jadoba on 5 Feb 2007 19:24:28 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[PLUG] Seeking beta testers for next month's PLUG presentation

I have shown interest in presenting for PLUG in March. The title of the
presentation would be something along the lines of "Internet Kiosks
running Linux and Firefox 2." All software that will be used will be
open source except for some Firefox extensions. 

The main issue will be security, a subject in which I have only modest
experience. Therefore, I would like to ask for your help in beta
testing the kiosk through a VMware image. I hope to have it prepared by
the end of this week.

What the kiosk will do:

* boot right into X without login and then only run Firefox 2
(locked-down through extensions and hacks.)
* enable access to a shell (for maintenance) through entering the
correct GRUB password.
* provide a connection to the Internet through a LAN.
* provide a primitive form of blacklisting control with wild-cards
(using the blocksite extension) to block some pornography and stop the
end users from visiting Mozilla's add-ons site.
* provide kiosk-type browsing (using extension: 'R-Kiosk'.) Many
features of Firefox had to be disabled for this to work.

What it won't do:

* cache data (disabled using extension: Stealther.) Preventing Firefox
from saving any data is just a good idea.
* retain cookies between restarts (restarts every 5 minutes using
extension: 'auto reset browser'; clear private data after every restart
using Firefox preferences) Cookies are enabled to allow people to check
email and do other things from the kiosk, but are deleted promptly upon
restart to prevent fraud.

Bottom-line: it needs the highest possible security with no data caching
and no way to get unauthorized access to the underlying configuration.

That's where you come in. As of the end of this week (around February
9th), the virtual machine will be finished and available for download
from my domain. When completed, it will be around 500MB compressed (and
more than 1GB uncompressed.)

I don't know what to expect in regards to the amount of interest that
will be shown for this project, so please, reply off-list unless you
have a remark or question you would like to have discussed within the
PLUG community. If an email sent to  jadoba@jadoba.net bounces, please
resend to jbarrett.phila@gmail.com. I also idle in #plug on
irc.freenode.net if you would like to chat with me in real time.
Additionally, I'll probably be at the meeting on Wednesday, and you can
chat with me there as well. If the kiosk is done by Wednesday, I might
even have some CDs to hand out with the image on them.

James D. Barrett

Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
Announcements - http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug-announce
General Discussion  --   http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug