How to Develop a Thin Client (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)


The Windows Thin Client and Enterprise Terminal design templates each provide a starting point for creating remote-desktop terminal computers that support Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Terminal Services client software. To create an operating system (OS) design that targets a Windows Embedded CE PC-based hardware platform (CEPC), you can use the Windows Embedded CE OS Design Wizard and select the Windows Thin Client design template or Enterprise Terminal design template, or you can build an OS design from scratch by manually selecting the necessary Catalog items from the Catalog.

For a list of default Catalog items included by using the Windows Thin Client design template, see Windows Thin Client Design Template. For a list of default Catalog items included by using the Enterprise Terminal design template, see Enterprise Terminal Design Template.

RDP enables a thin client to execute Windows-based applications within a Windows graphical user interface (GUI) environment, even though those applications are actually being executed on the server. For information about the RDP modules and components, see RDP OS Design Development.

To build a thin client OS design that targets a hardware platform other than a CEPC, make sure that your hardware meets the requirements described in Performance Considerations for the Hardware Components of a Thin Client.

  • Your Platform Builder installation includes the CEPC x86 board support package (BSP). For more information about CEPCs, see CEPC-based SDBs. The steps in this topic refer to the CEPC as the target hardware. Or, you can use a Device Emulator or a standard development board as the target hardware. For more information, see Getting Started with Developing a Thin Client.
  • You have a Windows server operating system that is already running Terminal Services. For more information about Terminal Services, see Thin Client and Terminal Services.

Step Topic

1. To understand the functionality that a Windows Embedded CE powered thin client contains, its hardware and software requirements, and how it operates, review the thin client architecture.

Thin Client Architecture

2. Create a thin client OS design for a CEPC. The following list shows the choices to make in the wizard:

  • For BSP, choose CEPC x86.
  • For the design template, choose Thin Client and then choose Windows Thin Client or Enterprise Terminal.
  • Accept all the default options in the Windows Embedded CE OS Design Wizard.

Creating an OS Design with the Windows Embedded CE OS Design Wizard

BSP Drivers

Windows Thin Client Design Template

Enterprise Terminal Design Template

3. (Optional) Customize the thin client OS design.

Customizing a Thin Client

4. Choose a Debug or Release configuration to target when Platform Builder builds the OS design into a run-time image.

To use the kernel debugger, make sure that support for the kernel debugger is enabled.

To use kernel independent transport layer (KITL) for debugging activities, make sure that you include support for KITL.

Levels of Debugging Support

Building a Run-Time Image From a Debug Configuration

Building a Run-Time Image From a Release Configuration

5. If you expect the size of either the debug or the release run-time image to exceed 32 MB, enable support for a large run-time image in the settings for the OS design.

Debug run-time images are typically larger than release run-time images. If you choose a debug configuration and the OS design contains many features, it is likely that the size of the run-time image will exceed 32 MB.

Enabling a Run-Time Image Size Larger Than 32 MB

6. Build the OS design into a run-time image.

Building a Run-Time Image

7. In the Output window, on the Output tab, verify that the build contains no errors.

Build Error Debugging Process

8. Choose a download service appropriate for the connection hardware. The download service will download a run-time image to the CEPC.

Download Service Selection

9. Set up and configure the connection hardware required for the download service. That hardware connects the CEPC to the development workstation, on which Platform Builder is installed. Examples of connection hardware include cables, a hub, or Ethernet network adapters.

Hardware Configuration

10. If you selected Serial Download Service in step 8, configure the HyperTerminal terminal emulation application to display the serial debug output from the serial port on the target device.

This configuration requires a null-modem cable connected to a serial port, such as COM1.

Configuring HyperTerminal for BSPs

11. Turn on the CEPC so that it becomes active on the Ethernet network or over the serial connection, and Platform Builder can discover it.

Not applicable

12. Configure the connection to the target device.

Choose the appropriate topic based on whether the development workstation and the CEPC are connected by an Ethernet network or a serial port connection.

Configuring an Ethernet Remote Connection

Configuring a Serial Remote Connection

13. Download the thin client run-time image to the CEPC through the configured connection.

  • Notice the messages in the Output window in Platform Builder, and, if you are using the serial download service, view the messages in the HyperTerminal application. If the messages indicate that the kernel debugger is waiting to connect, on the Target menu, select Connectivity Options. Then, make sure that you select Kernel Service Map as the Service Configuration, and for the Debugger, choose KdStub.
    Also, make sure that the descriptive name for the CEPC device is selected in the Target Device box. Then, try to download the run-time image again.

Downloading a Run-Time Image to a CEPC

14. Test the thin client run-time image.

Getting Started with Testing a Thin Client

Debugging and Testing a Run-Time Image

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