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Old 05-27-2008, 07:00 PM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Towards a simpler desktop environment: What is the current state of the art?

Hi,

On Tue, 27 May 2008, john wrote:

> I am getting complaints from teachers that students are customizing
> their desktops to the point that they are distracting students from
> productive work. I'd like to make the edubuntu desktop MUCH simpler,
> just an applications menu and little else. I guess the approach is to
> lock the desktops but I'd like to take the "right" approach. I've used
> both the gconf-editor and Sabayon in the past with mixed results. The
> last time I looked Sabayon was seriously broken ( I use winbind to
> authenticate users and after applying Sabayon no students could log
> in). I don't see that gconf-editor has the ability to lock the
> desktop, prevent changes to desktop fonts, backgrounds and remove
> access to system settings.
>
> Does anyone have a recipe for simplifying and locking down student desktops.
> Does anyone have experience with KDE/Kiosk Tool and would anyone
> recommend this over the gnome environment?
> How can I get _complete_ control over the user environment?

A slightly contrary alternative answer (I don't know much about sabayon
etc.) is that you could give them a very limited desktop like fvwm95.

http://fvwm95.sourceforge.net/

It's not that pretty, but it's a familiar format and it doesn't offer much
customisation. Actually, that's not true it offers lots, but you mostly
need to do it by modifying rc files and students are unlikely to figure
that out.

Gavin


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Old 05-27-2008, 07:03 PM
Gavin McCullagh
 
Default Towards a simpler desktop environment: What is the current state of the art?

On Tue, 27 May 2008, Gavin McCullagh wrote:

> > How can I get _complete_ control over the user environment?

> A slightly contrary alternative answer (I don't know much about sabayon
> etc.) is that you could give them a very limited desktop like fvwm95.
>
> http://fvwm95.sourceforge.net/
>
> It's not that pretty, but it's a familiar format and it doesn't offer much
> customisation. Actually, that's not true it offers lots, but you mostly
> need to do it by modifying rc files and students are unlikely to figure
> that out.

You could even set the RC file and make it read-only so as to stop them
editing it.

Oh, and I should say, it has a very low cpu/memory footprint which will
allow you more students and better performance per server.

Gavin



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Old 05-27-2008, 08:14 PM
Richard Doyle
 
Default Towards a simpler desktop environment: What is the current state of the art?

On Tue, 2008-05-27 at 10:52 -0700, john wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> I am getting complaints from teachers that students are customizing
> their desktops to the point that they are distracting students from
> productive work. I'd like to make the edubuntu desktop MUCH simpler,
> just an applications menu and little else. I guess the approach is to
> lock the desktops but I'd like to take the "right" approach. I've used
> both the gconf-editor and Sabayon in the past with mixed results. The
> last time I looked Sabayon was seriously broken ( I use winbind to
> authenticate users and after applying Sabayon no students could log
> in). I don't see that gconf-editor has the ability to lock the
> desktop, prevent changes to desktop fonts, backgrounds and remove
> access to system settings.
>
> Does anyone have a recipe for simplifying and locking down student desktops.
> Does anyone have experience with KDE/Kiosk Tool and would anyone
> recommend this over the gnome environment?
> How can I get _complete_ control over the user environment?
Sabayon has promise, but wasn't stable for us. I'm not aware of any
other single lockdown tool, but there are lots of more specialized tools
that can help. Pessulus is quite useful and Alacarte can makes it easy
to edit menus (you will also need to place restrictive permissions on
gmenu-simple-editor). Firefox needs special attention, but much can be
accomplished by adjusting file and directory permissions.

>
> Thanks!
>
> John
>


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Old 05-28-2008, 12:57 PM
Kai Wüstermann
 
Default Towards a simpler desktop environment: What is the current state of the art?

Moin John!

Am Dienstag, den 27.05.2008, 10:52 -0700 schrieb john:

> Does anyone have a recipe for simplifying and locking down student desktops.
> Does anyone have experience with KDE/Kiosk Tool and would anyone
> recommend this over the gnome environment?
> How can I get _complete_ control over the user environment?

XFCE does have a kiosk mode.
http://www.xfce.org/documentation/4.2/manuals/xfce4-session?PHPSESSID=1133097153276cc46e1afd7d8be82392

It seems to be easy to install, because it's on Xubuntu.
It looks like Gnome.
It only uses 32mB per user.

New software from ubuntu sometimes is not shown in the users menu.

If the kiosk mode contains all you want i'm not shure.

Kai Wüstermann


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