Installing Tiny Core Linux on another Wyse thin client

Posted at 2016-05-27.

I installed Tiny Core Linux on a Wyse Cx0 thin client earlier and cloned the install on a set of three of them. Some got bigger Flash and RAM modules installed. I decided to try the same image on another model, the Vx0.


I picked one of the Vx0 boxes (V10LE) to test and checked the hardware. If I have a spare memory module somewhere, I might try to upgrade that, but I probably can't help the Flash module. Luckily it's probably the exact same unit as on the Cx0s.

I found a very old USB key that was about 128 MB and it seemed just perfect for this and useless for much else. I wrote the same CorePlus-7.1 ISO on it and plugged that in the Wyse.

Booting the Wyse while tapping del, same BIOS password Fireport. There's a ton of settings on this model, including RAM and CPU clocks and mass storage. The boot options are even more awkward and USB storage seems to be listed as a hard drive.


Booting up, the keyboard seemed to go unresponsive in the Syslinux prompt. I decided to let it time out and once booted, the keyboard (now run by the Linux driver) worked fine again. One of the BIOS legacy USB options might affect that. Anyway, my user image doesn't have any menu there, so there shouldn't be a problem in normal use. Can't be bothered to hunt that any more at this point.

I used dd to dump the drive over sshfs so I'd have a backup image and something to poke around in case I want to. I have a few whole spare units anyway. Just like before. I dumped my runner image to the internal Flash and rebooted.


Everything looks much like the newer Cx0. There are differences in dmesg and for one, there's no thermal zones in /sys. Installing the hwmon modules and loading via-cputemp lets me check temp.

hwmon_vid: Using 6-bit VID table for VIA Eden CPU
tc@box:~$ cat /sys/class/hwmon/hwmon0/device/temp1_input

Trying to play sound throws complaints into dmesg and seems to block/freeze the player.

snd_via82xx 0000:00:11.5: codec_ready: codec 0 is not ready [0x326800f]
snd_via82xx 0000:00:11.5: codec_read: codec 0 is not valid [0x1ac0000]
snd_via82xx 0000:00:11.5: codec_read: codec 0 is not valid [0x1a00000]
snd_via82xx 0000:00:11.5: codec_ready: codec 0 is not ready [0x1020e0d]
snd_via82xx 0000:00:11.5: codec_ready: codec 0 is not ready [0x126070f]
# Mplayer says
Audio device got stuck!

Something to debug maybe.

Hardware tests and thoughts

Basically this box works much like the Cx0, booting and shutting down.

Graphics at 1920x1200x16, 100base-T networking (slower), internal and USB storage. Cpufreq also seems to be happily switching between the two choices of 400 MHz and 1.20 GHz with ondemand governor. There are messages about a crypto accelerator in dmesg, but I have no idea if that's doing anything.

tc@box:~$ cpufreq-info -s -m
1.20 GHz:9.30%, 400 MHz:90.70%  (826)

Only one available USB port, though switching to (or using adapters in) PS/2 ports would free two more.

This one has a real serial and parallel port in the back. The picocom (that I built) also connects to ttyS0 fine (not S1).

00:04: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4, base_baud = 115200) is a 16550A
parport_pc 00:05: reported by Plug and Play ACPI
parport0: PC-style at 0x378 (0x778), irq 7, dma 3 [PCSPP,TRISTATE,COMPAT,EPP,ECP,DMA]

Supposedly there's also footprints for SATA connectors on board.


It might be usable for something. At least broadly it seems to work and I have three. The serial and parallel ports might mean this could be made to serve as a frontend to some old or dumb device.

This post was prepared on the box in question over SSH.