Thin Client recommendation for RHEV 3.0

Latest response

A rep from Igel has recommended their U3-430LX model for use with RHEV 3.


From a RH Solution Architect...


Questions that impact deciding on a thin client:


  • Performance requirements with regard to SPICE?
  • How many monitors?
  • What resolution?
  • Is USB 2.0 passthrough to the target VM required?
  • Do you require good playback quality for full-screen video at a variety of resolutions (360P, 480P, 720P, 1080P)?
  • Do you require Flash?
  • Besides video playback, what application profile is going to be run on the target VM whose desktop is being presented using SPICE?

All of these make a big difference with regard to which thin client using as a SPICE client.



Red Hat, Inc.

Thank you very much for your response.


We would like to replace PCs in a computer lab with thin clients.


= I'm not sure what kind of performance requirements there might be.  The system should be responsive so as not to inhibit the productivity of the user.


= In most cases, we have only one monitor per user.


= Some of our newer labs have monitors with 1920x1080 resolution.  1440x900 is probably the minimal acceptable resolution at this point.


= USB 2.0 passthrough is expected.


= We would like to have full screen video.  720p and 1080p would be nice but is not essential.


= Flash is expected by our users.


= Basic Application profile:  MS Word, Matlab, Mathematica, SPSS, LibreOffice, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, BlueJ, Eclipse


Additionally, it would be good if the thin client was somewhat "future proof".  This seems to be a rapidly evolving product so it would be preferable if we purchased a thin client that wouldn't be outdated in two years.

We don't have any current thinclient suggestions (there are several different companies working with us on spice compatibility, so expect announcements soon), so it would be better to contact the thinclient companies and ask whether they support RHEV instead, for now.


I can however provide some technical guidelines for best performance:

1. good network bandwidth and low latency - SPICE is an adaptive protocol, and it will try to use as much network bw as it can, improving the user experience int he process. So the more you give it the better.

2. SPICE will try to offload as much processing as possible to the client machine. Currently the offloading is done to the client's CPU (adding offloading to the GPU in the future as well), so the more powerful the client machine - the better experience you get, and the more VMs the host will be able to run because it will have to do less crunching. 


These two are the main factors. Of course on the RHEV side of things you want to avoid critical resource contention whenever possible

Thank you very much for your response.


Since the current availability of Linux-based thin clients with support for SPICE is limited, it seems that looking at Windows-based thin clients may be the best option for CPU and GPU performance. 


The last time I checked the specifications of Wyse's SUSE firmware, I didn't see SPICE support listed.  I'll be talking with them tomorrow.

Aram - Currently, we support nearly any Windows embedded thin client device, including Windows XPe, WES 2009, and WES 7. The client is browser based, so any of those operating systems will just work. Since each vendor has their own unique version of Linux, we must work directly with them to integrate the client properly and ensure full support. Today, we support IGEL Linux and are working with Wyse and 10zig, who will be announcing support very soon.


As Andrius and Dan pointed out, performance will be dependent on the system resources available on the client itself. Since SPICE is designed to offload as much rendering to the client, it's always recommended to provide a client with as much resources as possible.


In general, I recommend any Window's client with at least a 1Ghz processor (not a Celeron), and 1GB of memory. For an average worker, this should be fine. If you expect a heavy graphical use, fullscreen video, etc, then you'll want to go more than that.


Having personally used the IGEL UD3, I can tell you it will most likely be sufficient for a basic lab student. However, if you really need fullscreen video and/or heavier graphical applications, I'd suggest the UD5.


we are running Igel UD5 thinclients in our IT departement in a test setup accessing VM's with spice protoll.

performance is comparable to windows client, fullscreen video playback in 360-480p is more or less acceptable, 720p gets too choppy but that might be because of mjpeg compression in spice protocoll can't cope with big resolutions.


We are using Igel firmware 4.08.500. it has several bugs concerning spice, using more than one screen in fullscreen mode is not possilbe. connecting ot a Fedora 16 VM via spice with full screen option activated even crashes Igel Desktop, restart is required (works with winxp an w7). spice client is older then version shipped with RHEV3 release. Igel has promised to update spice support in next firmware release expected to be released soon.







When you are just getting started, rather than invest in a bunch of thin clients at the outset, a good approach might be to use existing PCs as thin clients. That we you can work out the kinks on the back end before deciding on a particular box for the client. IGEL has something called UDC (Universal Desktop Converter), which will replace the exising OS (thought you could also install on a small flash disk and leave the hard drive intact as a fallback). Anyway, a PC with UDC operates much the same as one of their thin clients like the UD3 or UD5. You manage the firmware updates the same way,  just like another thin client.


You want to proceed with these things cautiously. If users have bad inital experience with remote desktops (vdi, whatever), then you lose the perception battle and you'll get resistance. Besides something like UDC, you could also setup a minimal Fedora install with just enough for the Spice client, etc. There are some "kiosk" projects that would form a good foundation to start from, but that would involve some work.


The trouble with the Windows (embedded) thin clients is they are still Windows and need updates, virus scanning, etc. And in my experience, they are not particularly stable. That's coming from someone with a mostly Windows background.




Hi everyone,


To sum up... RHEV  only works with PC's as clients... am i right?

PCs as in x86 hardware? Yes. That can mean normal PCs, thin client PCs, laptops etc. The client OS should be supported with a spice client.

Besides this, the more powerful the client machine is the better for spice and for performance, since spice will offload the graphics to the client as much as it can 

hi, I want to know -if possible- if the   HP t5550 Thin Client with  Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 would work with spice, it uses a VIA superscalar Nano u3500 1 GHz processor.


I was wondering if spice would work with CE6.0 and with a VIA.


Thanks in advance

VIA superscalar Nano u3500 1 GHz

Below posts may be helpful for you. I am not sure whether they answer your question or not.

Following an impressive demo of the Spice Cafe at Summit, we are about dip our toe into the world of VDI to (hopefully) replace our aging SUN workstations.   We're looking at a RHEV/Spice/IGEL combo for POC.

We'll let you know how it goes.


In the meantime , I'd be interested to hear from anyone embarking on the same journey.