Ubuntu kiosk based on 9.10


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Updated 05/24/2011: Click here for the newest kiosk build based on Ubuntu 10.04.1.

Below is a the link for a kiosk build of Ubuntu based on 9.10. This build is a specific configuration of Ubuntu that will automatically login as a kiosk user. The kiosk user's xsession consists only of a single Firefox Window.

Be sure to see the FAQ at the bottom.

It has been designed so that the kiosk user can only use this Firefox window. I have taken every measure I could think of to disable the opening of other windows and closing of others. If the Firefox window is closed, the session ends and restarts gdm.

1). Boot to CD room. Press enter to boot to the live CD.

2). At the automatic login prompt, click cancel until a list of users appears. Click on itadmin and enter the following password:


3). Double click on prep-kiosk. This generates the SSH keys (lost during the remastersys process) and disables vt switching. At this point, it will restart gdm, so get ready to login again.

4). If you are using a wireless environment, double click on setup-wireless-network and follow the prompts. Network manager is not installed.

5). If you would like, install acrobat reader using the script install-acrobat, but be warned, it's not been tested.

6). Change the password for itadmin by double clicking on change-password.

At this point you are done. To have a seamless experience, double click lock-kiosk (but READ the following warning).

The script lock-kiosk will disable the login prompt. The machine will boot straight into the kiosk user's account to a full screen Firefox. The only way to manage the kiosk without "unlocking" it at this point is through ssh to port 22022 of the kiosk.

To unlock the kiosk, boot to the live CD, login as itadmin with the default password, and double click the unlock-host script (not unlock-kiosk). Boot to the disk, and you should again get the login prompt.


MD5 hash: 6d86af9f0fd449013f3a31b3f2a60180

Thank you to my employer (Everett Community College) for allowing me to develop this, and thanks Alex for hacking it.

How do I change the home page for the kiosk user?

To change the home page, change the associated settings in /home/kiosk/.mozilla/firefox/obw0c5n2.default/user.js. The three settings are towards the top and are browser.startup.homepage, browser.startup.homepage_override_url, and browser.startup.homepage_welcome_url. I have made note to create a script that does this.

Can the wallpaper be changed?

For the itadmin account, yes. Not for the kiosk user. The kiosk user's xsession only loads metacity and firefox, not gnome.

How do I restrict web browsing to only one or a few websites?

See http://jacob.steelsmith.org/content/blocking-websites-using-dansguardian


It is disabled using xmodmap commands in /home/kiosk/.xsession

Many thanks Jacob,

This is exactly what I was searching for. I do event photography and needed something simple (and free) that I could use as part of my on-site printing workflow.

I'll be tweaking this to make it work for me, and let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!


I was able to upgrade to 10.10 - just make sure note to replace any existing configs when prompted.

Also, needed to update the R-Kiosk Firefox add-in. Other than that, all works like a charm.


Thanks for letting us know. I will be working on a 10.04 LTS build soon with more scripts.

Be aware that, according to http://blog.burlock.org/ubuntu/186--disabling-the-mouse-scroll-wheel-lef... the procedure has changed for disabling left clicks.

Can't seem to install Network Manager on this build. Any ideas?Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

sudo apt-get install network-manager

If I wanted to re-create an .ISO with Remastersys and I wanted to uninstall applications. Which apps would release the most space, thereby making the ISO smaller?

The command dpigs is what you're looking for. I used it to trim Ubuntu down. It's already installed. Use 'man dpigs' at the command prompt for more information.

I'm keen on setting the root password to be in line with our other systems here, but can't do so as 'itadmin'. how can I do this?

You can use this for any Ubuntu based system:

sudo su

type in your password and you'll be root. Then use:


to change your password.

never mind, I changed it with sudo.. thanks anyway

How can I access the display settings for user "kiosk" and make them stick?

How can I save the settings permanently (even after reboot) once I've updated the .xsession/user.js file?

How can I enable right mouse button in itadmin session ?
Thanks for this great distrib !

How can I enable right mouse button in itadmin session ?
Thanks for this great distrib !

Hi, great work.
I tried to substitute firefox with opera, so I modified .xsession in this way :
/usr/bin/opera --kioskmode --kioskresetstation

but when enter with kiosk user, the system automatically restart

what's wrong ?!

It's not installed by default.

I installed the latest version and ran all updates, including up to 10.04.1 LTS.

I followed the instructions, including the "lock-kiosk" script.

After a reboot, firefox starts up but has a close button in the upper right. If you click on it, you can close it and go back to a logon. During this logon you can go to the bottom and change the session from xsession to gnome and it will go straight to a desktop.

Did upgrading to 10.04 screw something up? I am assuming that firefox should not be able to be closed?


Jacob, thanks so much for your work on this. I was wondering if there is any way to prevent the kiosk from asking to remember passwords? I imagine it would be something in User.js or Pref.js but I've tried adding user_pref("signon.rememberSignons", false);, which I thought is supposed to disable the password manager, but it still asks to remember passwords in kiosk mode. Thanks!

This is the best I have seen yet, and will work great for my Job Application kiosk....great job!

Just a couple of config questions;

The Audio for Kiosk Mode appears to be muted. I need to unmute for my application (Flash Video Startup Screen)

Is there a way to hide the Google Search field? My proxy won't allow this function to be used, but it would be great if it wasn't there at all..

Once again, fantastic!


Hi and thanks for this great project. I have one problem though, I can't put in a WEP key for Wireless network (for Kiosk user). Im allways asked for keyring password that I don't have. In the script (on the Desktop), I'm not asked for wep key so is there a way?

Yes, but it's not easy. I'll work on a script or some way to automate that setup. Using wpa_supplicant should do the trick but it's not easy to setup. You could also try installing and running network-manager from itadmin, setting up the connection, and make it available for everyone.

Hi, The solution is great and I cant wait for the release based on 10.04.
I have some issues with the curent release with installing touch screen (touch screen is Samsung LD220Z) and with the wireless network. I hope in the new release this will work fine.
Thanks again for the great work.