Using USB Zero Clients

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(Updated 2018.01.30)

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USB zero client devices use USB 2.0 compliant cables to connect zero client devices to the Userful host.

This document provides guidelines and instructions for configuring Userful™ software appliance using USB zero client devices.

Compatible Devices

Userful™ is designed to support USB zero client devices with the SMSC® chipset. Userful has tested and confirmed that the following devices are supported for use:

USB Zero Client Devices Video Output
ThinGlobal MiniPoint
* Using USB connection only
HDMI-mini & VGA

Might Work
Here is a list of USB zero client devices that might work with Userful™. These have been seen to work with certain configurations but testing has been limited.

USB Zero Client Devices Video Output
ATrust m300
* Using USB connection only
ATrust m302
* Using USB connection only

How Many Displays Can Be Supported?

You can run 7 (6+1 onboard) USB-connected displays with one Userful host (HP "Skylake" system), but the user experience will depend on several factors including:

  1. The speed and power of the CPU and GPU
  2. The available system memory (RAM)
  3. The demand of the installed applications on the Userful host
  4. The speed and capacity of network connections and hardware

These factors influence the maximum usage capacity of a given system configuration. For details about the recommended system configuration, see System Hardware Guide.

Some things to Remember

  • USB zero client devices work only with USB 2.0 ports.
  • It is necessary to configure the Userful host so that USB ports are not disabled when the Userful host enters sleep mode.
  • Cable quality is very important. Only use high-quality USB 2.0 compliant cables. (Note: 'compliant' is different from 'compatible'. Good quality cables often say "High-Speed Certified"). We recommend cable specifications of at least 24 AWG (power) and 28 AWG (signal). Low quality USB cables can cause excessive voltage drops that can create system instability issues or can cause a USB zero client device to be disabled by the Linux Kernel.
  • Even when using USB-connected displays, it is important to keep one display connected to the onboard video card in order to see start-up messages.
  • We recommend the use of homogeneous (all one type and model) USB zero client devices.

USB Display Setup

Display setup should be done after Installation is complete.

Setting Up USB Displays

  1. Position one display for each required USB zero client device. Remember to keep one display plugged onto the on-board video.
  2. Connect a display to each zero client device.
  3. Connect the zero client devices to the USB ports on the Userful host.
  4. Connect an ethernet cable to the back of the Userful host.
  5. Ensure all devices, and monitors are connected to a UPS or surge protector outlets, if possible.
  6. Turn on the host when ready.

Adding or Removing USB Displays

To add a display, simply plug in a USB zero client device. No reboot is necessary, the display will be ready to use after a brief pause (assuming your license supports that number of displays).

Displays can be removed simply by unplugging the USB zero client device. This can also be done when the system is running.

Note: It is NOT recommended to change USB zero client's connection port after the initial setup.

Following steps should be followed if there is a need to change USB zero client's connection port:

  1. Unplug the USB zero client device
  2. Remove the display from Control Center > Mapping
  3. Plugin the USB zero client to the new USB port

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