Simple kiosk box by Debian(or Ubuntu?)

5 min readJul 24, 2021

Only use xorg, openbox & firefox

  1. Install a minimal Debian
Minimal Debian

2. Install xorg, openbox.

xinit package is smaller than xorg package, but xinit does not have default x-term, if you don’t need x-term or want to use your favorit terminal, install xinit instead of xorg.

root@mini:~# apt update && apt upgrade
root@mini:~# apt install -y xorg openbox

3. Check the openbox.

It shows a black screen. When you click the right mouse button, then pop-up menu will pop up. However, all menu does not work except, “Terminal emulator”, “Restart” and “Exit”, because we did not install the menu application.

Visit, you can get a lot of infomation about “openbox”

root@mini:~# startx

4. Remove all ttyN except tty1 for openbox.

When you type “CTRL+ALT+F1 ~ F6”, the virtual terminals(VT) show up. We don’t need extra VTs, so we will remove tty[2 ~6], F2 ~ F6, which are default VTs. Exit the open box by clicking the “Exit”.

Open the ‘/etc/systemd/logind.conf’, and edit like

root@mini:~# vi /etc/systemd/logind.conf.

Reboot the system and run ‘startx’.

root@mini:~# /sbin/reboot

There is the only tty1. You can test it by “CTRL+ALT+F2 ~ F6”.

5. Create auto-login

We need to auto-log with the standard user which is created when we install Debian. Create a ‘/etc/systemd/system/getty@tty1.service.d/override.conf through

root@mini:~# systemctl edit getty@tty1[Service]
ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin <user> --noclear %I 38400 linux
root@mini:~# systemctl enable getty@tty1.service
root@mini:~# /sbin/reboot

The system will reboot with the <user> without asking password.