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hoobajue 12-20-2009 01:02 AM

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
Well this seemed like the most relevant
category for my question, but I guess
we will see.

Alright have you ever been somewhere
where there is a television or monitor
telling you the weather, time, maybe news?
Well my question is, what are they called?
I searched for everything I could think of...
Kiosk, Marquee, Weather Board, News Weather Streamer...
and no luck.

The reason I'm asking is that I want to make one
of those using an old laptop I tore apart,
and I want to run linux. So I was wondering if
there were any linux distros or apps that can
accomplish this for me.

Thanks for reading everyone! :)


jstephens84 12-20-2009 01:40 AM

I think you mean something like digital sinage. Kind of like the one on this site? Most of these systems are probably bought. I could not find any open source alternatives.

hoobajue 12-20-2009 02:27 AM

Interesting, thanks for the reply. I checked it out
and that is almost exactly what I'm thinking of.

I can't imagine it would be hard to make a standalone
program to run this sort of task.

Anyone else seen anything similar?

AutoBot 12-20-2009 03:12 AM

I would run fluxbox as my window manager and run various wmaker dock applications that give me the information I need. You can achieve a light, yet powerful combination.

AutoBot 12-20-2009 03:15 AM

I would run a debian based distribution for ease of package management, I don't really have a suggestion for which one.

salasi 12-20-2009 06:37 AM

There is something called 'kiosk mode' which might be close to what you want (although that is normally to run a web browser, but constrained so that you can only get at a limited set of pages, often the publicity on the product being your case that page might be, eg, a single page, live news feed).

jens 12-20-2009 07:53 AM

All big DE's have there own apps for this.
Since you mentioned it being an "old" laptop, I would go for "dock applications" as AutoBot said.

Just pick a WM that supports them (Fluxbox, Window Maker, ...).

hoobajue 12-20-2009 05:52 PM

Hey thanks guys,

Those are great ideas. I tried
damn small linux, but that just
didn't have what I was looking for.

I'm trying Kubuntu running Screenlets now

I'll let you know how it turns out!

hoobajue 12-25-2009 01:08 AM

If anyone is interested in this I
was tired of looking for something
so I decided to make a little website
which creates a kiosk type app.

the url is

if you have any questions or comments
send them to

soplin 12-26-2009 12:22 AM

Get a small puppylinux and add widgets.

hoobajue 12-26-2009 10:39 AM

I tried that and it worked, but I was looking for widgets that
I could resize and take up the whole screen such that you would
see nothing but the widgets. I couldn't figure out how to do that.
I have the new Kubuntu on a desktop of mine and in there I am able
to resize the widgets and hide certain elements like the task bar,
but I cant install Kubuntu on the laptop because it's too resource
dependent for the laptop (very very old laptop, I think there might
be a punch card feeder in it :) )

Thanks for your reply, Mike!

hoobajue 12-26-2009 10:44 AM

Take a look at my website I made to take care of a kiosk
type of application (it's very simple), though and let me know anything I
could add or change to make it better.

The URL is

my email is

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