Over the past year I have been volunteer managing a number of laptops for a non profit, all running PCLinuxOS - LXDE. I thought it would be a cakewalk - not. It has been quite a learning experience for me, and it is ongoing learning. People are very curious and creative. I learned how to modify a great single user desktop to more of a Kiosk type setting for a general user. The instructions are part of a blog post of mine. I thought this may be useful to you if you have children or share your computer with others who are a little too curious. What the changes do is remove options (privileges) in a guest account. Use caution, and write down on pencil an paper what you are changing so you can change it back if it does not work for you.
To begin modifying a user normal user account to a mostly harmless account I made the following changes:
If you installed Open Office Org, or you plan not to, open Synaptic Package Manager, and remove ‘getopenoffice’ from your system. This removes ‘Get Open Office’ from your Desktop and Menu. If you installed Open Office, the icon on the Desktop and label in the Menu causes confusion for users, and headaches for you.
One of the buttons on the Quick Launch Taskbar is a button to launch the PCLinuxOS Control Center. Click on the button and enter root’s password. You should now be in the PCLinuxOS Control Center. If you are not, close the window and start over.
Click on the word ‘System’ on the left. Click on ‘Manage users on System’ on the bottom of the screen. Click on the user who’s account you want to dumb down, in my case, ‘guest’ and the account name and line will be highlighted.
Click on the Edit Icon on top. Next, click on the Tab ‘Groups’ This is where the real power of Linux shows itself. From here you control almost everything any user can do. I un-clicked the boxes dialout, and users. This creates a new group named guest which guest is a member of. The boxes audio, cdrom, cdwriter, floppy, lp (printer), polkituser, user (user’s new group), and video are all checked. You can uncheck them to deny your user from using any or all of them. You are done with this screen and can exit out. When your user logs in, they will not find the internet connection icon. If you leave the Networking Icon on the desktop, it will require root’s password to open.
Right click on any of the Quick Launch Taskbar Icons on the bottom left. If you clicked correctly an option for “Application Launch Bar” Settings is the first choice. Click on Application Launch Bar.
On the Settings Screen is three columns. The left side contains apps that are on the Quick Launch Bar. The right side contains apps that can be added to the Launch Bar. The center is the add, remove, move up, or move down buttons. From here you can customize what is contained on the Quick Launch Bar, or remove all programs if you so choose. Linux is all about choices. If you are admin of your system, you can control the choices.
There are many more options available to control, limit, and otherwise manage users of your computer while running PCLinuxOS on your computer. A short period of exploring and changing settings can prevent headaches later, and like myself, you will get to learn something in the process. If you are making changes always write down what you have done on a piece of paper so you know how to undo it if it does not have the intended effect.