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SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Deployment Guide
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10.1 Managing Profiles Using the KIOSK Admin Tool

The Kiosk Admin Tool allows you to define profiles with desktop policies, environment restrictions, and menu definitions. It allows you to modify existing profiles and lets you assign them to groups and users. Kiosk also lets you automatically deploy profiles to a remote host.

Start the Kiosk Admin Tool from the KDE main menu or with F2 and the command kiosktool.

10.1.1 Creating a New Profile

To create a new profile, click Add New Profile. In the dialog that opens, enter a Profile name and a Short description. You can also specify an owner to which the files of the profile should belong. The user specified here must have write access to the profile directory. You also need to know the password of the user specified here. See Deploying Profiles to the Local Machine for more information about the profile directory.

It is possible to change the data entered here any time with Profile Properties.

10.1.2 Setting Up a Profile

By choosing an existing profile and clicking Setup Profile, set up configurations for all KDE components, such as icons, menus, and file associations. After choosing a component, activate a restriction by checking the box of the respective entry. Choosing an entry with the mouse displays a help text explaining the effect the restriction has.

Entries either describe a specific feature that you can disable (such as Disable Logout option) or describe configuration options that you can lock down (such as Lock down Screen Saver Settings). By doing so, the feature or configuration option is not available when the profile is used.

Apart from disabling features and locking down configuration options, you can also configure the look and feel of the desktop itself. When selecting the components Desktop Icon, Desktop Background, Screen Saver, KDE Menu, and Panel, get two additional buttons—Setup and Preview. When clicking Setup, the desktop settings of the currently selected profile are loaded and temporarily overwrite your own desktop settings. Now you can make changes just as you would when configuring your own desktop. When you confirm your changes by clicking Save, the changes made are permanently added to the profile and your own desktop settings are restored.

10.1.3 Assigning Profiles to Users and Groups

When you create a profile, it is not active by default. First assign it to users or groups first. Assign Profiles opens a dialog where you can assign all existing profiles to distinct users or groups. If you are applying more than one profile to a user or group, settings from all profiles are used. If a profile contains settings that conflict with settings in another profile, the settings in the earlier listed profile take precedence. The same rule applies if you apply a profile to a specific user and another profile to a group of which this user is a member.

IMPORTANT: Users and Groups on Remote Hosts

You can assign profiles to groups and users available on the local machine. If you are planning to deploy your profiles to a remote server, make sure that the needed users and groups from the remote host are also available on the local machine (for example, by using NIS).

10.1.4 Deploying Profiles

The KIOSK Admin Tool not only allows you to deploy profiles to the local machine, but also to a remote computer. In doing so, you can, for instance, deploy the profiles onto an NFS server from which they are exported to all clients on the network.

Deploying Profiles to the Local Machine

If you are deploying your profiles to the same machine as the KIOSK Admin Tools is running on, no manual intervention is required—the tool takes care that the profiles are found on start-up. By default, all profiles are stored in /var/lib/kde-profiles to which only the user root is allowed to write. It is recommended not to change this setting.

However, if you need to change the location to which the profiles are written, select Settings Configure KIOSK Admin Tool and change the Base directory.

It is also possible, although not recommended, to distribute profiles to different locations. Uncheck Store all profiles under the same directory in the configuration dialog. Having done so, you must specify the Directory for this profile when creating a profile.

Deploying Profiles to a Remote Machine

The KIOSK Admin Tool configuration (Settings Configure KIOSK Admin Tool ) lets you specify a location on a remote host to which to upload the profiles when exiting the tool. This upload mechanism uses the fish protocol. The Server URL field in the configuration dialog is initialized with fish://[email protected]/. Replace root with the user to which the files on the remote server should belong and host with the remote hostname. By default, the same directory as on the local host is used. To change this, click Open file dialog to specify a new directory on the remote server. After entering the password for the remote user, you can browse directories. By default, the directory on the local host is appended to the Server URL specified. Use Strip off to change this.

By default, KDE expects its profiles in /var/lib/kde-profiles. If you are deploying them to this directory on a remote machine or to a directory on an NFS server that will be mounted with this path by the clients, no further interaction is required. Otherwise, adjust /etc/kde3rc. See https://websvn.kde.org/trunk/KDE/kdelibs/kdecore/README.kiosk?view=markup for details.

10.1.5 Example: Creating and Assigning a Profile

In the following example, a profile called myCompany is created and assigned to the user tester on the remote host testserver.

  1. Start the Kiosk Admin Tool from the KDE main menu or with F2 and the command kiosktool.

  2. Open the configuration dialog with Settings Configure KIOSK. On the local machine, all profiles are stored in /var/lib/kde-profiles by default. Also by default, users with a UID lower than 500 are not displayed.

    The profile in this example should be deployed to a remote host named testserver in the default profile location. Therefore, activate On exit and change the Server URL to fish://[email protected]/.

    Figure 10-1 Configuring the KIOSK Admin Tool

  3. Open the Add New Profile dialog and create a new profile called myCompany.

    Figure 10-2 Adding a Profile

    Click Finished to save the new profile. You are prompted for the root password before the files can be saved.

  4. Clicking Setup Profile opens a dialog where you can configure the various aspects of KDE.

    Figure 10-3 Setting Up a Profile

    If you choose, for example, Theming then Setup Theming, the configuration dialog for the themes opens. All changes you make here do not affect your current desktop, but are added to the profile you are working on after you confirm your changes with Save in the Theming Setup window.

    Figure 10-4 Setting Up Theming

    After finishing setting up the profile, return to the main menu by clicking Finished.

  5. Assign the profile to distinct users or groups by clicking Assign Profiles.

    Figure 10-5 Assigning Profiles

    Return to the main menu by clicking Finished.

  6. Now the profile is available on the local machine. Before deploying it to the remote host, you can test it. Start a new session by right-clicking the desktop and choosing Switch User Start New Session then log in as user tester.

    Figure 10-6 The Profile in Use

    Return to your own desktop by logging out as tester. If you need to make changes, start the setup procedure again. Otherwise leave the KIOSK Admin Tool. On exit, it deploys all profiles to testserver. You must enter the root password on testserver for this operation. Because the profiles are deployed to the default KDE profile location in this example, no further action is required. The next time tester logs in on testserver, the myCompany profile is used.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Deployment Guide
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