[Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Connected

New features which should be implemented in Porteus Kiosk Edition and the kiosk wizard.
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bburke
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[Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Connected

Post#1 by bburke » 23 Jun 2015, 18:06

My university is currently testing Porteus Kiosk as a client for our in-house digital signage CMS deployment. However, we have discovered that due to long (20-30 second) DHCP response times on our network, many of the clients running Porteus Kiosk launch the browser without a network connection, causing an error page to be displayed. As the clients do not have keyboards or mice and must run without any user interaction, refreshing the page manually is not possible. As such, I would like to request that a pre-browser connection verification feature be implemented in Porteus Kiosk.

If the solution to this problem is to ping (or wget or telnet, for example) a remote host, having the ability to configure in the wizard which host gets pinged (e.g., a LAN IP) would be preferable, as there is no guarantee that, once deployed, our clients would have access to the WAN. Configurable number of retries and delay between retries would also be a nice addition and would help this feature adapt to a plethora of network configurations.

If the solution is instead to cat /sys/class/net/DEVICE/carrier or check for a self-assigned IP with ifconfig, less interaction would be required in the wizard. Even still, retries and delay would be nice knobs to have available.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

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fanthom
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Re: [Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Conne

Post#2 by fanthom » 23 Jun 2015, 18:29

I have made a custom build which looped 'wget --spider' against the homepage before launching firefox. I never implemented it by default as the webpage could be a localpage and the kiosk would work in offline mode (playing video for example).

may ad this option to the wizard for next release.

anyway - if you would like to have it now then please contact me through support@porteus-kiosk.org and i'll prepare a custom build for you.
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bburke
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Re: [Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Conne

Post#3 by bburke » 23 Jun 2015, 19:58

Thanks for the quick reply. As a temporary workaround, I've added a delay in /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart and burned a custom image. If this feature could be added to the official release with options in the wizard, that would be great. I have a feeling it would be helpful to many users. Thanks again!

bburke
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Re: [Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Conne

Post#4 by bburke » 09 Jul 2015, 23:25

Sorry to bump my own thread, but I have something to add to the above discussion about the pre-browser delay. Given that the server hosting our CMS crashed yesterday, I thought that, in addition to the delay and number of retries knobs in the wizard, it would be nice to have the option to display a custom image after all connection attempts have failed. For example, a sysadmin could create a simple jpeg or png with a nice branded background that says "If you see this, please call the Digital Signage Manager at this number." Perhaps the image could be set as the wallpaper in the event of a total connection outage. Let me know what you think about this idea.

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fanthom
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Re: [Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Conne

Post#5 by fanthom » 10 Jul 2015, 08:32

the idea is to never start the browser and display a notification every 10 secs that 'Homepage is not available - please contact your administrator'.
perhaps the notification could be customized so you can add phone number, etc ..

what do you think?
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bburke
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Re: [Feature Request] Postpone Launching Browser until Conne

Post#6 by bburke » 10 Jul 2015, 13:48

That sounds great. All we need is a way to inform our users that something is wrong and that they should contact us. Thanks.

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