Using Kiosk Server Remotely or Other Solutions

'User made' tutorials related to Porteus Kiosk edition.
Official kiosk documentation can be find here: http://porteus-kiosk.org/documentation.html
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TXiAccess
White ninja
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Joined: 04 May 2018, 19:06
Distribution: Kiosk 4.6.0

Using Kiosk Server Remotely or Other Solutions

Post#1 by TXiAccess » 04 May 2018, 19:44

Hi all,

I'm new to Porteus Kiosk and Kiosk Server. We are setting up about 5 to 10 kiosks in various locations around the country. I've created an html demo presentation that will be hosted locally on each machine (persistence turned on, the files placed into guest directory, and locked to that local file page as the homepage). The first machine I'm testing works great setting it up in this manner. My question comes in on how I can access these machines remotely? Each machine will be in some state government office and the firewalls/network structure is going to be different in each case. A few of them, I may be able to get IT to port forward for me to do SSH, but some of the offices are not going to want to do this.

I have 2 main goals like I would like to be able to achieve remotely:

1. The primary need is a way to access and swap the local html files if we need to update content (Please note: you might suggest I just host an actual website for this but the reason I want it to be local is so that the kiosk will function even if internet connectivity drops and also because there is a video in the presentation and I don't want any slowdowns in buffering, this needs to run smoothly and perfectly every time, thus moving it locally). This is why I was mentioning SSH but, as I said, it would be difficult to get every locations IT dept to want to port forward for me.

2. The secondary thing I would like to have is a way to check in that the kiosks are online. This is not an absolute must have, it would just be nice to do. If there's an easier way to achieve goal number one without this, that's fine.


I've looked into the Kiosk Server but I'm not able to find a lot of documentation on how to set it up. It mentions that it must be on the network with the kiosk clients but, with the kiosks in all different offices, that's not possible. So could it be accessible remotely? If so, how are the kiosks connecting in that case? Do they automatically connect outbound over 443 (meaning I shouldn't have issues with firewalls since there's no inbound requests and it's just using the standard https port)? I have a lot of flexibility here at our office, for the server. I can set up anything I need to on my router and I can even devote a public IP solely to the kiosk server if necessary. Sorry for all the questions but I'm at a complete loss here.

I'm new to Porteus Kiosk and I'm a Linux novice still so that you all and sorry for any stupid questions! I'm open to any and all advice on how to do this. I'm just starting out, so I have the flexibility of changing course here.

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fanthom
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Using Kiosk Server Remotely or Other Solutions

Post#2 by fanthom » 05 May 2018, 06:21

"I've looked into the Kiosk Server but I'm not able to find a lot of documentation on how to set it up."
Please start here:
http://porteus-kiosk.org/server.html#requirements

"It mentions that it must be on the network with the kiosk clients"
Nope. It must be in a location which is accessible by the clients. This is different from "it must be on the network with the kiosk clients". Documentation says:
"Client must be able to reach Porteus Kiosk Server on port 443 the same way its accessing e.g. google.com website"

Its enough that you configure clients to connect to your router's public IP (use dyndns if IP is dynamic) and some port, e.g. 8443. Then you redirect a traffic from port 8443 to local IP of the server and port 443 in your router settings.

This parameter should be used in kiosk's config:

Code: Select all

kiosk_server=router_IP:8443
or

Code: Select all

kiosk_server=router_domain:8443
Of course you can set the port to any number (outgoing traffic on port 443 is more than likely allowed in any network so 'router_domain:443' may be the best choice).

Thanks
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

TXiAccess
White ninja
White ninja
Posts: 6
Joined: 04 May 2018, 19:06
Distribution: Kiosk 4.6.0

Using Kiosk Server Remotely or Other Solutions

Post#3 by TXiAccess » 07 May 2018, 13:52

fanthom, thank you so much for your help, that definitely gives me what I need to get going! My only last question would be - does access through the server (with the client going outbound on 443) give me the ability to swap/drop-in files that I'm needing? Or do I still need some kind of additional, separate SSH access?

Thanks!

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fanthom
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Using Kiosk Server Remotely or Other Solutions

Post#4 by fanthom » 07 May 2018, 14:00

All the client->server traffic (SSH, VNC, rsyslog, custom commands, etc) will go through SSL tunnel to port 443 of the server.
No need to open any other ports.

As an admin you may want to access PK Server over SSH and VNC if its hosted in a remote location, in this case incoming traffic on PK Server IP and ports 22/5900 must be allowed.

Thanks
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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