October 25, 2020

Porteus Kiosk 5.1 released, lightweight Linux operating system

2 min read

Porteus Kiosk is a lightweight Linux operating system which has been restricted to allow only use of the web browser. Furthermore, the browser has been locked down to prevent users from tampering with settings or downloading and installing software. When the kiosk boots it automatically opens the Firefox or Google Chrome browser to your chosen home page. The history is not kept, no passwords are saved, and many menu items have been disabled for total security. When the browser is restarted, all caches are cleared and it reopens automatically with a clean session to ensure no trace of history is left.

Porteus Kiosk is a full operating system that replaces Windows or any other OS during installation. While evaluating our product we recommend the installation on removable devices or in a virtual environment. When our system goes into production we strongly advise installing it on a PC hard drive.

Porteus Kiosk 5.1 released.


Major software upgrades in this release include Linux kernel 5.4.70, Google Chrome 85.0.4183.121, and Mozilla Firefox 78.3.1 ESR. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 20201004: link.

Short changelog for 5.1.0 release:

  • Silent printing feature is available again for the Firefox browser after Mozilla developers fixed the bug which we have reported to them.
  • It’s possible to wipe the guest’s home folder from the persistent partition using the ‘persistence=wipe’ parameter in remote kiosk config.
  • Enabled microphone and webcam redirection for the Citrix Workspace sessions by default.
  • Disabled ‘irc://’ and ‘ircs://’ handlers for the Firefox browser which in certain circumstances could allow an attacker to unlock default browser profile and run other applications in kiosk.
  • Enabled EFI stub support in the kernel config which is needed to boot the kiosk on some HP PCs equipped with the EFI firmware.
  • Broadcom and Realtek PHY drivers are compiled directly into the kernel to resolve PXE booting issues on some PCs.
  • Driver supporting the USB audio devices is loaded with a delay to make sure such device uses the last sound card slot. This is to prevent breaking our ‘default_sound_card=’ parameter with a random slot assignment.
  • Added VAAPI info to the debug log so it’s possible to find which video codecs could be hardware decoded by the GPU.
  • Other bugfixes and improvements.