Turn old PC into Thin Client for Free – Version 1.1


citrix web interface 5.1

Turning old PC’s into Thin Clients are very much alive and a lot of you are downloading the ThinClientPC ScriptFrameWork. I recently came past 2 very good articles discussing these matters The fundamental flaws of thin clients and Converting PC’s into thin clients – a rundown of a suddenly crowded niche.

Now that the Citrix XenApp 5.0 Feature Pack 2 are released supporting HDX MediaStream for Flash I have created a new version. Please take a look at the Readme.txt for further instructions. My golden image machine are Windows XP SP3.

Downloads :

Note :

Please note that these scripts are provided “as is” and that using these is at your own risk. Please feel free to leave comments below regarding bugs & suggested improvements in future releases.

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16 thoughts on “Turn old PC into Thin Client for Free – Version 1.1”

  1. Hi Trond,

    Like the fact that you are thinking about re-using machines in this day and age rather than chucking them out.

    I would suggest you also have a look at Microsoft steady state


    A free install and download for XP that allows you to create restrictions and also reverts a machine back to an initial image on restart.

    Now Brad, your first question, “Why would anyone want to use XP as a thin client?” From a Citrix or MS RDP perspective, the answer is simple, features. Linux thin apps do not have the feature set of the Windows ones, plain and simple. You want to best user experience? You go Windows.

    These days it is about user acceptance and providing a familiar consistent experience.

    I am also surprised that you offered quite a lot of comment for someone who admits at the end of the a post that he isn’t even using a thin client solution at all…

  2. We have been very impressed with 2X – old PCs can be booted over the …network with a small footprint Linux/RDP/Citrix OS … no need for Windows on the client machine, users and access managed from a central 2X server that connects in to AD via LDAP… perfect for reusing old machines!

    • That’s true Matthew, back in the days we even used ICA DOS 😉 BUT as Damien states : “You want the best user experience? You go Windows.”

      All these new Citrix HDX | High Definition User Experience Features will not be available on Linux


  3. Been there done that, and now I work somewhere else where thin clients won’t (currently) work with our main product. This is why I say that I need USB 2.0 to work over the network, we have check scanners and full page scanners that are USB only and relatively high speed, high enough that even if we can make a virtual/tc combo even see the scanner, it chokes and dies and slows down after the 3rd document (USB 1.1 speeds).

    Our customers are banks, and I would *love* to sell them a centrally managed solution, but I can’t. Back when my customers were hospitals with barcode scanners and nothing else, heck yeah! Citrix all the way! Working for a big engineering company, we used Citrix for everything, but mainly to centralize some apps and offer up others in environments that could not be stolen. ESG gateways for road warriors and home use, the works.

    Now, money *is* an object, USB 2.0 still isn’t ready, and the price point for Citrix for 4-10 user shops is *WAY* too high already without doubling up on MS licenses (XP/TS-CAL/Citrix CAL) for full XP clients. I can’t make it go, and no one has shown me anything that can move the silly scanner any further than the max USB cable length from the server.

    The PC-over-IP stuff will probably work, but the price point is too high (full PC + more hardware to make it IP) unless they are completely security obsessed, which many banks are not (Scary!).

    Thin clients are great, but the security and patches etc. for maintaining a full XP client just for that makes me twitch. “The Best User Experience is Windows”, I just can’t bring myself to be ok with that. I haven’t had a good experience with Windows in years, it’s a total minefield in hostile territory. Sorry.

    Citrix and VMWare are missing a boat by not making Linux clients. M$ must have made a field trip to Palo Alto and Ft. Lauderdale to emphasize how much they didn’t like their pseudo-partners even thinking about Linux, since they are already looking the other way on licensing. Gad, the licensing, another ulcer.

    And, yes, I even built a 286 with DOS and ICA DOS. It worked, but it wouldn’t win any speed records.

  4. First great article, second a quick question.

    How are you getting the xenapp webinterface not to ask for the domain name where it is autopopulated? We are currently having that problem with deployment, and really haven’t had alot of great sucess with it…


    James Briggs

    • Hi James

      On your Web Interface Server in AMC – Right click the XenApp webpage – Authentication Methods – Properties – Domain Restrictions – Add


  5. Hi Eric,
    Does this set need a Citrix Farm (as it is using WI) to connect to? or can it connect to a hyper-v manager / RDP with Microsoft Virtual Machines in it???

    the video is not super clear on what other setup you need…

  6. I know this is very far ahead, just makes me laugh when, people want to connect to a MS Server from a “thin client” and people are saying, if you want the best experience… choose MS / Windows.

    Um, well, they did, on the server, which the “thin client” is needed to connect to, and the user, then HAS WINDOWS??? Has the MS / Windows experience?!

    So daft, and sorry so so late, but would have said the same back then, if i had seen this post then…


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