[sf-lug] Another victory...

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon May 15 11:13:39 PDT 2006

Quoting Bill Kendrick (nbs at sonic.net):

> 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.

I hear good things about it -- including from LUGOD's work with it.
(/me gives BillK an approving nod.  ;->  )

> 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.

Ja.  Don't forget, the dinosaur days I was talking about, for the
CoffeeNet design, were just before the inclusion of PXE support on NICs.
The system load was the "MNRC" (Michael Nelson / Richard Couture)
modified Red Hat distribution, which I believe is still deployed in one
of the labs at SF State U.  It was initially base on RH 3.0.3, and I
think got as far as RH 4.1.  Ancient days.  

It had to be forked from RH in order to upgrade and fix a number of
NFS/NIS components, and as modified in fact didn't even work _unless_
you had an NFS & NIS master on the LAN.  These days, with those
facilities being greatly improved in stock distros, Richard would
probably be able to use (say) CentOS with only one or two local
packages, and install via PXE.

> 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 terminals.)

Reminds me:  When Karsten Self ran the PC lab for the Boys' and Girls'
Club in Napa, one of the key things that made it possible at all was use
of Linux for border router / proxy control and network management.  See:

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