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What is the difference between TLXOS 4.8.x/5.0.x LTS and later versions (e.g. 4.11.x/5.2.x)? Which do I need?


Short answer: TLXOS 4.8.x and 5.0.x are more conservative "Long Term Stable" (LTS) releases, which are functionally almost the same as their higher version number contemporaries (currently 4.11.x and 5.2.x) except for an older Debian O/S and "safer" (which usually means older) Citrix, Horizon and RDP clients.

Long Answer:

We've been finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile the requirements of customers with old and unpatched servers who need era-appropriate client versions, and customers who need features or security fixes that are only available in the latest version clients.  Also, major changes such as changing the Debian version (as we recently did with TLXOS 5.2.x, based on Debian 12) inevitably results in additional bugs that affect some customers, and take some time for us to sort out.

For these reasons, starting with 4.8.0 we decided to do what many software providers are now doing and provide a "Long Term Stable" alternative in addition to the latest release.

TLXOS 4.8.x is more-or-less a continuation of TLXOS 4.6.1, still based on Debian 8 (Jessie) and - originally - using an uncompressed Ext2 root filesystem base layer rather than the compressed (and therefore slower) Reiser4 filesystem that TLXOS 4.7.1 and later use (we had no choice but to do this, as it was the only way that larger Debian 9/10 releases would fit in the available space).  It has a newer 5.4 kernel, and in the TLXOS RPi case supports Raspberry Pi 4 (which the equivalent Raspbian release never did).  However, included software is generally old as Debian 8 is now about 4 years old and three releases out of date.

4.8.x notably also has very old versions of the Citrix (Receiver) and VMware (Horizon) clients.  4.8.x includes Citrix Receiver 13.7.0, which interoperates safely with old XenApp / XenDesktop servers that use obsolete SSL ciphers, and is also the last release with which ThinLinX's Pi H.264 hardware decoder plugin (based on example Citrix code from the Platform Optimization SDK) is known to work reliably.  The RPi edition of 4.8.x uses Horizon Client 4.5.0, which is the last version of Horizon Client for ARM Linux to support the PCoIP protocol (VMware dropped this in Horizon Client 4.6.0, on the ARM Linux platform only, for reasons they have never explained).  x86/x86_64 editions of TLXOS 4.8.x use Horizon Client either version 5.0.0 (last version to support the legacy client only) or 5.5.2 (last Horizon 7.x client) instead.

TLXOS 5.0.x is a continuation of TLXOS 4.11.1, still based on Debian 10 (Buster) and still using a compressed Reiser4 filesystem, with a somewhat newer 5.15 kernel.  To minimize the remote upgrade risk, it was designed to fit in the space allocated by TLXOS 4.x (after amalgamating boot and TFM partitions).

5.0.x has slightly older versions of VMware (Horizon Client) and Citrix (Workspace App) clients - 2212.1 2307 respectively - and  chosen because they were the last releases to support a specific feature or obsolete SSL version.  In the Raspberry Pi case, however, 5.0.0's Workspace App version is ironically newer than that in TLXOS RPi 5.2.0.  This is because versions later than 2012 will not run on the Raspberry Pi 5, and this is not an issue for 5.0.0 because it does not support the Pi 5 in any case.

TLXOS 4.10.x releases were based on Debian 10 (Buster) rather than Debian 9 (Stretch), which 4.7.x used.  Except where there were known problems (e.g. x86 version of Horizon Client 5.4.1), 4.10.x included the latest version of the major apps (Workspace App, Horizon Client, FreeRDP) that were available at the time of release.

Likewise, TLXOS 5.2.x is based on Debian 12 (Bookworm), having skipped Debian 11 (Bullseye), which we might still use in future as the basis of a post-5.0.x LTS release, because of its similarity to Buster (in particular, continued use of OpenSSL 1.1 rather than any later version).  TLXOS 5.2.x supports the Raspberry Pi 5, which 5.0.x currently does not, although that may change in future 5.x LTS releases.  As mentioned above, the version of Citrix Workspace App on TLXOS RPi 5.2.0 is deliberately very old (2012) in order to avoid a bug that affects the Raspberry Pi 5.  This can be avoided by switching to an alternative fully 64-bit version of TLXOS RPi 5.2.0 that does not have this problem, but only at the expense of VMWare Horizon Client, which is not available for 64-bit ARM Linux.

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Article details
Article ID: 47
Category: Frequently Asked Questions
Date added: 2020-07-18 03:42:23
Views: 426

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