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Old 08-11-2008, 03:22 PM   #1
zdunham
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Location: Stroudsburg, PA, USA
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Post Linux Internet Kiosk


Alright here is what is happening:

At work I have been assigned to set up an internet kiosk on a linux machine. The rest of the network is extremely secure and this machine will be solely to access email sites and other sites blocked on the regular network. This machine is EXTREMELY old, it is IBM and it has 128 MB RAM. I tried to install Ubuntu on it to no avail, it cannot handle Ubuntu. Then I tried DSL, and personally I can't stand how it looks and don't like the system overall. Does anyone know of any other easy to use and configure, low resource, linux distibutions? I need to be able to make a guest user with almost no rights on the machine except internet access.

And another problem not related, for some reason the monitor on that computer just decided to flash and turn purple out of nowhere and I can't figure out a good RGB, contrast, and brightness setting to get it normal looking, I've got it decent but it's still a pain in the eye to look at.

Thanks for any help in advance!
 
Old 08-11-2008, 04:37 PM   #2
robogymnast
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The monitor color distortion may be a loose connection somewhere, a cable not plugged in all the way, etc.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
j.todd
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I'd say do a Debian base install (no DE). Then add a WM like fluxbox+iDesk/ROX_Desktop (just examples) to have icons for Internet, or whatever else the user will be able to do. If the kiosk is only for email, I wouldn't install a terminal emulator at all. Make a user with very little privileges (like you said). Install something like Kazehakase and privoxy and possibly ClamAV. Don't use a aDM like GDM, KDM, XDM or SLiM, but rather have the kiosk user with little privileges log into upon start up. Maybe close SSH ports.
 
Old 08-12-2008, 01:12 AM   #4
chrism01
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This would prob do as well: http://www.ltsp.org/
 
Old 08-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #5
zdunham
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Thanks for your replies guys, I actually got DSL working OK now and the monitor was not plugged in all the way and now that's fine so thanks for the advice. I have one more question, I have the password to the root user but I want user "dsl" to have limited permissions, I want to effectively only allow internet access, and printing as I said earlier. If I give that user no write or execute access to /bin and /home would that do the trick? And how exactly would I form the chmod or chown commands for that?

I must admit DSL is extremely annoying to work with. I also will need to install CUPS for printing but when I download it to the desktop it doesn't even show up on the desktop. Any ideas where it may have gone? I was letting Firefox download to desktop on default.

Last edited by zdunham; 08-12-2008 at 12:01 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
zdunham
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I'm going to try Xubuntu, thanks for your help.
 
Old 08-12-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
arizonagroovejet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdunham View Post
If I give that user no write or execute access to /bin and /home would that do the trick? And how exactly would I form the chmod or chown commands for that?
You appear to be unfamiliar with user permissions in Linux.
root - all powerful. Can do whatever they want

Everyone else - can only change things that affect their own environment. So they can write to their own home directory at /home/username but they can't write anywhere else. Well except /tmp. And /var/tmp.




The easiest way to restrict what a user can do is to have them run nothing but the web browser. No desktop environment, just a web browser. This can be accomplished by putting a .xsession file in their home directory that calls the web browser. You may find places that suggest .xinitrc - I've found .xsession is a better choice as I've seen it be possible for a user to log in and have .xinitrc ignored.

When the user logs in (KDM will allow you to specify that a particular user can log in without password - GDM probably has the same ability) then the web browser launches. If the user quits the web browser they get logged out. Use this as the .xsession file and all the user's settings will be deleted when they log out/in which is useful if you want to be able to regularly and easily wipe out any changes people make to the browser config.

Code:
function wipe() {

rm -rf *
for i in .*;do
  if [ "$i" != ".Xauthority" ]; then
     rm -rf $i;
  fi
done
}

wipe

firefox

wipe
There is a lot more you can do in the way of locking stuff down if you so desire. Firefox is very customisable with extensions of even just hacking it to completely remove functionality you don't want.

Last edited by arizonagroovejet; 08-12-2008 at 03:37 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2008, 03:54 PM   #8
zdunham
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Alright thanks, I something like that with Xubuntu, even that old terrible machine can handle that system so everything is good, thanks for the help.
 
Old 08-14-2008, 09:21 AM   #9
robogymnast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdunham View Post
I also will need to install CUPS for printing but when I download it to the desktop it doesn't even show up on the desktop. Any ideas where it may have gone? I was letting Firefox download to desktop on default.
Not sure about DSL but in Fedora there is a /home/username/Download folder that my files go to by default, or try the "find" command:
Code:
find <directory> -name <file name>

Last edited by robogymnast; 08-14-2008 at 09:22 AM.
 
  


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