How it Works
OpenKiosk, is a system made up of a collection of programs that work together in a local network of inter-connected computers. It is a centralized management software for kiosks.
When a customer walks in and uses a kiosk or a workstation, the client program obtains his/her login/user account information. It then sends this login information to the server, which in turn, verifies this data and if valid, returns the access rights and duration of use for the customer back to the client program. The client program at this point, handles the restrictions transparently.
Scalable kiosk software
OpenKiosk is primarily designed with the multi-user network in mind. From a library containing 20 public browsing terminals to a large internet cafe or convention center containing hundreds to thousands of kiosks or workstations, OpenKiosk is built with components that are designed to scale up. It is not meant to be used on a single stand-alone computer
The Openkiosk system is basically composed of two parts. The first program is called NodeView. It acts as the OpenKiosk central server containing the client information database. It is responsible for administering all the clients on the network either automatically or manually. Monitoring and controlling the workstations can be done locally via the graphical user interfaces or remotely from a Java Applet in a browser.
The second part is simply called "The Client". It is the actual program that sits between the customer and the operating system interface on the workstations. It is the software which physically limits the user's access to the Internet, network resources, the local programs on the workstation itself. For automatic usage, it can take in membership card login. It is also possible to interface to much more advanced hardware readers such as smart card readers. The client is also capable of simple but important tasks such as remote shutdown, and instant messaging.
Presently, there are two versions of clients. The X11 Unix version, which is an applet that sits on top of the KDE panel (requires at least KDE 3.X) and the Windows version (Windows 95,98,NT,2000,XP).