[sf-lug] Another victory...

Bill Kendrick nbs at sonic.net
Mon May 15 10:55:44 PDT 2006

On Mon, May 15, 2006 at 10:39:07AM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> If you're serious about this, you _don't_ just dump a default installation 
> of some distro (Ubuntu or any other) onto the box, plunk it down in a
> corner, plug it in, and say "Here.  Enjoy."

FWIW, I have set up two public access terminals in my life.  At the time,
the system was still a little immature (KDE 3 on Debian), but these days,
I imagine it would be quite a good drop-in for any situation where a
customer needs a browser.

KDE's Kiosk Framework allows you to allow/deny access to various aspects
of the system (filesystem, URLs, applications, menus, etc.)  It's a system
that's taking off, albeit slowly.  Thanks to KDE's own inherent consistency
and reused widgets/etc., even apps that didn't specifically have kiosk in
mind benefit from some lock-down-ability.

Of course, most people insist on Slowfox^WFirefox, but fortunately that has
its own kiosk-style lock-down features these days.

Anyway, I'm hella rambling.  It can be done, and it can be done safely,
and with tricks like Rick mentioned ("re-image this box" floppies, or perhaps
even PXEboot), or with things like LTSP (thin client terminals), it can be
a breeze to maintain.

BTW, I'll never forget the day I was in a library, talking about OSS to
the librarian, when some ~8-10yo kid came up to complain about porn pop-ups
that kept appearing on the PC next to his.  *sigh*  "See?  THAT wouldn't
happen!"  (The librarian was all for OSS, but he district was not.  Apparently
they've finally figured it out, and are moving to Linux-based public

bill at newbreedsoftware.com

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