Is it possible to run the ThinLinc client without installing it first?

ThinLinc has native client builds available for a number of different platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as several thin client devices. These clients aim for feature parity where possible, so that connecting to a ThinLinc session from your Mac should provide much the same functionality and experience as connecting from your Windows machine.

ThinLinc also provides a browser-based client, which enables users to connect to their sessions from within a web browser. This is convenient for many users, since it can be used without having to install anything, provided there is a supported browser already available. The downside is that some features which are available in the native client are not available in the browser, like audio support, smart-card authentication, and multiple-monitor handling. In some cases users may require these features but be unable to install the native ThinLinc client on their machine, for example if company policy prohibits them from doing so, or if the machine does not belong to them.

ThinLinc provides a “standalone” client (also referred to as a “dynamic” client) for Windows and Linux, which can be run from any location without needing to install it first[1]. The standalone client can be used for connecting to ThinLinc sessions from devices which are unable to have the client installed on them, by copying it to some user-accessible location on the device and running it from there. However, it can also be handy in general usage.

Carrying the standalone client around on a USB stick, for example, allows you to access your ThinLinc session from any supported Windows or Linux device, without having to install or copy it anywhere first. If you choose to do this, it is worth noting that the standard ThinLinc client configuration file paths (which reside on the device itself) will still be used. If you want to store and restore configuration on the USB stick so that it is consistent between devices, the ThinLinc client can be run with the -C switch, and a path to the configuration file on the USB stick provided as an argument.

The standalone clients for all platforms are available as part of the ThinLinc client bundle, which can be downloaded from the ThinLinc download page.

For more information about ThinLinc client platforms, see Client Platforms — The ThinLinc Administrator's Guide 4.14.0 build 2408 documentation

For more information about running the ThinLinc client at the command line, see Running the ThinLinc client from the command line — The ThinLinc Administrator's Guide 4.14.0 build 2408 documentation

  1. Note: the macOS client does not require administrative privileges to install, obviating the need for a standalone client on this platform. ↩︎