KDE France: Highest Internet Access Center in Europe uses KDE

"An intrepid KDE fellow did not hesitate to venture in the bare landscape of ice, snow and rocks of the French Alps to report on the highest Public Internet Access Centre located in the Tourist House of Val Thorens, a ski resort spreading between 2300 and 3200 meters. In these extreme conditions, our reporter found in the hall of the Tourist House, five cybertables full of computers in front of which tourists of all nationalities were sitting surfing the web with intensity after having surfed down the snowy slopes. " Read more of this fascinating story and view pictures at KDE France.


Cool story. I wonder why the monitors are mounted in such a funny way. Privacy?

By AC at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Maybe, because this is the best way to place a monitor for health/usability reasons as scientific research found out in the 70s and 80s, but was forgotten by the PC industry during the PC boom of the 80s/90s (because it is more expensive than palcing the monitor on the desk) !?

By Harald Henkel at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Or maybe it's just for space reasons and to protect the monitor. Remember, this is in a skiing resort, and you don't really want people putting their wet gloves, goggles, hats on top of the monitor, for lack of a better place.

With this "funny" mounting, the monitor is nicely protected behind a watertight glass plate, so no problem there.

The downside is that it might be a tad difficult if two people wearing big clumsy ski boots sit next to each other with their legs spread (due to lack of space _under_ the table).

By Al at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

i hate y bisachy

By dygumdt7ui, at Mon, 2005/10/03 - 5:00am

I'm going there in two weeks. This gives me another good reason to (sk)email some friends ;)

By dizzl at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Just came back from there after some fantastic skiing and, as an avid KDE fan of many years, wonder why anybody would want to surf the web when they could be surfing the slopes?

By J at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Because people don't surf the slopes 24 hours a day? You need to do other stuff, one of which might include surfing the web!

By Slovin at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

I found one of these in Les Arcs 1800 too. We came across it in a bar just as a Windows loving friend was telling me how Linux was never going to catch on on the desktop. "Imagine getting Linux support up here," he said...

By james at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

The guy said he discovered kiosk after they started development.
Shouldn't there be more tutorials/promotion of kiosk? Searching for KDE kiosk on google mainly returns old links (howto for KDE2). I didn't look much further as I don't plan to use it immediately, but it should be more easy to get to the current docs (the only online doc I found is in the README in the cvs).

Take this as a constructive remark ;-)


By rb at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am which is linked from in the left menu under "Deploy" as "Sysadmin Documentation". Know a better place for this?

By Datschge at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

i have not been able to see any detailed link for setting up kde kiosk.the only Readme.kiosk i saw could not give me a guide to setup my kiosk for kde.
can any one help me out in steps for kde kiosk setup.


By chinedu at Mon, 2005/09/26 - 5:00am

> Searching for KDE kiosk on google mainly returns old links (howto for KDE2).

"KDE Kiosk" returns here two different possible results: One shows the kde-kiosk mailing as first hit, the other the Kiosk README as second hit.

By Anonymous at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

you know what? I did not have the link to the readme in second place when I posted my message, only the MM and older howtos. Now I indeed get the link to the readme in the cvs.

I still think a good illustrated howto would be better than this readme. I can only suggest this as I don't have time to do it. If I ever use kiosk (and that should come sooner or later), I'll certainly put a webpage with my experience.


By rb at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Yeah, but it's not really usefull if people don't know they need to search for the "kiosk" keyword to find info on locking down a system, is it? You can't assume people know exactly what to look for.

By André Somers at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

First hit for "kde lockdown" is a good one.

By Anonymous at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Well, really there needs to be a GUI interface for most of this. An administrator should be able to open KControl in some sort of special system-wide mode and do something like disable arts for everyone. Aaron Seigo mentioned that lack in his People behind KDE interview.

By Ian Monroe at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

> Well, really there needs to be a GUI interface for most of this.

What coincidence. kdeextragear-3/kiosktool was just imported.

By Anonymous at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

"The interface was carefully locked but for the finest man in Fleet Street, it is a piece of cake to sneak in private places"

Ithought... uhm? no kiosk?

"Browsing KDE community websites, we found an article about KIOSK. We immediately adopted it. We use it to deactivate apps setting menus, limit access to files and forbid shell access. "

argh! so one can't really trust kiosk!

By konqi at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

What do you mean?

By Richard Moore at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Well, I thought iyt was simple. Kiosk is designed to lock the system for the user. But the author could _easily_ access the system in any way he wanted.

This clearly means kiosk is far fropm safe, and I wouldn' encourage any serious business to use it. I think the author needs to provide a little feedback on this to fix kiosk

By konqi at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

hmmm... I don't understand what you're trying to say?


By David at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

I think he's pointing out that the system had been locked down using kiosk support, but
that the author of the article got into the system easily all the same, and that this is does
not make the lockdown sound particularly trustworthy.

By ac at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

I personally never tested the kiosk mode so I couldn't say anything about any security vulnerability. But at the same time it might be worth looking into to see IF there is any weakness in the kiosk lockdown methods?!


By David at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

exactly. Ithought one could trust kiosk to lockdown the system. After all, it's meant to be designed just for that

By konqi at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

personally i didn't see anything in there that indicated a violation of the kiosk sandbox. more details may provide further details, but none of the information he presented demonstrated a kiosk weakness.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

Didn't read the article, but if he was using 3.1, wasn't there a few items fixed over the last year. Hmmm, (thinking out loud) wouldn't it be nice to search on 'Waldo Bastian' & 'kiosk' & '>february 2003' and get a list?


By Derek Kite at Mon, 2004/03/08 - 6:00am

From the author's comments I understood that he could (with some tricks) access some system information (like the linux version, etc) that was meant to be locked. I never used kiosk, so I can't tell what it's meant to disallow.

Now,... I've seen similar systems on W$ platforms, and most were far from safe. The weakness is not the system (KDE in our case) but the applications.

For example, no matter how much you lock KDE dialogs, you can't prevent mozilla from showing your system files. And any (kde) application that uses non-standard file access methods wouldn't be locked either.

By Unai at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

Hehe, that's the difference between KDE and Windows: if somebody is using KDE, somebody immediately writes an article about it, no matter how unimportant the site may be. But nobody would write an article about people who are usnig Windows - they only are writing articles about those who don't.

By AC at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

What can I say to your comment?

Better I say nothing at all!


By Calle at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

Yes, I agree there is a difference. It shows there are a lot of people who care about the KDE project enough to enjoy writing and reading this kind of articles. That's a thing that you dont see in the windows world.

Personally, not only I find a unix-like system running KDE more pleasant to use than Windows, I also find that the existance of the community adds a lot to the KDE experience.

By Sergio at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

As I wrote this article, don't completely agree with you.
Everybody knows what Windows can do. Millions of PCs in the world use Windows.
But, when you talk about Linux/KDE/whatever, most people don't know what it can do or think ordinary people cannot use it.
This sort of installation simply shows that even not skilled people can use Linux/XFree/KDE without any help.
This is the first for KGX on the desktop for all sorts of uses and all sorts of users.
But I agree that an Internet access point is not the most important thing in the world.

By Gerard at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am

The reason is simple. Say right now 100 internet cafes use this system. If now 5 of those more turn up, that's 5% sales growth.

Don't you think MS would shout on every news site if they had a 5% sales increase????

By Unai at Tue, 2004/03/09 - 6:00am