Locking down KDE with Kiosk

Lock Down

Article from Issue 159/2014

KDE Kiosk lets administrators control user environments, including settings, themes, and access to the command shell and designated peripherals.

KDE Kiosk [1] is a framework for restricting features on users' desktops. As a system administrator, you can use Kiosk for a variety of reasons, including restricting features on a public terminal, enforcing a uniform wallpaper and theme in a corporate environment, eliminating the need to reset desktops after a lesson in a teaching lab, or increasing security. Kiosk includes more than two hundred settings [2], as well as the ability to lock down basic KDE configuration files.

Kiosk was introduced midway through the KDE 3 release series. For a while, a Kiosk Admin Tool [3] allowed admins to lock down features from the desktop. However, with the start of KDE 4, changes in structure and file names rendered the original Kiosk obsolete.

A new version of Kiosk did not begin to appear until two years after the release of KDE 4.0, which was more than enough time for people to conclude that it was not returning. The situation is not improved by the need to explore different versions of the documentation to figure out which one is current. More confusion is caused by the use of similar concepts in the two versions of the framework that are not identical.


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