gnome vfs and thin clients?

This obviously would go beyond the scope of gnome itself and would
require additional support from the operating system - but I have an
idea - and want feedback.

A thin client (where X11 nix is concerned) is a machine that runs an X11
server for a desktop environment - with the actual hardware running the
OS being elsewhere.

This is really easy to do with gnome (via gdm and xdmcp).
The drawback is that since you are not at the physical machine running
the OS, you can't stick a cdrom in your cdrom drive and rip it - or
attach a usb pen drive to get a few files off - etc.

What would be cool is if gnome vfs was able to support the mounting of a
remote cdrom or floppy or whatever via gnome-vfs, much in the way that I
can use it to access my webdav space in Nautilus.

The OS on both the Terminal Server and the Client would have to have
support for this as well, not just for sending the data - but for
cleanly unmounting writable file systems (such as a usb drive) when the
user wants to remove it.

I think something like this would make thin clients even more like
"real" desktops than they already are, could be done securely enough
(user can only mount such devices if they are physically located on the
thin client they are connecting from - and on the terminal server side
it would be a gnome-vfs mount, not mounted by the terminal server OS)
and thus might help with the adoption of thin clients in places like
Public Libraries - where kids bring in floppy disks with files they need
to work on.


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