What’s a Web kiosk? A kiosk is a small standing physical machine that uses to display information and provide different services in the 21st century. The pieces of information displayed on the Kiosk can be from any source but generally, what you see in the malls, Airports and other places are from different companies. The Kiosk machines allow the users to use the company services like ticketing, know about some product details, advertisements, Digital signage and much more. But how do you set up a kiosk at low cost? Although the setting and configuration of Kiosk machines are a bit tricky because of security and restrictions that you need to apply on Kiosk, however, there are some Open source Linux Kiosk distros and Kiosk browsers those are available online to make the Kiosk setup smother for newbies.
You can turn your standard machine or even the tablet into Kiosks using the free Kiosk operating system based on Linux and other opensource tools to make a simple and cost-effective solution for a startup or enterprises.
If you don’t have much time and money to invest then here is the list of top 5 free opensource Kiosk Linux-Distro and browsers…
Open source Linux kiosk Distros and Browsers Tools
Porteus Kiosk-Linux kiosk Distro
The Porteus Kiosk is full-fledged dedicated Linux distro that is meant for Kiosk machines. It is a lightweight Linux Distro that allows using only the web browser and restricts the user to use any other features or applications. Also, the browser in the Porteus Kiosk is locked down in order to stop someone from tampering the browser settings or downloading and installing the software.
Furthermore, after installing the Porteus Kiosk, every time when it boots, it automatically opens the Firefox or Google Chrome browser with the homepage you have set during the configuration of the Porteus Kiosk Linux distro. It also not going to save the users passwords, history, most of the menu disable for providing better security; whenever the browser restarted it flushed all the caches to start clean sessions. It is available in multiple variants such as Porteus Kiosk, Porteus Kiosk cloud, Porteus Kiosk Thin client and Porteus Kiosk server including one more option which is Porteus Desktop solution which can be run through a Pendrive as normal Linux desktop distro but in the Frugal installation environment only. The total size of this Linux kiosk Distros is 82.0MB for the current version. If you already using the Porteus and want to change the root password then see– Porteus root password change
If you looking for an easy way to turn your PC into a Web kiosk? Then try the Webconverger Linux kiosk distro solution it can help you. It is basically an open source Web Kiosk software that can turn instantly turn your normal machine into Kiosk those can use in banks, cafes, schools and other places & community centres. The Webconverger comes in ISO format that can simply extract on a bootable USB memory stick and boot it from the BIOS menu to test it out before going commercial. It needs 1GB of RAM to work properly. It comes in free version along with the side of three paid versions with extended features.
The Webconverger features No user-tracking, surfing sessions private/incognito, Turnkey and locked down solutions, automatically updates for browser & system and more. It is a Debian-based web kiosk with default Mozilla Firefox browser.
Linutop OS is an open source Linux based operating system that is available for both Desktop PC and Raspberry Pi. The PC version is based on on the Ubuntu XFCE LTS 14.04 and the Raspberry Pi is on Raspbian. It is a flexible desktop OS which comes with inbuilt software that can use to convert into Internet WebKiosk and Digital Signage System.
The Linutop Kiosk software allows the user to use the PC as Internet kiosk or digital signage. The software is designed to start a particular homepage on the browser with the option to block certain websites too. However, while using it as display Kiosk for digital signage the same software enables the management of the playlist, including the time and order, and can support JPEG, URLs, and video files. The default browser is Firefox.
For those want Instant WebKiosk that can run on low configuration hardware the nothing is great than the Raspberry WebKiosk. This Linux Kiosk is designed to work with the only web browser to provide a cheap solution in different places where people only need web environment in the Kiosk machines such as schools, hotels, libraries and more. Every time you reboot this small Kiosk browser cum operating system it will come back to default by deleting all downloaded files and cache. The default internet browser it uses for Kiosk is the Google Chromium supports printing on both wired and wireless networks.
To set up this Instant WebKiosk you just need Raspberry Pi mini board which is enough Powerful to run the different solutions provided by the company such as Raspberry Digital signage, Raspberry WebKiosk, and Raspberry PI slideshow.
OpenKiosk is a cross-platform kiosk web browser based on Mozilla Firefox. It is available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS in 32 and 64-bit versions. OpenKiosk is an open source software and complete solution for any kiosk installation, the best part is free of cost. It can be easily installed and used to secure a computer for use as a public terminal. This is a complete solution for any kiosk installation.
As per the OpenKiosk website, their Kiosk browser-based platform is currently installed and running in different sectors for libraries, hospitals, airports, hotels, schools, universities, governments, and businesses across the globe.
The system requirements by the OpenKiosk are Pentium 4 or newer processor that supports SSE2, 512MB of RAM and 200MB of hard drive space.
Can Bike OS is a Puppy Linux based operating system that also available in dedicated Kiosk Linus distro edition. This Linux kiosk is a lightweight Linux distro that runs entirely from RAM. The Minimum System Requirements it needed 333MHz CPU with 64MB of RAM.
Fully Kiosk Browser & App Lockdown
If you want to set up the Kiosk on the Android OS running machine then the Fully Kiosk is can be the option. It is an Android app that comes with configurable Android Kiosk Browser mode and App Launcher. This Android web Kiosk app in Kiosk mode can Lockdown and restrict websites and apps. Fully Kiosk Browser provides
- Fullscreen kiosk mode
- Motion detection
- Remote admin
- Supports Android 4.4 to 8.1
- And more to support digital signages, information panels, video kiosks and other unattended Android devices or tablets.
Kiosk Browser Lockdown
It is another good option to lock down the user access to only the Android browser to use it as Kiosk. It is not completely free and also the free version has restricted options. So, if you like this and in casework for you then you can go for the paid version. The free version features password protected settings, Set as the default launcher, Idle page reload, Orientation control, Cache, cookie & history control, Disables access to notifications, recent apps, Google Now, Hides system dialogues and 70+ configuration options. Link to App
This is a simple add-on for Firefox browser to turn it into Kiosk Mode with optional Tabs and options. It can block:
- Reset kiosk inactivity
- Retry on errors
- Restricted interface
- Show buttons
- And more
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