Limited account/kiosk mode in Fedora 18

Barry Roberts blr at
Fri Aug 30 22:32:32 MDT 2013

On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 8:17 AM, Barry Roberts <blr at> wrote:
> My kids' accounts on their computer are time limited using timekpr.  It's
> pretty much their youtube and minecraft time, so I don't see that changing
> much.  But what I would like to do is set up an account (or accounts) that
> have longer or no time limits (that part I've got covered) but that only are
> allowed to run processing, or squeak, or spe or even eclipse.
> My experience is that sabayon is unmaintained and doesn't work any more.  Is
> there any other desktop that can be locked down to only allow users to run
> certain programs, or any way to do that in GNOME lately?

Since chroot seemed like a more tedious way to do this than I really
wanted to get into, here's what I ended up doing:

I installed openbox, and created a user called "homework"  I modified
that user's openbox menus so that the only programs that can be
launched are libreoffice.  Then in /etc/gdm/Xsession, right after
sourcing /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc-common I added:
# user homework is only allowed to run openbox
if [ "$USER" == "homework" ]
  exec $CK_XINIT_SESSION $SSH_AGENT /bin/sh -c "exec -l $SHELL -c
/usr/bin/openbox-session "

To ignore any "Session" selection from gdm.

It's not foolproof, but now my kids can run libreoffice for as long as
they need without worrying about the timer kicking them off.  I'll
probably add squeak, processing, and spe to the menu for that user,
too.  Maybe even eclipse just to torture them.


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