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1. Introduction

The directions below will produce the RedHat (currently version 6.2 is used, 7.0 is in development) Linux system that boots into the bare (=no window manager, like gnome, kde or fvwm2) X server and starts Netscape Navigator (not Communicator, which includes Main and News clients). Upon exiting the browser the X server is restarted and the new Netscape process is launched as needed. The system is intended for Internet Kiosks and similar applications. Security is emphasized at all the stages of the setup.

This HOWTO will be updated (maybe significantly) as long as more reports about the deployment of such boxes will arrive.

1.1 Disclaimer

Use the information in this document at your own risk. I disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.

All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before major installation and backups at regular intervals.

1.2 Credits

In this version I have the pleasure of acknowledging the previous maintainer of this HOWTO who nicely agreed to transfer it to me


1.3 New versions of this document

New versions of this document can be found at


1.4 Changes Fri Sep 22 14:32:32 EDT 2000

from 0.0.4 to 0.0.3

  • Merged with old HOWTO

from 0.0.2 to 0.0.3

  • references added
  • abstract finished

1.5 TODO

  • Write abstract
  • Suggested hardware
  • .Xdefaults disable some keys (Alt-Ctrl-F1)
  • X server port 6000 attacks, do something about them
  • X server under root, bad
  • Eliminate more unneeded RPMs
  • Implement /etc/pam.d/limits.conf to prevent netscape bloat and system crash (well, by causing it to crash before bloat ;-) ), see Security HOWTO
  • Protect some files with chattr is nice
  • Provided CDROM booting considerations
  • Redo everything for RedHat 7.0

1.6 Feedback

All comments, error reports, additional information (very much appreciated!!!) and criticism of all sorts should be directed to: anton@chuvakin.org


My PGP key is located at http://www.chuvakin.org/pgpkey

1.7 Copyright information

This document is copyrighted (c) 2000 Anton Chuvakin, and parts of it are Copyright 1997 Donald B. Marti Jr. where marked as such

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