[Novalug] Kiosk like setup advice?
Bryan J. Smith
b.j.smith at ieee.org
Sat Dec 12 22:46:23 EST 2009
Let me guess, it's a PCI card, correct? Or is it actually a PCIe?
And if it's a PCIe, is it in the PCIe x16 slot? And if so, because
the on-board video is being used, is the add-on card getting
adequate power? The full x16?
Normally you can_not_ use on-board video with an add-on card
in the PCIe x16 slot, because it won't drive the power required.
Or if you do, it has to be a special card, especially in the case of
Intel, like a port-breakout (for multiple heads using the on-board
I know a lot of these setups are just not done to spec. Hence why
I avoid them. The only time they work is when you have a low-
power, dedicated and designed PCIe x1 (yes, x1) video card
designed for 4-6 head operation. ;)
There are so many variables here I'd have to configure it myself.
I've never had any issues with Xinerama, or an unified framebuffer
(such as nVidia). Although I'll admit I haven't done Xinerama in
the last 3 years on Fedora, although I do have it on Red Hat
Enterprise Linux systems (which are based on Fedora several
In any case, I don't buy anything but nVidia anymore, although
the Quadros work fine with multiple screens, Xinerama, etc...
using any driver.
Bryan J Smith Professional, Technical Annoyance
Linked Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bjsmith
Red Hat: That 'other' American software company built on
open customer selection of options and value, instead of
controlled distribution channels of forced bundle and lock
----- Original Message ----
From: Nick Danger <nick at hackermonkey.com>
To: novalug <novalug at calypso2.tux.org>
Sent: Sat, December 12, 2009 9:51:04 PM
Subject: [Novalug] Kiosk like setup advice?
The dual monitor thing works, sorta. With the built on Intel and the
added in ATI I have all sorts of weird stability issues on the 2nd card.
It regularly gets all weirded out (ghosting, fuzzyness, fonts
unreadable) and occasionally the mouse pointer gets "stuck" along the
edge where it should wrap into the other screen.
I tell you this because my desire to use linux in this situation is
getting overun with the rest of the IT department saying rebuild it in
Xp. Since we have 5 others, and they are all working fine with Xp.
BUT: There are issues with the boxes that are being ignored. Namely, a
box operating in Kiosk mode needs to have a few considerations.
1) Screen burn in. These are LCD's, so I don't have to worry as much,
but its still not so good. I can't use a screensaver as I want to deploy
these machines with no keyboard/mouse. I can't do that if someone has to
make it 'wake up'. I left the keyboard on the ones I am testing with and
sure enough, it took only 2 hours before someone started messing with them.
2) Complete setup on startup. Right now you have to log into windows,
log into the website, move the IE windows around as you want, and then
you can be finished. I know I can do all of this on startup running
Linux, but I don't know how to get the windows positioned as I want. I
know how to lunch the app, even set my homepage, but how do I make it go
to position X/Y? I want it to launch, and then full screen (F11) Anyone
know how to do this? I dont even need a window manager, so if anyone
knows how to make just FFox launch, no WM necessary, thats even better!
I've been reading some kiosk sites but most seem to deal with hardware,
and interactive type kiosks, physical security issues, and not a 'boot
and display' type. I figure if I solve #1, I can just do a power down
via cron at 1am on Sat (we are closed over the weekend) and the screens
will power down with no video input, thus preventing burn in. No idea
what to do about #2 though.
I have a zero $ budget, but I can prove I can solve the other issues
with Linux, I can probably get a few bucks free to buy dual head video
cards (nVidias most likely) that will prove much more stable then my
mix-n-match setup I have going now.
Anyone done anything like this before and care to share some advice?
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