Creating An AS400 Terminal Client With An Old PC And Ubuntu
This how to uses Ubuntu 7.10 Server install. I am sure that this could be done with a much smaller install base, rather than server - I might have used the Alternative CD, or maybe even some other distribution like DSL, or Puppy Linux (if you needed GUI [graphical user interface] ). But for proof of concept this worked fine. I used an Old Dell GX100 Optiplex with 256 MB of RAM (I don't think I need any more that 128 [maybe even 64MB], but this is what was in the box when I pulled it out of the pile). It has a small form factor, and runs pretty quiet. My steps are geared toward English & US, so you may want to change those if your using something else =).
Install the base system:
Boot the PC with the Ubuntu Server Disk.
Select Install to the Hard Disk.
Detect Keyboard - Yes.
hostname = what_you_want_host_name_to_be
Guided = Use entire disk
Press enter on the disk found.
Pres yes - to confirm the warning about clearing the disk.
Select Central for Time Zone - unless you somewhere else.
Yes to set UTZ
user name - for the Full Name
password for the password
password for verify
Installed base system
Dont select anything when prompted - TAB to select continue
Return to continue
Return to continue and reboot
Login as uname with password
sudo apt-get install tn5250
Worked like a charm.
To add a static persistent route:
I needed this as my Internal private network is different than my default.
sudo pico /etc/network/interfaces
Change the contents of file to look like the following:
auto eth0 iface eth0 inet dhcp up route add -net 192.168.254.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gw 10.0.0.1 eth0
To make the tn5250 run automatically after login:
Login as uname with password
Add the line:
to the very end of this file.
To automatically login to virtual terminal 1 (tty1):
Login with uname and password
First make sure your root account is accessible
enter new root_password for root
verify root_password for root
The above will allow for you to log in as root with root_password. This way, if you need to do any administration you can switch to another terminal.
sudo apt-get install mingetty
sudo pico /etc/events.d/tty1
Change the line:
exec /sbin/getty 38400 tty1
exec /sbin/mingetty --autologin uname tty1
Reboot with Ctrl+Alt+Del to test
Now if you need to administer the computer -- boot the PC, after it auto logs in, press CTRL-F2 (or F3 --> F6) to open a new virtual terminal and login as root. (If you use uname - it will just auto run the tn5250 again).
With the above set up, we have a stand alone AS400 client PC that should work for most applications used by our AS400 users. It is a quick and easy way to re-use old hardware. These steps can be modified to also create Telnet client, ICA clients, RDP Clients, and numerous others.
Please note - you should use your own substitues for:
uname, password, root_password, and any IP addresses