View Full Version : [ubuntu] Window manager for kids

November 24th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Dear Ubuntu community,

I couldn't find anything about this on the forum, so my apologies if this thread is redundant.

A co-worker asked me to fix his private PC, a pretty old machine that ran Windows ME. This won't stand, I thought. The only ones using this computer are his kids, who're 10 and 12. They play Runescape and browse on YouTube, and use some office products for school. Also, they click on every link they see, and on a Windows ME machine that's asking for trouble. So I thought: Ubuntu. With Sugar.

So I went to install Ubuntu as the only operating system on the machine, to later replace Gnome with Sugar. A great manager if you're not used to anything else, but it's a little to abstract for young children who're used to a full-fledged Windows XP/ME environment.

My question to you is: Is there a window manager with the simplified, limited setup Sugar uses, only less abstract with recognizable icons for people who are used to the Windows environment?

Any other suggestions are always welcome.

November 24th, 2008, 01:52 PM
I believe that, rather than searching for something that fits exactly your needs, it might be more efficient to search for something customizable enough to turn it into something that fits your needs. In this case, KDE can be a good option, specially because it already offers good options for a kiosk mode.

Just a suggestion for starters, I don't know if it helps...

November 24th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Dear Keyper7,

Thank you for your response. 'Kiosk mode' is indeed a nice way to put it.

I'm not a Linux guru and have always used Gnome. How would I go about trying KDE's kiosk mode? And what's the level of customization available in kiosk mode? A link to a tutorial or basic feature list would be greatly appreciated.

November 24th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Hi Canterwood,

Just for you to know, sometimes it might take an entire day to check a reply, but I will.

I'm not a KDE user, so I can't offer detailed help. But I'd guess that there are lots of KDE specialists in this forum section that can help. I'd guess that it is VERY configurable, as this is a characteristic of KDE itself. Here are some links that might help:


It's very possible that you'll be able to play with it in a Live CD environment.

November 24th, 2008, 02:25 PM
Ah, great, thank you very much Keyper7! I'll read up on some of the possibilities with KDE.

Again, any readers who have suggestions are free to pass them on!

November 24th, 2008, 07:28 PM
Look at Netbook Remix (NBR) on the latest release of Ubuntu eee which will run on low-powered netbooks and desktops.


You can also set up Netbook Remix (NBR) on standard ubuntu installs if you've got that far already. There are many simple guides.

November 24th, 2008, 11:58 PM
If you like GNOME then maybe you could try Pessulus (available in repos). It's a lockdown editor for the GNOME desktop. Kind of a "kiosk mode" that's very configurable. You can even specify which users are locked out of certain areas (specifically configuration issues). I use it on my wife's account so that she can't inadvertently (or intentionally :) ) change settings. I'm by no means an expert, but hey it worked for me, and isn't spreading knowledge what Open Source is all about. Hope it helps.