[gst-devel] streaming media to an x terminal

David L. Parsley parsley at linuxjedi.org
Wed Mar 7 20:13:33 CET 2001


Just a note for keeping an eye towards the future.  My college is
starting to reallize the cost, administrative and performance benefits
of returning to server-based computing.  I've been using an X terminal
for about a year now, and you couldn't pry it away from me.

I'm actually doing some development work on Linux-based terminals which
boot from the network and then run pretty much entirely from ramdisks
which are tftp'd from the server.  The performance and stability I enjoy
is wonderful, but there are things that don't work well (currently) on
such a terminal - streaming media is one of them.

Lurking on the list for a few weeks now, I've seen some discussion about
stretching the stream over the network, and just want to say 'YEAH
BABY!!!'.  I've built a $300 intel 810 based terminal with a 600MHz
celeron - this box should easily be able to handle a decent amount of
media playing.  If I could build a Linux-based MEDIA TERMINAL, I think
it would really help rocket Linux onto the corporate desktop.

If any gstreamer developers are interested in this area, I'd be happy to
help in the area of network terminals where I have expertise.  My C
hacking skills are in pretty sad shape, though I've had to hack some on
tftp and dhcpd for my project.

Ideally, the terminal would only need a pretty thin wedge of software
for decompressing and displaying/playing the stream - a big set of GNOME
libraries would be bad, but an ORB would probably be doable.  Currently,
a full X terminal is about 5M in compressed ramdisk.  I imagine that
this figure may well double or treble, and with RAM prices as they are
that's not so bad.

In any case, I just wanted to point out a desired application of
GStreamer for your consideration.  For more information on diskless
terminals, feel free to visit:

This is another project which I've worked with; my own project is still
too embryonic for a website.  (though at the moment I'm using a terminal
based on my work)

David L. Parsley
Network Administrator
Roanoke College

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