Firefox Kiosk Mode for OPACs



img courtesy of Skylarstrickland, CC BY-SA 3.0

My predecessor…two and a half years in and I still find myself referring to him, talk about leaving your mark…anyway, my predecessor started using old computers for OPACs.

When he replaced a computer, he would re-purpose it to OPAC duty, thereby giving patrons a designated computer with which to search for materials. He didn’t want it to be just another way for folks to surf the web, so he He would install Ubuntu  and use a couple of Firefox plugins to restrict the access to just the OPAC page. Here’s how you can do it, too.

1.) Go to System Settings –> Software and Updates and change the Automatically Check for Updates to Never

System Settings Screen in Ubuntu  Ubuntu Software and Updates Dialog box on the updates tab

2.) Go back to the System Settings screen and open Brightness & Lock and set the Turn screen off…option to 1 hour. (If set to never, this image will soon be burned into the monitor).

3.) Flip the Lock toggle to OFF

Brightness & Lock Screen on Ubuntu

4.) Open FireFox and set the home page to your catalog page

5.) Change it so that Firefox never remembers history

6.) Go back to the  Install the mKiosk plug in. This will reset the browse back to the home page after a certain amount of inactivity, thus preserving search privacy. This is an older plugin and doesn’t come up in results. To install it, click the link above and then click Add to Firefox. 

7.) In the plug-in settings check the Always start in full screen option, select the Disable Screen Save option (both in the Basic tab)  and uncheck show toolbars (in the Appearance1 tab) option

8.) Restart the browser and, viola! you’re done.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s