Wednesday Aug 26, 2009

A simple kiosk


The Via VIPRO VP7710 can be configured as a kiosk under OpenSolaris. A simplistic approach that autoboots into kiosk mode can be done by following a few simple steps. For this example, I'm using Opera to create a browser based kiosk. I'm using Opera only because that is what I know best. Similar things can be done with other browsers.


After creating the non-root user account that the kiosk should be run as (I'm using user "kiosk" for these examples), download and install Opera for Solaris on x86 from the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository.


Once the user and Opera are installed, create a startup script that will start Opera with the desired kiosk modes enabled. A script that starts opera as:

opera -kioskmode

is usually sufficient. The Opera documentation and support website have a lot of details on all of the options.


Use gdmsetup to tell Solaris to autologin "kiosk" as the default user after some number of seconds. Then use the System -> Preferences -> Sessions application to add your kiosk script to the applications to startup on login. You want to use a couple of seconds delay at startup on the autologin in order to provide a way to do maintenance on the system. Alternatively, you can use ssh to access the system.



This sets up enough to show that this mode can be done relatively simply. When deploying a real kiosk, it will be necessary to tighten up the security in other places to prevent access to the system itself.


The only thing really missing to fully support the kiosk mode is support for touch screens in the Solaris HID driver. Some touch screens behave more like a mouse and would work as is.

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Discusses the use of OpenSolaris in small systems. Includes the use of OpenSolaris in appliances for small business and consumer products. Reviews of system boards, small systems and interesting applications will also be covered.

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