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Ubuntu - Permissions Setup on a Library Computer

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

I am a librarian at a small school. I have setup an old Pentium 4 desktop with Ubuntu 13.04 for students to search for books and print out documents from Google Docs. Everything works great except that I am not sure how to limit student's user account.

I would like to students to be able to use Chromium and thats it. Is there a way to do this?

I know a little bit about command line so I can walk through steps if necessary. If I mess it up, ill just re-image.

I appreciate the help.
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post #2 of 8
Honestly, I'd recommend running a different distro as you'd spend more time locking Ubuntu down than you would allowing others on it. You can get kiosk-orientated distros which should already be built to only run a webbrowser, though I've not installed any such distros personally.

There's been one or two threads on OCN recently with similar requirements as yourself so if you're happy to have an experiment, then there should be some good information here for you (though I can't find the threads myself laugher.gif )
post #3 of 8
http://www.porteus.org/ Kiosk version. An idea of what you looking for, although I don't recommend this one specifically. Is to locked down. Personally I would want something I could ssh into that way you could totally lockdown the user interface and still manage it without trouble.

Find some and set them up in a VM till you get it sorted (learn how to set it up that is). Then do it on the actual computer. Much quicker I would guess.
Edited by Tadaen Sylvermane - 10/2/13 at 10:54pm
 
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post #4 of 8
on mint you can create a new user account with standard privileges and remove the software in that path as root/admin then the new user is not admin/root so they cant sudo anything or change stuff, the KDE user control center has some granular control that might be helpful such as disabling CD roms. You can untick everything apart from 'dialout' and i think this gives something close to what you want. Also another idea would be to run a VM from virtual box that in the event of it being trashed could go back to normal in the blink of an eye from a snapshot
Edited by Pip Boy - 10/3/13 at 3:43pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by phill1978 View Post

on mint you can create a new user account with standard privileges and remove the software in that path as root/admin then the new user is not admin/root so they cant sudo anything or change stuff.
easier said than done given the dependencies that shell scripts will have. And even if you did manage to clear all that up, there's nothing stopping the user from running the command with the full path ($PATH is really more a convenience than a necessity).

Also lets not forget that [ctl]+[alt]+[F1...6] can still be exploited.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phill1978 View Post

Also another idea would be to run a VM from virtual box that in the event of it being trashed could go back to normal in the blink of an eye from a snapshot
You don't need a VM to do that: Btrfs root, ZFS-on-linux, dd imaging, etc
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I looked into proteus. It seems like one I might try out due to its size and ability to select a few things that students really need.

Another option was to use the Ubuntu Guest account and just have the students log out. Only problem is that I want to configure some settings in the guest account. Is this possible?
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by granno21 View Post

I looked into proteus. It seems like one I might try out due to its size and ability to select a few things that students really need.

Another option was to use the Ubuntu Guest account and just have the students log out. Only problem is that I want to configure some settings in the guest account. Is this possible?

I believe you can edit the /etc/guest-session/prefs.sh on that account yes. Give it a try
post #8 of 8
Well you just mentioned the one computer so maybe this would be over-kill but I suppose you could use a standard image with the Linux Terminal Server Project. No hard disk means no way to screw it up too bad...?
 
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