The harddisk of my terminal was another source of despair. First my plan was to run the terminal as a standalone computer off a flash disk. After trying out several different Linux distributions, I decided for a different solution. I installed a minimal Debian on the flash disk that provides the boot loader and the kernel.
The main server boots the terminal in the morning controlled by crontab entries using wake on lan. After breakfast it is shut down remotely by the same server using cron again and remote ssh commands. In the evening, the same sequence is repeated. On weekends, the terminal is started later in the morning and runs the whole day.