Webconverger Customisations

I need to write up the top of this post about Webconverger, but have been busy figuring out all the useful options for it. In simple terms, its a locked down bootable kiosk. Very clever, works on 486 and 686-pae machines. Also here so I can browse this whilst booted into webconverger 😉

http://webconverger.org

Convert ISO to Live USB

How to replace the contents of a USB stick with the Webconverger ISO-hybrid downloaded file using Linux

dmesg or fdisk -l will list your inserted USB drive – usually /dev/sdx (“x” representing letter like sdb, sdc etc.).

sudo dd if=webc-VERSION.iso of=/dev/sdx

You might find specifying the additional argument bs=1M makes it faster.

Install Live USB to R/W USB

Boot Live USB Stick A
Select Install Webconverger
Insert Stick B
Select Stick B to install to
Go !

[EDIT] You may find the installer gets stuck at the command page? If so, restart, select your installer line, press TAB to bring up the boot command and edit out the “quiet” part. Then press Enter, and the install process should proceed.[/EDIT]

Configuration

Add to boot line:

For Different Homepage:
##############################################

homepage=http://example.com

For Different Keyboard Layout (in this case gb):
##############################################

xkb=-layout%20gb

To prevent screen from blanking:
##############################################

noblank

To set a blank time other than default (10 minutes):
##############################################

blank=60 – will not blank unitl an hour is up

For a Different background image:
##############################################

bgurl=http://example.com/bg.png

For a different chrome:
##############################################

chrome=webconverger – this is the default
chrome=webcnoaddressbar – disable URL bar and search bar, good for controlled access setups
chrome=webcfullscreen – fullscreen without any chrome
chrome=neon – fullscreen as used with Neon
chrome=debug – nightly testing tools, for testing crash recovery etc.

To reset the kiosk:
##############################################

kioskresetstation=10 – resets after ten minutes

Switch off machine at set time using a cronjob:
##############################################

Normally in crontab it would look like this:
00 18 * * * root poweroff

But needs encodeuri so add this to command line to shut down each day at 6pm UTC:

cron=00%2018%20*%20*%20*%20root%20poweroff

To debug (also see chrome=debug above):
##############################################

debug

To debug an installed version:
##############################################

Hold Alt or Shift keys on the install boot to get boot: prompt

This will not work if noescape is being used beforehand.

Disable upgrades to installed versions:
##############################################

noupgrade

Controlling / Limiting Access:
##############################################

iptables API

From Webconverger 18 there is a simple iptables API.

Iptables man page

E.g. to block the IP 8.8.8.8

iptables=-I%20INPUT%20-s%208.8.8.8%20-j%20DROP

You can have multiple iptables= commands and they will be processed in order.
Blacklist

Specifying hosts=http://example.webconverger.com/blacklist will replace /etc/hosts with the black list http://example.webconverger.com/blacklist.

To attempt to blacklist for example reddit.com, you would typically add lines in this format:

255.255.255.255 reddit.com
255.255.255.255 www.reddit.com

Therefore the machine would be blacklisted to surf upon reddit.com, however’s reddit’s content might be available through other websites or subdomains so this method is not fool-proof. However for simple filtering, it may just suffice.
Whitelist

To setup a simple whitelist where only sites you specify can be accessed since the DNS service is disabled, your hosts= value must contain the word whitelist.

For example: hosts=http://example.webconverger.com/whitelist

http://example.webconverger.com/whitelist contains the sites you explicitly want to resolve/allow.

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