Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 5.1 Distro Adds Support for EFI-Based HP PCs, Firefox 78.3 ESR

Porteus Kiosk 5.1

The Gentoo-based Porteus Kiosk 5.1 distribution has been released today for those who want a powerful and secure kiosk operating system to deploy on public access computers or other appliances.

Announced by Tomasz Jokiel, Porteus Kiosk 5.1 comes more than seven months after version 5.0 as a maintenance update that bumps the versions of the installed components to newer releases, and also introduces various improvements and new features.

Still powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series, Porteus Kiosk 5.1 is using Linux kernel 5.4.70 LTS, uses the portage snapshot 20201004, as well as the latest Mozilla Firefox 78.3.1 ESR open-source web browser, which is accompanied by the proprietary Google Chrome 85.0.4183.121 web browser.

The Firefox web browser including in this release is an important milestone, since it uses the latest ESR (Extended Support Release) series (Porteus Kiosk 5.0 used Firefox 68 ESR version). In addition to the numerous improvements that the new ESR branch brings, Firefox now also features silent printing.

On top of that, the Firefox web browser no longer lets users access the ‘irc://’ and ‘ircs://’ URIs, which could be used by attackers to unlock the default browser profile and execute other apps in the kiosk system.

This release also introduces a new persistence=wipe parameter in the remote kiosk configuration file that lets admins wipe the guest’s /home folder from the persistent partition, along with EFI stub support, which is required to boot Porteus Kiosk on some EFI-based HP computers.

Moreover, microphone and webcam redirection has been enabled for the Citrix Workspace sessions by default, PXE booting should work better now due to the Broadcom and Realtek PHY drivers shipping with the kernel, and USB audio support has been improved to offer compatibility with more devices.

Among other changes, Porteus Kiosk 5.1 adds VAAPI (Video Acceleration API) information to the debug log, to make it easier for developer or admins to find the video codecs used for GPU-based hardware decoding.

You can download Porteus Kiosk 5.1 right now from the official website or using the direct download link below. Porteus Kiosk works only on computers powered by Intel or AMD processors, so it won’t work on ARM devices.

Last updated 3 years ago

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