Since NoTouch OS is a Linux distribution from Stratodesk it supports backward compatibility for older devices and multiple architectures in a single release
Stratodesk NoTouch OS is available in the form of a complete "disk image". This allows systems to be updated and treated as "zero-type" devices, like a router or network device, not a stripped down desktop system that still runs package managers and similar applications. Also, it will ensure consistency, unlike traditional Linux based thin clients, where individual files may easily be changed on some machines, creating a management nightmare.
What is also fantastic about NoTouch OS is that Stratodesk builds images of a specific version based on multiple OS kernels. The kernel is what defines hardware compatibility - you can think of it as the having the same OS on different "undercarriages", aimed at supporting different hardware generations. You can get a certain version based on a very old kernel to support old hardware and on a very new kernel to support new hardware. When updating, keep the same kernel! On the other hand, when experiencing problems with certain hardware, get the same version, but use a different kernel.
Most commonly you will simply get the .lfi files that are required for Firmware Update. The lfi files are good when a system already runs NoTouch. For the actual installation procedure, usually you get the ZIP files that contain both the LFI contents as well as installation helper programs, as in Install NoTouch OS.
- 1 Image taxonomy
- 2 Kernels and architectures
- 3 Image classes
Usually OS images are named like
Generally speaking, the version designation is of this format:
When describing it verbally, in this example we would say "an EEs image of version 3.3.1 with the k509 kernel for 64-bit PC systems".
- Version number. The version number according to Stratodesk's versioning guidelines.
- Image class. Refers to what kind of software is built into the image, the feature set. The most common is "EEs" (Enterprise Edition, Standard).
- Kernel. Refers to the Linux kernel being used. Higher numbers are usually better for newer machines.
- Architecture. The CPU architecture:
- x64. 64-bit PC. Commonly referred to as x86_64 or amd64
- x86. 32-bit PC. Also referred to as i386
- armhf. ARM Hard-float, such as on Raspberry Pi.
- arm64. 64-bit ARM.
- Build number. Technically speaking a number, but usually the image's build date encoded in YYMMDD.
Kernels and architectures
As of January 2021, the recommended kernel on PCs is k509-x64, referring to Linux kernel 5.9, 64-bit. Pretty much all PCs out there can boot a 64-bit kernel, 32-bit systems have more or less died out.
There is one notable exceptions:
- VIA-based devices like HP Thin Clients older than t520 will need k413-x64, as we have ported the openchrome drivers into this kernel.
Kernels 2.6 (k206) and 3.5 (k305) are still supported. Newer features might not make it into these OS images any more.
Stratodesk NoTouch OS image on Raspberry Pi uses k419-armhf, as of early 2020.
As mentioned above, the most common image class is EEs (Enterprise Edition, Standard). Different image classes are usually built for Stratodesk's OEM partners, or on customer's request. If neither of these condition matches your use case, use the EEs image for maximum compatibility.