For those of you not familiar with the terminology, 2XOS is our simple, portable, easily bootable Linux Operating System. With 2XOS, you can convert any PC, netbook, notebook, thin client or other device to a cloud client able to access applications and desktops remotely, through a simple, easy-to-use interface. You can use 2XOS to access web applications, virtual desktops and published applications directly from where you need them, removing the need to install them locally.
2XOS v7.1 has been designed to provide businesses and end-users with a highly efficient thin client and cloud operating system that integrates with a diversity of preinstalled connectivity clients including 2X RDP, Citrix ICA, VMware View, VNC and Linux NX. In effect, 2X OS connects users to a ‘cloud’ where applications are installed, managed and executed on one or more servers. Connectivity protocols, employed via the 2XOS, provide efficient and robust means to deliver visual information from the server to the 2XOS.
The new 2XOS has been designed to be extremely light-weight so it can run on virtually any hardware without compromising its user friendliness and ease of use. 2XOS doubles up as a lite desktop environment which includes the stable, lightweight Opera web browser (with various plugins including Adobe Flash, Windows Media Player, Java), Skype and Adobe's PDF reader.
2XOS version 7.1 now offers two desktop implementations - the simple FVWM window manager which is suitable for systems lacking a decent performance punch and XFCE version 4.8.1 or enhanced desktop implementation (EDI), which is a full desktop environment package featuring a file manager, task manager, calculator, media player, picture viewer and text editor. 2XOS can be installed to USB devices or local hard drives providing an effective way to access published applications on the go.
The 2XOS can be divided into three areas or layers:
- The Kernel which manages interaction between software and hardware
- The XServer which handles user-machine interactivity (typically display unit, keyboard and mouse)
- The Session layer which incorporates the desktop and window manager, which, in turn, enable users to configure and make use of local and server-side applications.
2X offers a variety of OS configurations depending on your requirements:
- Generic versions include both desktop implementations (simple and EDI) and all connectivity clients.
- Compact versions bundle the simple desktop only with the 2X and Citrix clients making up the connectivity inventory.
Compact installations require a minimum of 1GB of hard disk or USB flash space and 512MB of RAM.
Generic and compact versions are further divided into three categories which reflect different XServer versions. Users operating the 2XOS on Intel, Nvidia, VIA Chrome9 and ATI chipsets are encouraged to use R3 versions. R1 versions should be used on relatively old hardware (2005/06 era) whereas R2 is the stable version which supports a wide range of devices.
2XOS can be operated in standalone or managed mode. A managed scenario relies on a remote management console service to set up a suitable client and session configuration.
Currently 2X ThinClientServer fulfills this management role, however it will soon be replaced by “2X Client Manager” for 2X Remote Application Server.
In managed mode, the client can be booted via the network (commonly referred to as a PXE boot) or from permanent storage such as hard disk or USB flash. The advantage of PXE booting is that a client permanent storage capability is not essential and 2XOS operates using computer RAM. Naturally, a sufficient amount of RAM is required and a minimum of 512MB of RAM is recommended for PXE booting 2XOS compact versions.
For standalone operations 2XOS can be installed locally on the thin client (on the client's permanent storage or a USB flash drive) and the client and session configuration is administered using the System Preferences and Connection Manager tools. System Preferences plug-ins such as keyboard, mouse, network, date and time, printer, shadowing, sound and updates are capable of on-the-fly system setup meaning a reboot of the machine is not necessary. The Connection Manager provides a user friendly wizard which guides and helps users create connections using one or more communication protocols.
2XOS supports a wide inventory of x86 system on chip (SOC) devices from hardware manufacturers such as Intel, VIA, AMD and Nvidia. Multiple configurations of network devices are supported in 2XOS version 7.1. VIA video display (including dual extended display setups) for the Chrome9 VIA display engine is fully supported in 2XOS R3 versions. Hardware configuration is simple and straightforward when using 2XOS. We are continuously improving the setup and configuration of new client hardware enabling the user to focus on desktop session customization and setting up the required connectivity components.
Enjoy connecting to the cloud with 2XOS!
2XOS Development Team