[CentOS] Building an "instant on" X terminal

Wed Apr 14 19:38:20 UTC 2010
Stephen Harris <lists at spuddy.org>

I got my hands on a HP t5720.  This was designed as a thin-client
workstation (originally Windows XPembedded, talking to a Windows terminal
server).  It's not very powerful, with an AMD Geode NX 1500 (1.0 GHz),
256Mb RAM (16MB used for video) and a 512Mb flash "hard disk".

I plugged in a USB DVD drive and was able to boot "linux rescue" from
a C5.4 32bit disk, and it basically looks like pretty generic PC hardware.

So I thought this would be a great device to build as an "instant on"
type device.  Well, as close to instant-on as possible :-)  This probably
means a standard C5 build is not suitable (too many processes running;
would take a while to start up).  So an "X terminal", maybe.

I look at the LTSP code base, but this looks like it wants to run as it's
own OS; I already have a C5 server in my house, I don't want to build
another one (not even as a virtual image).

Acting as an X terminal, I'd guess the 256Mb RAM should be sufficient;
it won't be processing much beyond the display locally (although I might
want to enable ssh and add a locally connected printer).  The root disk
could be local (512Mb flash) or by NFS.

What do people recommend for building this?  What would have the quickest
power-on-to-ready time?