A Thin and Light O/S for Making Kiosks, ThinClients and Other Embedded x86 Solutions.

The SDK O/S installer can be found here:


Note: The SDK O/S above does not need any host operating system.

The SDK itself can be download on your favorite distro with git like this:

git clone --depth 1 git://github.com/Thinstation/thinstation.git

Rendered LiveCD's can be found here. 


What was my part of it?

Well, let's start with where Thinstation was prior to my involvement.

Thinstation is an operationg system for stateless or semi-stateless thin clients and other embedded applications. It is based on linux, but evolved from another distrubtion called universal net station. It has a build enviroment that is designed to make it easy to assemble pre-configured packages into a very lean initrd and kernel file. These files are then bootable over a network, from a cd, hard drive or a portable thumb drive.

Thinstation is maintained by very few developers. The pre-configured packages were hand crafted by various contributors over the last fifteen years and include compiled binaries from a multitude of other linux distrubutions. The pre-existing SDK was multiple gigabytes in size and did not have a package management system. It was also quite old and very difficult to keep in sync with other developers.


It was clearly obvious, that I was gonna have to learn how to program. *sigh* I've avoided it for so many years. Oh well, at least BASH is easy :-).


Step one. We need a standardized development environment from which all binaries will be built. Other thinstation developers had made an attempt at using openembedded for this, but openembedded was overly complicated for the projects needs and the amount of work to integrate the thinstation source was overwhelming.

This is about where I stepped in. I made a real effort to get my head around openembedded, but the cross compiler features of this product made for an incredible learning curve without much return as I had no intention of compiling for any platform other than x86. Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Slackware were also right out as these are primarily workstation/server platforms and are not really intended for developing other linux distributions.