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The ThinStations scattered throughout the CNF facilities provide access to "CNF Thin".

"CNF Thin" is CNF's Hotdesking solution - your desktop, login session, and applications do not run on the individual ThinStation terminals but instead on the backend CNF Thin servers. When your CNF Thin session is disconnected from the ThinStation terminals, your applications will continue to run on the backend server hosting your session. When you enter in your username and password on any Thinstation terminal, either a new login session is started on one of the backend servers or the Thinstation will reconnect to the backend server hosting your login session. This has the advantage of allowing you to start a session from one location, disconnect, and reconnect from another physical location.

"CNF Thin" servers run RedHat Enterprise Linux v8. 

The ThinStation terminals run the mini linux distribution.

"CNF Thin" is only accessible from the ThinStations and CNF Windows computers.


To start a new session or to resume an existing session, double click the "Username" box to highlight the text "NetID-OR-GuestID", and type in the short version of your Cornell NetID or Cornell GuestID. Click in the "Password" box and type in your Cornell password.

If resuming an existing session, after approximately 10 seconds you will either be presented with your desktop or with a screensaver. If presented with the screensaver, again type in your password after moving the mouse to pop up the password prompt. The screensaver defaults to activating after 1 hour of idle time. Reconnecting within an hour will not require a second login via the screensaver (unless you set the screensaver timeout to a shorter time).

Idle TimeOuts

After 5 minutes of inactivity, the CNF Thin server will auto disconnect your login (note that minute mouse movements from building vibrations, etc may reset the 5 minutes timeout) – this is a disconnect only and not a logout.

After 1 hour of inactivity (unless you change the timeout), the screensaver will activate.

After 1.5 days of inactivity, your session will be automatically terminated.


To disconnect, press the "F8" key on the keyboard. A menu pops up, and the first item is "Disconnect session". Click "Disconnect session" to disconnect.

Logging Off

To terminate your login session, from the "System" menu choose the bottom item: "Log Out". After a confirmation dialog, you will be completely logged out of CNF Thin.


USB drives do work on the ThinStations.

  1. Login or reconnect to an existing session
  2. Insert your USB stick into a USB port on the ThinStation
  3. From the "Applications" menu, "CNF Applications", choose "XTerm".
  4. At the prompt, type in:

     tl-mount-localdrives -v
  5. Mounted drives will be in the following directory:

To disconnect a USB drive:

  1. From the "Applications" menu, "CNF Applications", choose "XTerm"
  2. At the prompt, type in:

    tl-umount-localdrives -v
  3. Remove your USB stick. 


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