kiosk mode


With these steps you can change your system into a kiosk mode terminal. Please note that you do not have any access to the system but the web browser. To undo the changes you need a rescue system.


This software has to be installed on the system for my whoto to work:

Feel free to use other components if desired.

Basic setup

We have to ensure that the basic system can not be altered, so we lock all user accounts (‘root’ and ‘kiosk’ in this example):

    passwd -l root
    passwd -l kiosk

Additionally we create a file ‘/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/15-no-vt.conf’.

    Section "ServerFlags"
            Option  "DontVTSwitch"  "True"

Now does not allow to change to the virtual terminal via ‘Ctrl-Alt-F1’.

Depending on your setup you may want to stop and disable services like ssh daemon and/or disable public key authentication.

Login manager

As the accounts are locked we need to enable auto login in the login manager. To make sure the correct window manager is started we add this in ‘/etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf’, too.


Window manager

The window manager ‘i3’ is locked down to just start web browser ‘surf’ with parameter ‘-K’ in fullscreen mode. All key strokes are disallowed, except Ctrl+Shift+C to poweroff the system (via ‘systemd’). Save the following file to ‘/home/kiosk/.i3/config’:

    set $mod Mod4

    # shut down system with systemd/polkit
    bindsym Control+Shift+C exec /usr/bin/systemctl poweroff

# make surf start in fullscreen
    for_window [class="Surf"] fullscreen

# execute surf
    exec /usr/bin/surf -K

Now reboot your system and have fun. ;)