Us amazing system and network administrators are frequently required to believe six impossible things before breakfast. Everything is supposed to be easily accessible and convenient, yet everything must also be locked down and controlled. The sane response is to smile and nod wisely, then do what we think is right.
Having tools to assist the satisfying of impossible demands helps. KDE has a Kiosk mode that allows you to create and replicate a fully-customized desktop, with options to lock down various bits to prevent users from changing them. You can do it the hard way, by editing a gaggle of configuration files, or you can do it the easy way with the Kiosk Admin Tool, the graphical KDE Kiosk configurator. (Make someone say that three times quickly.)
Kiosk does not touch applications or services – just the desktop itself, which includes menus, desktop icons, wallpapers, themes, screen savers, file associations, and commands. It lets you set up loose controls for business environments, or tight controls for public terminals that are used by a lot of random people.
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