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Ask Slashdot: Ubuntu Lockdown Options? 387

First time accepted submitter clava writes "We have a desktop Java testing application that is going to be administering tests to students on lab computers running Ubuntu 10.x. These computers are used by the students for other purposes and we're not allowed to create special users or change the OS configuration. When the testing app is launched, we need to restrict users from exiting the app so they can't do things like search the internet for answers or use other applications. Is there a good way to put an Ubuntu machine in kiosk mode or something via our application and have exiting kiosk mode be password protected? Any ideas are appreciated."
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Ask Slashdot: Ubuntu Lockdown Options?

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  • Social Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RedLeg ( 22564 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:50PM (#38297264) Journal

    No Technology required:

    1. Announce anyone caught cheating WILL fail the course.

    2. Post exactly ONE proctor at the rear of the room. His job is to catch the FIRST cheat.

    3. The first cheat should be escorted from the room, and given the following choice: become the proctor and catch another cheat, or fail. If you catch a cheat, you may retake the test and the cheat becomes the proctor with the same choice.

    Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    I recommend you film for future entertainment value.


  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @09:10PM (#38298132) Homepage Journal

    Problem is, Windows' lockdown depends on Windows users being idiots. A previous employer of mine asked the I.T. department to lock down the internet.

    The solution to that problem was to install Firefox. Then I.T. got smart and also banned that. Opera didn't work either. The workaround we used was discovered by accident by some Lao who barely knew English. I forgot exactly what he did, but he found out how to use Windows Media Player as a browser (I should know, but I don't because I don't use that piece of shit) and all was well again.

    It was a loophole kinda related to the older versions of Windows XP, when you'd "uninstall" Internet Explorer, but you could enter a web URL in the File browser and bam! Internet Explorer, which you had just "uninstalled," magically launched the webpage.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hyperhaplo ( 575219 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @09:41PM (#38298392)

    Not a good idea here. All web searches are logged and (sometimes) reviewed. Management tends to take a dim view about people 'looking things up'.

    Stop laughing, that was a serious answer. Yes, managers actually ask 'why do you need to look that up, don't you know how to code?'

    Trade answers?
    You must be nuts.
    See that silo that each and every person and each and every team has built around themselves? That's right, those silos are there to provide Job Protection. After all, if only you know how to run and maintain the system you have job security for life and no one can tell how much you are not doing.

    Depressing, but real.

    This 'testing scenario' will prepare them for what it is like to work in some organisations. Limited, restricted or no internet, and colleagues who see you as either their next step up the corporate ladder or a competitor / nark to sink at the next opportunity.


    As for this test - Go the customised Live CD every time. Quick, easy, customisable. Only requires being about to boot from CD or USB.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...