Vista? No thanks, school says, converts Windows boxes to Linux

Windows apps run on thin clients for adults - kids are happy to convert to Linux.

Despite the hype around Microsoft Vista, some schools are not convinced it's the best thing going. One northern California school has made sweeping changes to the school's IT system, converting 5,000 Windows PCS to run Linux, either as full-powered desktops or thin clients, reports Desktop Linux.

Windsor, CA School District IT administrator Heather Carver feels that the mostly- Windows environment will soon be obsolete and is installing PCs running SUSE Linux, Wyse Linux thin-client terminals, and a few Mac and Windows machines that will reduce annual costs, offer more applications, and use less energy.

"One key to all this is that we're using Citrix (as the bridge) to run Windows apps on thin-client terminals -- which the adults are most used to -- on the new SUSE Linux 10.1 servers," Carver told DesktopLinux.com. "The kids, well, they adjust to new operating systems and applications very quickly, so a changeover to Linux is no big deal."

Citrix Presentation Server enables Windows applications, hosted on remote servers, to "run" on networked thin clients (or PCs) that need not themselves be Windows machines.

Citrix uses thin clients as remote consoles, meaning that applications run on the servers, while screen contents, keyboard entry, and mouse movements traverse the network between the servers and the thin clients.

"It's the adults that tend to stay with what they're familiar with," added Carver. "This way, they can run their Windows apps as usual on the Linux OS, and everybody is happy."