In the past, Linux thin clients had too many shortcomings to be a realistic option for users to access their virtual applications and desktops from, but times have changed.
Older Linux thin clients were cheap devices that really only worked for the simplest of tasks and couldn’t support many peripheral devices. Graphical performance was low and often only allowed for a single display with no dedicated graphics adapter. In addition, for users working with Windows apps and desktops, the Linux OS would often invade their experience. It might just be the Linux cursor replacing the Windows pointer, but in extreme cases, the whole Linux desktop would show up when users were expecting only Windows applications.
Fortunately, many of these issues are in the past, so Linux thin clients are no longer merely a budget option with limited capabilities. In fact, Linux thin clients from various vendors now include features to suit many demanding use cases.
Modern Linux thin clients are full-powered PCs with multicore, 64-bit CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs). Typically, the Linux version will use a smaller flash disk for its operating system compared to a Windows thin client. In terms of graphical performance, some Linux thin clients use dedicated GPUs and can drive multiple monitors, including 4K screens, with excellent performance.
Linux can also support more in terms of peripheral devices. There are Linux thin clients that work with scanners, fingerprint readers and even Bluetooth bar code scanners.
They also support unified communications tools, such as Microsoft Skype for Business. The app can even come built into the thin client and integrated with the user’s virtual desktop.