Using a Raspberry PI 4 as a thin client- (Closed)


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I could use some help in determining the best solution for my use case.  I looked through the forum but, if this is somewhere I am having a tough time finding it. 

 

I am wanting to use a raspberry Pi 4 on my local network as a thin client (or robust RDP application) to access a windows 10 VM on my unraid server.  Ideally video playback will be smooth with sound (She will mostly be using youtube and watching downloaded shows via plex).  I have seen several different solutions but I am looking for the best configuration, ideally free and with as little additional input from the user (My wife) as possible when accessing the VM.  Hopefully just starting the PI and logging in.  I am wondering if anyone else is doing something similar and how the experience is.  Thanks in advance.

 

Edit: I gave up on this venture with an RPI 4 I could never get a smooth experience.  Lots of tweaking can make this usable but not good.  I hear this works better on the 3b+?

Edited by aasberry
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I have a very similar configuration setup for my wife.

 

Windows 10 Desktop KVM  on Unraid

Using a Raspberry Pi 3 running an older free version of WTware.  Link to the product is here. https://winterminal.com/index.html#raspberry

This has been running flawlessly for a few years now. Haven't had to do anything to it since it was setup.

When the rpi is turned on, it goes immediately to Sign In screen. She enters her thin client password, and the desktop loads. Enter password for desktop, and proceed. Sound, mouse, keyboard all work fine.

Her "Monitor" is a cheap TV with HDMI input from the rpi.

Setup was a long time ago but as I recall fairly simple. Download the software onto a windows machine, create a bootable wtware image on sd card, insert card in rpi and boot.

There is some settup parameters to enter for ipaddress of the KVM, display size, etc., but not too difficult.

Unfortunately, wtware started charging for newer versions of the software awhile back.

I did find a link on their support site which contains a link to the last free version. The link was provided by their support folks, so they do not seem to have an issue providing the older version if people do not want newer features. Link here. https://forum.wtware.com/viewtopic.php?t=48400

 

One potential issue though is my wife does not watch movies, etc. using plex on her machine, so I cannot comment on the performance in that scenario.

However, I have played youtube videos and seemed to work fine, provided the net is ok.

 

In any case, hope this helps. You could try the free version and see how it works out.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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I had that exact setup that you suggest for my girlfriend and works just great:

 

Win 10 VM:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 200 GB Primary Disk (Cache/SSD) - 200 Secondary disk (Array/HDD)
  • 4 Cores - Ryzen 2600
  • Memory video increased to 32 MB just to be Safe.

RPI4 2 GB RAM:

  • Raspberry Pi OS - latest version

  • RDP client - freerdp

The video and audio are great and generally the experience is quite smooth. The only trouble that i got, was the command line for freerdp with the audio redirection, if you select the wrong device as output (In the raspberry desktop) the rdp session crash, so make sure that you select the correct one (Bluetooth, analog or HDMI); this post help me a lot with the command line for the freerdp (https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=249628).

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Thank you both for the recommendations.  Here is an update and where I am now...

On 8/18/2020 at 5:29 PM, tomjrob said:

I have a very similar configuration setup for my wife.

 

Windows 10 Desktop KVM  on Unraid

Using a Raspberry Pi 3 running an older free version of WTware.  Link to the product is here. https://winterminal.com/index.html#raspberry

This has been running flawlessly for a few years now. Haven't had to do anything to it since it was setup.

When the rpi is turned on, it goes immediately to Sign In screen. She enters her thin client password, and the desktop loads. Enter password for desktop, and proceed. Sound, mouse, keyboard all work fine.

Her "Monitor" is a cheap TV with HDMI input from the rpi.

Setup was a long time ago but as I recall fairly simple. Download the software onto a windows machine, create a bootable wtware image on sd card, insert card in rpi and boot.

There is some settup parameters to enter for ipaddress of the KVM, display size, etc., but not too difficult.

Unfortunately, wtware started charging for newer versions of the software awhile back.

I did find a link on their support site which contains a link to the last free version. The link was provided by their support folks, so they do not seem to have an issue providing the older version if people do not want newer features. Link here. https://forum.wtware.com/viewtopic.php?t=48400

 

One potential issue though is my wife does not watch movies, etc. using plex on her machine, so I cannot comment on the performance in that scenario.

However, I have played youtube videos and seemed to work fine, provided the net is ok.

 

In any case, hope this helps. You could try the free version and see how it works out.

 

Good luck.

 

 

I was able to get the free version and give it a go.  I ran into some network configuration issues that are likely just due to my architecture.  After a while I did end up abandoning this approach but I may go back.

 

On 8/18/2020 at 6:11 PM, Iker said:

I had that exact setup that you suggest for my girlfriend and works just great:

 

Win 10 VM:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 200 GB Primary Disk (Cache/SSD) - 200 Secondary disk (Array/HDD)
  • 4 Cores - Ryzen 2600
  • Memory video increased to 32 MB just to be Safe.

RPI4 2 GB RAM:

  • Raspberry Pi OS - latest version

  • RDP client - freerdp

The video and audio are great and generally the experience is quite smooth. The only trouble that i got, was the command line for freerdp with the audio redirection, if you select the wrong device as output (In the raspberry desktop) the rdp session crash, so make sure that you select the correct one (Bluetooth, analog or HDMI); this post help me a lot with the command line for the freerdp (https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=249628).

I got this running.  I read through the post you tagged along with a few others and tried several versions of the command needed to use this software.  But, even with quite a few options changed I could not get smooth video playing.  There was great improvement with each new command change.  I went from basically slide shows of the desktop that loaded in ~100 pixel rows to a running but choppy video.  Would you be willing to share your freerdp settings to get a smooth video experience on pi4? 

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No problem, the command line is:

xfreerdp /f /sec:nla /u:user /p:password /rfx /gfx /gfx-h264 /multitransport /network:auto -bitmap-cache -glyph-cache /gdi:hw -fonts /usb:auto /v:ipaddress

Keep in mind that I set a couple things more:

  1. I switch to the legacy driver on the pi4 as susggested in the reference post (sudo raspi-config -> Advanced Options -> GL Driver -> Legacy).
  2. The pi4 is connected to my wired network, mainly because is more convenient for me, i haven't tested the setup in Wifi 2.4 o 5 Ghz

Try with the wired network, maybe you could solve any latency or choppy video with a wifi stick. Initially i tried wtware and thinlinx but i got mixed results and the video experience wasnt that good;

 

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22 hours ago, Iker said:

No problem, the command line is:


xfreerdp /f /sec:nla /u:user /p:password /rfx /gfx /gfx-h264 /multitransport /network:auto -bitmap-cache -glyph-cache /gdi:hw -fonts /usb:auto /v:ipaddress

Keep in mind that I set a couple things more:

  1. I switch to the legacy driver on the pi4 as susggested in the reference post (sudo raspi-config -> Advanced Options -> GL Driver -> Legacy).
  2. The pi4 is connected to my wired network, mainly because is more convenient for me, i haven't tested the setup in Wifi 2.4 o 5 Ghz

Try with the wired network, maybe you could solve any latency or choppy video with a wifi stick. Initially i tried wtware and thinlinx but i got mixed results and the video experience wasnt that good;

 

Thanks man!  It's really close.  I have been using a wired connection.  I had made those changes as recommended, your connection string has a few things that mine did not.  I also found out about disabling xcompmgr as well which seemed to help.  The next step was getting the video output correct for the pi.  I am starting to wonder if the OS itself is the issue as I notice the slight frame drops and tears (Almost gone now) without the RDP session.

Edited by aasberry
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