The launch of the new version of the linux distribution “Porteus Kiosk 5.4.0” in which several updates have been made, among which the kernel inclusion 5.15.28, support enhancements for hardware decoding acceleration and more.
The distribution stands out for being a basic container that includes only the minimum set of components necessary to run a web browser (Firefox and Chrome are supported). That is reduced in its capabilities to prevent unwanted activity on the system (for example, changing settings is not allowed, application download / installation is blocked, only access to selected pages).
In addition, specialized builds are offered in the cloud for comfortable work with web applications (Google Apps, Jolicloud, OwnCloud, Dropbox) and ThinClient to work as a thin client (Citrix, RDP, NX, VNC and SSH) and a server for kiosk network management.
The configuration is done through a special wizard, which is combined with the installer and allows you to prepare a customized version of the distribution kit to place it 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 a guest login, define an inactivity timeout for logging out, change the background image, customize the appearance browser, add additional plugins, enable wireless network support, configure keyboard layout change, etc. d.
On boot, the system components are verified using checksums and the system image is mounted in read-only mode. Updates are installed automatically using the atomic build and replace mechanism of the entire system image.
Main new features of Porteus Kiosk 5.4.0
In this new version of Porteus Kiosk 5.4.0 system base and software versions that make up this system, they are in sync with the Gentoo repository as of March 20th.
Within the system packages, it should be noted that the updated packages of the Linux kernel 5.15.28, Chrome 98.0.4758.102, and Firefox 91.7.1.
Regarding the part of the changes that were made in this new version, it should be noted that hardware accelerated video decoding enabled when displaying videos and web pages during screen lock.
In addition to also highlighting that implemented the ability to dynamically generate an external configuration which can be loaded by passing the 'kiosk_config=URL' parameter, eg 'kiosk_config=https://domain.com/kiosk-config.php?device=nuc&sound=0.3'.
On the other hand, it is mentionede Firefox has the OpenH264 plugin enabled by default, which can be useful when streaming video using WebRTC.
Of the other changes that stand out from this new version:
- Added 'cec-client' utility to manage display connections through the HDMI port.
- Added support for importing certificates in DER format via a call with the 'import_certificates=' parameter.
- The number of network connections to Porteus Kiosk Server established at client startup has been reduced from 5 to 3, which reduced the load on the server when running multiple clients at the same time.
- Using keyboard shortcuts that are locked by default in the system to change the keyboard layout is prohibited.
- Changed the order in which spare graphics drivers are loaded in case of X server startup failure: mode, fbdev, and vesa settings.
If you want to know more about it About this new version released, you can check the list of changes and the project website.
Download Porteus Kiosk 5.4.0
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 140 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.