Initial Setup Guide

Checklist

Hardware

  • A certified or compatible computer to act as the Userful Server, with temporary monitor, keyboard and mouse for installation and initial configuration.
  • A compatible Nvidia offload card is recommended.
  • If applicable, a compatible capture card for video walls. For more details about Blackmagic capture cards, please visit Decklink Blackmagic Capture Source.
  • One compatible Zero Client Receiver for each display. Note that Userful bundles a compatible Zero Client Receiver with each software license purchased.
  • Necessary peripherals for Zero Client Receivers - keyboard, mouse, display.

Software

  • A copy of the latest version of Userful software. In order to be able to download and install the latest software updates, the server(s) should have full access to the userful.com and umirror2.com domains.
  • A USB flash drive or DVD to create an install medium
  • Third-party software to flash the Userful software to the install medium. Userful recommends Rufus or Balena Etcher.

Installation

Before installation begins, a customized installer will guide you through the installation process. This includes setting the date and time, selecting the system partition, language support and keyboard layout.

    1. From the first install screen, choose the Installation Process Language that will assist you through the installation process and click Continue.
    2. The next prompt provides an Installation Summary. This step provides options for customizing system settings such as Date & Time, Language Support, Keyboard Layout, and more.
      1. Click Date & Time and select the Userful Host's timezone and approximate location.
      2. Next, choose the default language you wish to use for the system by clicking Language Support.
      3. Choose your preferred keyboard layout by selecting Keyboard.
      4. Next, specify the hard drive partition. Click Installation Destination and select the type of partitioning:
        1. Automatically configure partitioning - Formats the entire drive for use with the Userful system (all contents on the drive will be lost!), or;
        2. I can configure partitioning - Allows the user to manually specify how the drive is partitioned.
      5. Click on Network and enable the network using the on/off button.
      6. Click Begin Installation.

Installation will begin immediately. Once done you will see the success message, and - if you are installing from a DVD - it will eject. If installing from a flash drive, remove it at this point and reboot the system.

Network Preparation

Userful Zero Client Receivers are IP-based devices and are highly sensitive to network conditions. For proper performance and system stability, the following conditions must be met for the connection between the Userful PC/Server and all Zero Client Receivers:

  • Recommended Bandwidth to each receiver device: a 1Gbps drop to each zero-client receiver is recommended for video streaming applications, however actual bandwidth used depends on the content and required frame rate. If you have legacy 10/100 network be sure to validate your use case prior to deployment.
  • Minimum Bandwidth to the server of 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for up to 20 displays*, or 10,000Mbps (10Gbps) for 20+ displays*
  • Maximum Latency of 1.100ms. 0.500ms latency recommended.
  • Maximum packetloss of 0.001%
  • Must reside on the same subnet (virtual or physical) as the adapter in the Userful PC/Server (talk with Userful if cross subnet communication between server and client is a requirement for your project)
  • Strongly Recommended that Zero Client Receivers be separated from other network devices.

The above conditions are easily met with most business- or enterprise-grade gigabit network switches, even inexpensive unmanaged devices work well.

Most Userful certified systems come equipped with two network interfaces. One interface is intended to be used to connect to the local network and/or Internet. Another interface should be used exclusively to connect to the Zero Client Receivers through a dedicated switch or VLAN.

See Using Network Zero Clients to learn how to get your displays up and running.

See Userful Network Requirements to ensure your local network is properly configured for optimal performance with Userful.

 

*Number of displays and network bandwidth requirements highly depends on content. Up to 20 displays on a 1Gbps connection assumes the content being played is still images only.