Can I allow people to visit one page in IE and nothing else on that computer?
February 26, 2007 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Can I allow users on a Windows computer to access only one website in one program (IE Explorer or Firefox) and nothing else on that computer?

I have a computer set up at my restaurant, which the manager uses a couple of times a day. However, it's also used for employees to sign in on their shifts, which they do online (I can use either IE or Firefox).

Now, when the manager is away I don't want the computer to be used for anything but sign-in website. I would just like the sign-in program to fill the screen, and if people want to visit another site or use another program, they would have to type a password, which only the manager would know.

Is this possible?
posted by einarorn to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
SiteKiosk is a program that will do this with IE for about $150.

Open Kiosk is a FireFox plugin that does the same. For some reason, it didn't work for us, so we use SiteKiosk. I seem to remember that it had something to do with popup windows.
posted by advicepig at 10:13 AM on February 26, 2007

Yes, the search phrase you're looking for is Kiosk Software.
posted by vacapinta at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2007

You can control this without buying anything with a set of local machine policies. In the policy editor first set the only runnable program to iexplorer and then set IE to proxy every address to localhost except for the one site you want the user to reach. Anything but the desired site will 404 and they won't be able to run any other browsers.

Other stuff like setting IE to kiosk mode and automatically starting IE when the machine is booted left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by Mitheral at 10:20 AM on February 26, 2007

Reader, begin that exercise at the shared computer toolkit, which involves kiosk mode and more.
posted by Myself at 10:33 AM on February 26, 2007

Ditto on the SiteKiosk suggestion. I've used it successfully in public terminal environments and it really locks down the computer to do that and nothing else. You can even lock down the address bar, so they'll never get to leave the single page you leave it on.
posted by mathowie at 12:22 PM on February 26, 2007

there are several free firefox addons that can do this, just search "kiosk"
posted by wreckingball at 12:35 PM on February 26, 2007

You can lock down firefox to specific websites with a proxy.pac file.

See Here for instructions on setting it up.

Your proxy.pac file needs to look like:

// Allowed sites
function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
if (0
|| dnsDomainIs(host, "")
|| dnsDomainIs(host, "")
|| {{continue with exception list}}
return "DIRECT";
else return "PROXY localhost:81";

You would also need to create a localhost web service that will return a "You are not allowed to visit this site" message on port 81.

The above will work without the extra web service, but you'll get a timeout for disallowed sites.
posted by seanyboy at 5:16 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried (and later bought) Site Kiosk and it seems to do everything I want it to do.
posted by einarorn at 12:18 PM on March 8, 2007

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