Few days ago the release of the new version of Porteus Kiosk 5.0 was announced, which is a distribution Linux based on Gentoo and designed to equip and revive old computer equipment, converting them at independent points, demonstration stands and self-service terminals.
The basic assembly includes only the minimum set of components required to launch a web browser (Firefox and Chrome are supported), which is cut in their capabilities to prevent unwanted activities on the system (for example, configuration is not allowed, application download / installation is blocked, only the access is open selected pages).
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About Porteus Kiosk
This distribution offer specialized builds in the cloud to comfortably work with web applications (Google Apps, Jolicloud, OwnCloud, Dropbox) and ThinClient to work as a thin client (Citrix, RDP, NX, VNC and SSH) and server to manage a network of kiosks.
The configuration is carried out through a special wizard, which is combined with the installer and allows you to prepare a customized version of the distribution kit to put on a USB flash drive or hard disk.
For example, you can set a default page, define a whitelist of allowed sites, set a password for guest login, set an idle timeout to end a session, change the background image, configure the browser layout , add additional plugins, enable wireless network support, configure keyboard layout change, etc.
When loading, the system components are verified by checksums and the system image is mounted in read-only mode.
Updates are installed automatically using the training mechanism and atomic replacement of the entire system image.
Centralized remote configuration of a group of typical Internet kiosks is possible with a configuration download over the network. Due to its small size, by default, the layout is fully loaded into RAM, which can significantly increase the speed of work.
What's new in Porteus Kiosk 5.0?
With the release of this new version, we will be able to find that added interface to set mouse pointer speed on system, as well as the ability to establish different intervals for the sequential change between browser tabs that replace each other on the screen in kiosk mode.
Another novelty that stands out is that added support for viewing TIFF images in Firefox, by converting from the TIFF to PDF format.
In addition to that in Porteus Kiosk 5.0 provides a daily clock synchronization of the system with an NTP server remote (previously syncing was done only on reboot).
Regarding the software, it is mentioned that software versions sync to Gentoo repository (20190908), as well as updated versions of packages, including Linux kernel 5.4.23, Chrome 80.0.3987.122, and Firefox 68.5.0 ESR.
We may also find that a virtual keyboard has been added to the session password entry window, allowing you to start a session without connecting a physical keyboard.
Of the other changes that stand out from this new version are:
- Implemented the ability to adjust the sound level separately for each sound device.
- The user has 60 seconds to make a decision before closing, if the parameter 'halt_idle =' is used
- The '-noxdamage' flag has been added to the x11vnc startup script to protect it from VNC crashes.
Download Porteus Kiosk 5.0
Finally, for those who are interested in being able to test this distribution, they will be able to obtain the image of the system from its official website in which the corresponding links are provided in its download section (the boot image of the distribution occupies 104 MB).
In the same way, you will be able to find more information on the site about the configuration, installation and even information to modify the system image, in its documentation section.