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Re: Building a single user Internet terminal

On Sun, 2002-04-07 at 08:47, Crispin Wellington wrote:
> On Sun, 2002-04-07 at 21:30, Erik van der Meulen wrote:
> > On Sun, Apr 07, 2002 at 08:44:06PM +0800, Crispin Wellington wrote:
> > 
> > > Have a script that starts X for a certain user and begins galeon. Run
> > > this as a respawn process under /etc/inittab. Make a certain runlevel be
> > > kiosk mode (the default). Make other run levels the admin mode (normal
> > > logins etc). 
> > 
> > Thanks a lot for your prompt answer! It sounds pretty much like what I
> > want. I have tried to follow your advice and came across one or two
> > little issues. 
> > 
> > > /etc/inittab line something like
> > 
> > > ki:2:respawn:su -c /usr/local/bin/runkiosk kioskuser
> > 
> > I have replaced the line:
> > 
> >   l2:2:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 2
> leave the standard rc scripts in there. Make sure that xdm/gdm/kdm is
> not started via symlinks from /etc/rc2.d. Add the respawn in as an extra
> runlevel 2 respawn.
> Heck, come to think of it, you could make an /etc/init.d/kiosk script
> that starts the kiosk, and stick it at the end of the rc2 startup.
> > in the inittab with your suggestion, in the hope that would do the
> > required.
> > 
> > > /usr/local/bin/runkiosk could basically just startx, and let kioskusers
> > > .Xsession file do the rest.
> > 
> > Also I have made this, only containing 'startx'.
> > Now if I reboot, I see no X, but a message repeating:
> > 
> >   X: user not authorised to run the X server, aborting.
> The su -c command should change to a acceptable user. Interesting error.
> If you change su -c /usr/local/bin/runkiosk kioskuser to su -c
> /usr/local/bin/runkiosk root, does it work? (not that thats a solution,
> just helps in locating the problem)
> > And a few more lines. I think I understand what is happening, but am not
> > too sure how to fix it.
> > 
> > > Perhaps try running it without any WM at all. Use -geometry to make
> > > galeon fullscreen.
> > 
> > That is something I would like to experiment with, but am not able to
> > picture how to do it. The 'alternatives' system allows me to switch
> > between IceWM and TWM, but not do without at all.
> Your .Xsession would be just 'galeon -geometry 1024x768+0+0'. No window
> manager at all.
> > > > - Provide some means for a user to safely shut down the system prior
> > > >   to power-down (preferably from the GUI)
> > 
> > > Have the whole system use ext3. Have no shutdown at all (just switch it
> > > off like a stereo)
> > 
> > That would be brilliant. But again (sorry about my ignorance) I do not
> > really now how to get there. I seem to recall that the default install
> > (Woody and upgrade to Sid right after) does not have ext3 support.
> > Suppose a kernel rebuild would be required? Also, I have two partitions,
> > large root and a small boot (and swap also). I think I have read
> > sometime that /boot needed to be ext2... Further, is there a command for
> > converting an existing ext2 -> 3, or do I need to make a new
> > installation.
> If your kernel has ext3 support built in, use tune2fs to convert to
> ext3. /boot can be ext3 aswell.
> Crispin

I did this just last month. What I did was create a user, guest, with
password guest. Editted the /etc/issue file to say something like "Log
on as 'guest' with password 'guest'". This way, when the machine is
powered up, they see a text screen with instructions.

The .xinitrc for guest has lines in it like so:

icewm &
while ; do galeon; done

The .bashrc for guest has a line at the bottom:


Thus, when the guest logs in, it starts X, and icewm is started, and
galeon is started. If they quit Galeon, it starts right back up. If they
quit X (either via menus or Ctrl-Alt-Backspace), they see the
instructions for logging in.

I originally tried to get startx to work as a respawned process directly
from /etc/inittab, but I ran into problems similar to what you're
experiencing. Decided to solve that in the future, and do quick&dirty
for now.

I gave up on not having a window manager, because when new windows pop
up (as many web sites are wont to do), you can't move/resize/close them

I used icepref to turn off the taskbar, although you can still get the
menus by right-clicking on the desktop.

You can create menu entries and scripts to do a graceful
shutdown/restart, but I didn't bother, because, well, why? Except for
power outages, Linux runs forever. And if X hangs, Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to
the rescue (although some local overseer of the kiosk needs to be made
aware of the basics of solving these issues).

It's not a perfect solution, but like I said, it's quick and dirty.


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