware Horizon Client 2212 (except on RePC, which remains limited to 2012 due to discontinuation of 32-bit x86 port) – RPi version now finally includes printer redirection!
  • tms_client/Tlxconfig 8.4.1
  • various Debian 10.13 package upgrades

Full details are available at this link https://help.thinlinx.com/knowledgebase.php?article=89

TLXOS 5.0.0 and TMS 9.0.0 work is taking longer than expected, so we are squeezing a little more life out of TLXOS 4.x and TMS 8.x.

It’s still the plan that the final TLXOS 4.x release (currently 4.11.x, hopefully a 4.12.x will not be necessary) will become the new Long Term Stable (LTS) release – replacing TLXOS 4.8.x – when TLXOS 5.0.0 is released. We will consider releasing TLXOS 4.8.4 if customers really need this, although Debian Jessie is now very old indeed.

We are now being severely hampered by TLXOS 4.x design limitations, in particular the inability to provide a Linux kernel later than 5.4 due to insufficient space in the /boot filesystem, and therefore intend to deliver TLXOS 5.0.0 under TMS 8.x, rather than delaying it until TMS 9.0.0 is ready.

TLXOS 5.0.0 will still include the features that we guaranteed in our previous announcements, namely:

  • TLXOS 5.x releases will be based on Debian 11 (Bullseye), and will initially feature a 5.10 Linux kernel.
  • TLXOS will no longer have a separate Maintenance Mode partition (or Linux kernel). Maintenance Mode will be merged into the /boot filesystem, as an alternative initramfs that will use the same kernel as Normal Mode.
  • TLXOS installation will become more flexible with regard to filesystem sizes. Upgrades will be able to enlarge the base root filesystem (/actualroot) as needed, and if necessary will repartition to enlarge /boot also, although this will necessarily result in loss of midlayer (/config) data, i.e. resetto default settings.
  • TLXOS 5.x will no longer support ARMv6 (Raspberry Pi v1 or original Pi Zero) or 32-bit-only PCs. TLXOS RPi IoT, TLXOS SFF (NUC32/64), and 32-bit capable TLXOS RePC will only exist as 4.x LTS versions, until such time as a TLXOS 5.x LTS baseline is established. A means to transition from NUC32/NUC64 to RePC will be provided.
  • We intend to achieve the TMS 4.x-5.0 transition by means of a TLXOS 4.x update with a TLXOS 5.x-compatible Maintenance Mode image that, when booted, will apply an irreversible TLXOS 5.x layout conversion, i.e. it will merge the Boot and Maintenance Mode partitions. This will put your devices in a kind of “version 4.99” state, from which you can upgrade to 5.0.0, but not downgrade.
  • We have delivered early, in TMS 8.4.0, two of the features that were originally listed as “likely” for inclusion in TMS 9.0.0:
  • Introduction of basic policy, i.e. association of saved profiles with TMS device groups, such that TMS will require any known client to conform to the saved profile linked to the device group of which they are a member, when they check in with TMS.
  • Overhaul of Digital Signage to use out-of-band rsync content synchronization (pull-based) instead of clumsy in-protocol content synchronization (push-based). This will be much more efficient, although clients will require direct access to the rsync service on the TMS server. The older scheme will still be available via a legacy option.
  • We will probably also implement the following formerly-TMS9-likely features prior to TMS 9.0.0:
  • TLXOS licenses will be consolidated into a one-license-fits-all solution, i.e. you will be able to run any edition of TLXOS using a common entitlement. New licenses will be at the higher SFF/RePC cost (USD $15 per device, we have not increased our license fees for over nine years); we will not retroactively compensate SFF/RePC owners with additional entitlements.
  • Improved VPN capabilities, including password-based OpenVPN and Wireguard.
  • The following features currently remain deferred until TMS 9.0.0:
  • Encryption of updates (TLXOS firmware, tms_client, hotfixes) will be removed, and the firmware format will be simplified to be a zip file containing binary firmware object(s) and metadata file(s) in a format that ThinLinX will publicly document, along with optional GPG signature(s). This will allow customers to create their own hotfixes. TMS will check GPG signatures against an approved keyring and report whether or not the update passes signature checks.
  • Upgrade of boot[/TFM] and root filesystems will be completely separate, allowing upgrade to a newer Linux kernel (and Maintenance Mode image) while remaining at the same base firmware version.
  • Rewrite of TMS for internal client-server separation and multi-session capability, i.e. an “always on” background service/daemon component and one or more on-demand GUIs. TMS was not designed for this, so it is a very extensive and ambitious rewrite. TMS GUIs will be able to run on a different host than the service/daemon, and you will be be able to run two or more concurrently.
  • TMS 9.0.0 will introduce the concept of a “filestore” database, whereby downloaded updates, and files installed by the user, will be permanently stored in a hash tree such that clients can request download of such objects by hash rather than by name. This means that files installed using TMS’ “File->Install File” option (e.g. SSH keys and CA certs) will be part of a saved profile, and client devices will automatically download these if they are missing.

Saturday September 17th 2022

Today we have released TLXOS 4.11.0 and TMS 8.4.0, these are very impressive updates on the previous versions

TMS is now available for Windows, Ubuntu Linux, Centos 7, Centos 8, Red Hat 7, Red Hat 8, and for the first time you can now easily install TMS on TLXOS RePC and TLXOS RPi

TLXOS 4.11.0 has been updated with the latest versions of RDP, Citrix HDX, VMware Horizon Blast client and a new Digital Signage mode. Our Digital Signage mode will run on even the lowest powered US$10 Raspberry Pi Zero V1.1 W displaying Images and Videos all the way up to the Raspberry Pi4B / 400 which can display a mixed mode including Images, Videos, Web and PDF content on Dual Displays.

Digital Signage will run on any TLXOS 4.11.0 device including X86 Small Form Factor devices such as Intel NUC’s and any device running TLXOS RePC 4.11.0

Digital Signage Quick Start Guide

Click for TLXOS 4.11.0 Release Notes

Click for TMS 8.4.0 Release notes

Click for Tlxconfig 8.4.0 Release notes

Saturday August 20th 2022

Exciting news!

After eight months of continuous development since our last releases we are now only two weeks out from releasing TLXOS 4.11.0 and TMS 8.4.0. This release started out as 4.10.2 but had a lot of scope creep, has ended up with many complicated new features, and has therefore taken us a long time to develop and test. We expect to release this all in early September

One of the new features which we are very proud of is our new Digital Signage Mode, we have retained the previous Legacy signage which allowed the playing of either Video, Images or Web Content on each display. There was a limitation on devices with only one display as only one type of content could be played at once, the other limitation was the content had to be pushed using our ThinLinX Management Software (TMS) to the client. Minimum hardware required to play Video reliably was a Raspberry Pi 4

Our new Digital Signage mode has a number of significant advantages over the Legacy model, including the ability to play any combination of mixed content on each display Video, Images, multiple Website shortcuts for different Websites and page content via “.url” text files

We have changed the way that content is handled to make it much easier to update content by providing an automatic check for new content every “X” cycles of playing your content. You can set “X” to how often new content should be checked, we now use the very popular “Rsync” to synchronize content using “Pull” from the client end, this allows content to be synchronized behind multiple firewalls on a device located anywhere in the World

Our new upgraded TMS 8.4.0 has a built in Rsync Server which the client device connects to, you can also select a remote Rsync server instead of the version built into TMS if you wish. The minimum device for playing DSI is now the US$15 Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, add TLXOS for US$10 and for a total of US$25 you have the lowest cost DSI device anywhere in the World. We use hardware accelerated Video which allows even the 512MB Ram RPi Zero 2 W to play full screen Video at less than 5% CPU load leading to a low CPU temperature of approximately 40 degrees Celsius. Audio is output automatically using the HDMI Video cable. The only limitation with using an RPi Zero 2 W for DSI is it has insufficient RAM for Web content but is perfect for mixed content of Video and Images.

Other features include, RDP mode now provides a pick list of the last five used usernames when Auto Login and Kiosk Mode are not in use, rather than the most recently used username only, audio quality and stability has also been greatly improved

Software upgrades include Citrix Workspace App 2205, VMware Horizon Client 2203 (RPi) or 2206 (SFF); RePC remains limited to 2012 due to discontinuation of 32-bit x86 port, FreeRDP 2.7.0, tms_client 8.4.0 and Tlxconfig 8.4.0, also various Debian 10.12 package upgrades and bug fixes

We’ve also done some initial work on TLXOS 5.0.0 and TMS 9.0.0, which are even more ambitious due to fundamental design changes and complicated backward compatibility requirements, but this work is on hold for now. A newer kernel (e.g. 5.15) can’t happen until TLXOS 5.0.0 because of fundamental size limitations in 4.x, and this is now desperately needed (e.g. to support the latest x86 hardware), so we’ve taken TLXOS 4.x as far as we can go with the forthcoming 4.11.x series.

We hope you will be as excited about these releases as our team at ThinLinX is!

Saturday December 11th 2021

ThinLinX has today released TLXOS RPi 4.10.1 (Current) & TLXOS 4.8.3 (LTS) with support for the NEW Raspberry Pi 400, RPi4, CM4, RP3, RP2 and the new RPi Zero 2 W.  We have also released TLXOS SFF which supports small Form Factor devices with Intel or AMD CPU’s, and TLXOS RePC for Re-Purposing older hardware and Laptops as Thin Clients

This release contains a number of new features including Parallels RAS (formerly 2X) mode, based on RASClient version 16.5.3, we have also added an out-of-tree Wireguard kernel module to allow the use of very popular Wireguard VPN in addition to our OpenVPN support.

Our Digital Signage solution has also had a number of enhancements and various bugs fixed

Please see the links below to review all the new features bug fixes etc

Click here for TLXOS 4.10.1 Release notes

Click here for TLXOS 4.8.3 Release notes

Click here for Tlxconfig and tms_client release notes

We expect that TLXOS 4.10.1 will probably be the last progressive TLXOS release in the 4.x series, although 4.x will continue for some time as Long Term Stable (LTS).

TLXOS 5.0.0 and TMS 9.0.0 will include the following improvements:

Guaranteed features:

Encryption of updates (TLXOS firmware, tms_client, hotfixes) will be removed, and the firmware format will be simplified to be a zip file containing binary firmware object(s) and metadata file(s) in a format that ThinLinX will publicly document, along with optional GPG signature(s).  This will allow customers to create their own hotfixes.  TMS will check GPG signatures against an approved keyring and report whether or not the update passes signature checks.

  • TLXOS 5.x releases will be based on Debian 11 (Bullseye), and will initially feature a 5.10 Linux kernel.
  • TLXOS will no longer have a separate Maintenance Mode partition (or Linux kernel).  Maintenance Mode be merged into the /boot filesystem, as an alternative initramfs that will use the same kernel as Normal Mode.
  • TLXOS installation will become more flexible with regard to filesystem sizes. Upgrades will be able to enlarge the base root filesystem (/actualroot) as needed, and if necessary will repartition to enlarge /boot also, although this will necessarily result in loss of midlayer (/config) data, i.e. reset to default settings.
  • Upgrade of boot[/TFM] and root filesystems will be completely separate, allowing upgrade to a newer Linux kernel (and Maintenance Mode image) while remaining at the same base firmware version.
    Likely features (not finalized, and subject to change):
  • Rewrite of TMS for internal client-server separation and multi-session capability, i.e. an “always on” background service/daemon component and one or more on-demand GUIs.  TMS was not designed for this, so it is a very extensive and ambitious rewrite.  TMS GUIs will be able to run on a different host than the service/daemon, and you will be able to run two or more concurrently.
  • TLXOS licenses will be consolidated into a one-license-fits-all solution, i.e. you will be able to run any edition of TLXOS using a common entitlement. New licenses will be at the higher SFF/RePC cost (USD $15 per device); we will not retroactively compensate SFF/RePC owners with additional entitlements.
  • TMS 9.0.0 will introduce the concept of a “filestore” database, whereby downloaded updates, and files installed by the user, will be permanently stored in a hash tree such that clients can request download of such objects by hash rather than by name.  This means that files installed using TMS’ “File->Install File” option (e.g. SSH keys and CA certs) will be part of a saved profile, and client devices will automatically download these if they are missing.
  • Introduction of basic policy, i.e. association of saved profiles with TMS device groups, such that TMS will require any known client to conform to the saved profile linked to the device group of which they are a member, when they check in with TMS.
  • Overhaul of Digital Signage to use out-of-band rsync content synchronization (pull-based) instead of clumsy in-protocol content synchronization (push-based).  This will be much more efficient, although clients will require direct access to the rsync service on the TMS server. The older scheme will still be available via a legacy option.
  • Improved VPN capabilities, including password-based OpenVPN and Wireguard.

Monday June 7th  2021

ThinLinX has today released our first Mobile LIVE version of TLXOS 4.10.0 RePC, this is available by clicking on the download Icon above. Once downloaded insert a blank USB stick and double click on the .exe file to unpack the image and write it to the USB stick. A few minutes later you can unplug the USB stick and insert into Laptops or PC’s to run TLXOS as a LIVE session that is NOT installed to the hardware but runs entirely from the USB stick. The LIVE USB version of TLXOS can NOT be used for installation, it can only run TLXOS not install TLXOS, rendering your Laptop or PC data safe from accidental erasure. Please read the updated TLXOS user guide for more information (which will be released later today)

Monday May 17th 2021

ThinLinX has today released TLXOS 4.10.0 (Current) & TLXOS 4.8.2 (LTS) with support for the NEW Raspberry Pi 400, Pi4, P3, P2, CM3, CM4, small Form Factor devices with Intel or AMD CPU’s, and RePC for Re-Purposing older hardware and Laptops as Thin Clients

This release contains a number of new features including Parallels RAS (formerly 2X) mode, based on RASClient version 16.5.3, we have also added an out-of-tree Wireguard kernel module to allow the use of very popular Wireguard VPN in addition to our OpenVPN support.

Our Digital Signage solution has also had a number of enhancements and various bugs fixed

Please see the links below to review all the new features bug fixes etc

Click here for TLXOS 4.10.0 Release notes

Click here for TLXOS 4.8.2 Release notes

Click here for TMS 8.3.0 release notes

Click here for Tlxconfig and tms_client release notes

Thursday February 04 2021

ThinLinX has today released TLXOS 4.9.3 (Current) & TLXOS 4.8.1 (LTS) with support for the NEW Raspberry Pi 400, Pi4, P3, P2, CM3, CM4, small Form Factor devices with Intel or AMD CPU’s, and RePC for Re-Purposing older hardware and Laptops as Thin Clients

We have also integrated Microsoft “Teams for Linux” as a local App, this provides an excellent Video Conferencing solution especially on the more powerful RPi 400 and of course all X86 versions of TLXOS

The installers are available as a download from the ThinLinX Website, or in the case of the Raspberry Pi series as a download from the ThinLinX Website, via any RPi NOOBS installer, or by using the new RPi-Imager available from the RPi Website

TLXOS 4.9.3 and 4.8.1 support Diskless booting of X86 devices and the RPi400, RPi4 and RPi3 and Provision Mode on the RPi 400 and RPi 4 where TLXOS can be installed via PXE boot with a blank SD Card fitted into the RPI 400 or RPi 4, see the ThinLinX Management Software (TMS) and TLXOS user guides for more information on howto setup Diskless and Provision modes
The RPi 400 and RPi 4 EEPROM has to be updated to enable PXE boot, ThinLinX will provide a zip file that is copied to a blank SD Card then booted on a RPi 400 or RPi 4 to activate PXE boot mode

Click here for the TLXOS 4.9.3 Release Notes

A updated version of the ThinLinX Management Software (TMS) has also been released

Click here for the TLXOS 4.8.1 Release notes

Friday December 04 2020

ThinLinX has today released TLXOS 4.9.2 with support for the NEW Raspberry Pi 400, Pi4, P3, CM3 & CM4
We have also integrated Microsoft “Teams for Linux” as a local App, this provides an excellent Video Conferencing solution especially on the more powerful RPi 400
The installer is available as a download from the ThinLinX Website, or by using the new RPi-Imager available from the RPi Website or via any RPi NOOBS installer

TLXOS 4.9.2 supports Diskless booting of the RPi400, RPi4 and RPi3 and Provision Mode on the RPi 400 and RPi 4 where TLXOS can be installed via PXE boot with a blank SD Card fitted into the RPI 400 or RPi 4, see the ThinLinX Management Software (TMS) and TLXOS user guides for more information on howto setup Diskless and Provision modes
The RPi 400 and RPi 4 EEPROM has to be updated to enable PXE boot, ThinLinX will provide a zip file that is copied to a blank SD Card then booted on a RPi 400 or RPi 4 to activate PXE boot mode

Click here for the TLXOS 4.9.2 Release Notes

A updated version of the ThinLinX Management Software (TMS) has also been released

Click here for the TMS 8.2.3 Release Notes

Monday October 26 2020

ThinLinX has today released TLXOS 4.9.1

Click here for the TLXOS 4.9.1 Release Notes

Tuesday June 16 2020

ThinLinX has just released TLXOS 4.8.0, TLXOS 4.9.0 and TMS 8.2.0

• TLXOS 4.8.0 will be the final release for NUC32 and RPi IoT, and that it is an older release than 4.7.1 in that it is based on Debian 8 (Jessie) rather than Debian 9 (Stretch), but newer with regard to TMS agent functionality and bug fixes.

• What’s the difference between 4.8.0 and 4.9.0? The short answer is that 4.8.0 has older versions of Horizon Client, Citrix Receiver and the Chromium web browser, and uses ext2 (no compression, faster) rather than reiser4 (with compression, slower) for its main filesystem. Otherwise they’re functionally very similar.

• Starting with the new TLXOS 4.8.0 and TLXOS 4.9.0 Licenses never expire, we have removed the previous requirement to buy a new License every three years (renewal was needed if you wanted to upgrade firmware after three years)

• If you are running an older version of TLXOS, to see the support expiry change to “Never”, you can just upgrade to the latest TLXOS 4.8.0, 4.9.0 or install the new TMS Client end 8.2.0, also ensure that you have upgraded TMS to the new TMS 8.2.0

Click here for the Latest Release Notes

Click here for the NEW TMS User Manual