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I'm looking to go into IT, general office server management, and it looks like XenDesktop would be a awesome tool to use. If I get it right, you would store a central image of the OS you want to deploy (in an iso file) on the main server. Then use XenDesktop to pull that image down to the client, and it will then boot the OS inside of the virtual machine.

Does it download the image of the OS and store it locally (like cloning the VM onto the client?)

I'd love to find a free (possibly open source?) alternative to this, I keep on hearing about KVM in Linux and PXE booting a minimalistic OS to use remote KVMs.... Would that be what I'm looking for?


Ideally, I'd like a system..

- That allows me to manage one central image for multiple clients (virtualized hardware)
- Easily boot a thin client OS that connected to XenDesktop.

Would those things be possible with some kind of free alternative? Some guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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There may be free options for Linux virtualized guests/instances. If you virtualize a Windows OS (not app virtualization), there may be license costs associated with virtualized instances. –  Greg Askew May 28 '10 at 15:03
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It's really nothing like that. That's really just virtualization. With XenDesktop the virtualization is done by Xen, VMWare, Hyper-V (or any other supported virtualization stack) - XenDesktop builds in automation, management and performance increases through use of the ICA protocol and their new HDX flash streaming.

Are you looking to make a business out of it or are you looking to just try out something like XenDesktop. I ask because XenDesktop comes in a free version.

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I was able to find XenDesktop free edition, but still researching on how to install it. The reason I'm looking to go into IT is to manage small / medium size businesses and feel like the Thin Client / Server architecture is the way to go. –  Chris May 28 '10 at 12:42
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