I would like to run the Pi as a kiosk that many people can use. The Pi is not quite powerful enough to run the application that I would like. Is there a way to use the Pi just as a display and to have all the computation done on a server?

Edit: More info. On the Pi, I am open to using any distribution. On the server, I only need to be able to run Chrome. So Ubuntu, OS X, or Windows would be ok.

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    You should have told us what distribution you want to use on the Raspberry Pi. You should also have told us which program and OS you want to use on the other machine. It would be good if you can edit your question and add that information. – Anders Jul 8 '12 at 2:36
  • added the information. For the Pi, anything is OK. For the Server, any OS that can run Chrome. – Scoop Jul 8 '12 at 4:58
  • Can I clarify... have you tried running Chromium on the Pi? – Alex Chamberlain Jul 8 '12 at 8:26
  • Yes I tried it, but the webpage I would like to run has too much javascript on it. – Scoop Jul 8 '12 at 10:32
  • The latest update on Raspberry Pi image on their web site are a bit faster, could be enough. If you run a Ubuntu on the server, you could use ´ssh -Y´ to connect to the server. Then all grafics will be tunneled through ssh from server to client. – Anders Jul 25 '12 at 1:36

In the question you said "The Pi is not quite powerful enough to run the application that I would like" and you also said "On the server, I only need to be able to run Chrome." So I'm going to assume that you're trying to run some kind of web app with some dynamic page loads (ie ajax or flex/flash).

I would suggest that rather try to do the server/client infrastructure you mention you should try out the new release of Raspbian and install Chromium which is the open source version of Chrome or perhaps just give the default Midori browser another chance. The latest version of Raspbian touts much improved performance specifically in the case of web browsing so you should check it out.

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All depends on which distribution you run on the Raspberry Pi and what program you want to run on the other machine. It's also important to know what operating system that machine runs.

If it's a X11 program running on a Linux/Unix box then you should be able to log into that other machine and run your program there.

ssh user@machine -X -e /path/to/program/on/other/machine

You can also configure the user account user on then other machine to only be able to run the program machine. In that way you will increase the security a bit. As it wasn't part of the question, I will not try to answer how to set up secure kiosk.

If it's a MS Windows machine, it will be a bit more complicated I guess. But as I don't know how to use this on a Windows machine, some other will have to tell you how to do this.

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X11 runs on the Raspberry. In the old days you could use XDMCP with X -query server and then run a session on server. Sounds like that is what you need here too.

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  • I'd like to see more X only solutions - it's a good protocol. – Alex Chamberlain Jul 29 '12 at 14:38
  • At least over trusted links. Remote X has worked very well on what today seem amazingly small machines with m68k and i960 processors and 10base2. A 25MHz sparc could be a very zippy terminal or/and a server. Good times :) – XTL Oct 3 '12 at 6:38

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