With regard to thin-client solutions then I wonder if you are aware of the Linux Terminal
Here is the wiki...
The performance of the network to the remote clients would be the major factor in how to
implement LTSP. If the network performance is poor then, since LTSP V5, there is support
for "fat" clients, so it should still be possible for a client to boot in, say,
I've got some old thin client PC's if you'd like to use them to experiment