Howto enable mandatory profile settings with pessulus to lock down the GNOME Linux desktop

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, Download of the day, Gentoo Linux, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop, Sys admin, Tips, Ubuntu Linux, X server last updated May 22, 2007

pessulus is a lockdown editor for GNOME, written in python.

pessulus enables administrators to set mandatory settings in GConf. The users can not change these settings. This is an excellent software something like Microsoft profile manager.

Use of pessulus can be useful on computers that are open to use by everyone, e.g. in an internet cafe. Examples of what can be locked down are the panels (no changes in the panel configuration are allowed, locking their position and their contents), some of their functions individually (disabling screen locking and log out), the web browser (disabling specific protocols, arbitrary URLs, forcing the user to be in fullscreen mode), among many others.

From the article:

The software lets you create a profile that limits a user to a set of application that a system administrator allows. It has a nice, logically structured GUI that allows administrators to choose and click checkboxes on the options that you want to deny for user access. By default all the lockdown functions are unchecked, meaning the system remains configured as is. Also, there is no button to check all the checkboxes at once; you have to choose each one by one. Moving the mouse button over a specific lockdown option gives administrators a description of that function in a popup box.
Pessulus provides four main groups for locking specific sets of applications — Main, Panel, Epiphany Web browser, and GNOME screensaver. Each group allows an administrator to limit a specific set of software or functions.

Lock down the GNOME desktop with Pessulus

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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