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Thread: Linux Kiosk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Question Linux Kiosk

    I am wondering if there is a way to make a Linux Kiosk for a shop/info point, that no-one will be able to tamper with, that will only have Firefox. It does not need to have a customised UI, because Firefox will be in full screen mode. I have tried stripping down Ubuntu with Synaptic, but I cannot remove some things without removing the entire Ubuntu shell. Do you have any suggestions? I do not like Tiny Core and Micro Core. The Kiosk can have as much RAM as you need it to, and it has a 256MB ATI Radeon and a 3.2GHz Pentium D. I am new to KDE and customising it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Atlanta, GA USA
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    7,257
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Linux Kiosk

    I've tried Webconverger and it works good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    796

    Re: Linux Kiosk

    You could also just run X without a window manager and with Firefox fullscreen in which any distro will work. Otherwise poke around google as I'm sure there's a couple kiosk style distros.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    193

    Question Re: Linux Kiosk

    How would I do that?
    Too many cooks don't spoil the broth with Linux, and Ubuntu is the best broth!

    Mint-Ireland, Ubuntu-UK, SUSE-Germany, Fedora-USA, ROSA-From Russia, with Love!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    796

    Re: Linux Kiosk

    It depends on your setup for example if you're just starting X through your .xinitrc then all you would need is

    Code:
    xsetroot -solid grey
    firefox
    Then in order to get firefox fullscreen you can manually specify the geometry using the -height -width options.

    Ideally however you'd want to use one of the firefox plugins like R-Kiosk which unfortunately doesn't work on Firefox 4 yet. Furthermore this setup is extremely basic but won't allow any user to move windows or start anymore applications in X which sounds like what you want. You can also use a login manager if you prefer in addition to having the computer automatically login or start X.
    Last edited by kk0sse54; June 1st, 2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: xsetroot -grey is ugly

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    193

    Question Re: Linux Kiosk

    So how would I edit that? Where is it?
    Too many cooks don't spoil the broth with Linux, and Ubuntu is the best broth!

    Mint-Ireland, Ubuntu-UK, SUSE-Germany, Fedora-USA, ROSA-From Russia, with Love!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
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    3,421

    Re: Linux Kiosk

    I've been doing kiosks like this for years. My advice:

    The .xinitrc (you can also use .xsession) is located in the user's home directory. So if you have a user named "kiosk", you create /home/kiosk/.xinitrc or /home/kiosk/.xsession (don't remember the difference between the two, but it's subtle and probably irrelevant).

    Here's a sample .xsession file from one of my kiosks:
    Code:
    xset -dpms
    xset s off
    matchbox-window-manager &
    
    while true;do
    	rsync -qr --delete --exclude='.Xauthority' /etc/profiles.d/kiosk/ $HOME/
    
    	wcgbrowser -f	
    done
    What this does is:
    - The first two lines prevent the monitor from going blank after a time.
    - The next line launches the matchbox window manager, which is in the repositories. You might not need a WM, but I've found that some programs don't fullscreen correctly without one; and, if you get any dialogs opening up or anything, it can be a little disorienting without a WM. Matchbox is perfect for kiosks. I've also used FLWM, ion3, XFWM, and others.
    - Then I start an infinite loop
    - First line in the loop refreshes the kiosk user's home directory from a read-only copy in /etc/profiles.d/
    - Next line launches my custom browser app fullscreen.

    Since those last two are in a loop, closing the browser resets the kiosk user's home and relaunches the browser.

    I don't know what version of Firefox you plan on using, but I'll warn you that I've found it's getting harder and harder to use for kiosks. Most of the plugins I used to use don't work with V4. Chromium and Opera have much better built-in kiosk modes, though I eventually decided to write my own browser using PyQT and webkit than mess with locking down a full-featured browser.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    India
    Beans
    123
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Linux Kiosk

    Thanks for sharing the info.
    I am planning to have a KIOSK with Opera latest version in Ubuntu 10.10/11.04

    I would like to have it on Live CD, I have done some modifications in the OS with my own scripts etc .. which should run before this KIOSK start ..

    Can you please guide me?

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