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Smallest Operating System for Kios mode only


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#1 Iznogoud

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 01:42 PM

I am trying to create/find the smallest operating system wich can be used for Kiosk purpose only.
What i want to accomplish is creating a Ramdisk with files wich can boot up a small OS.
This OS only have one application and that is an Internet Browser, like Firefox.

I am creating a LiveXP cd wich i have stripped all the applications wich were preinstalled with WinBuilder and it reduced to 67 Mb.
But this is still not the enviroment i am looking for.

Is there someone wich could give me a push in the right direction?

#2 Iznogoud

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 09:07 PM

I am trying to create/find the smallest operating system wich can be used for Kiosk purpose only.
What i want to accomplish is creating a Ramdisk with files wich can boot up a small OS.
This OS only have one application and that is an Internet Browser, like Firefox.

I am creating a LiveXP cd wich i have stripped all the applications wich were preinstalled with WinBuilder and it reduced to 67 Mb.
But this is still not the enviroment i am looking for.

Is there someone wich could give me a push in the right direction?


Is my english so bad or is this a problem wich can't be solved?

#3 was_jaclaz

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 09:24 PM

Is my english so bad or is this a problem wich can't be solved?


No, your English appears to be very good :1st:, maybe your post lacks a bit of detail.

I mean, WHY is the system you put together not satisfying?

Does it miss some features, or does it have too many of them?

I don't know if it would be better to take something out of your current build, (of course, not knowing what you took out and what you left in, it is rather difficult to give you any advice) or to start from a very minimal one and add some other features you need (which again, not knowing what they are appears as a rather disputable topic).

Please do read "common sense" advice, contained in Rules here:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showtopic=82

with particular attention to points b., c. and d. then scroll a bit up and re-read Rule #12

jaclaz

#4 Alexei

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 07:59 AM

I am trying to create/find the smallest operating system wich can be used for Kiosk purpose only.

You can try http://www.menuetos.net/
:1st:
Alexei

#5 Nuno Brito

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:08 AM

Alexei, you forgot to read this part:

...This OS only have one application and that is an Internet Browser, like Firefox.


How would menuet run firefox?? :1st:


Iznogoud, I think you'd be quite happy trying out the project in which LiveXP is based. You can find it on wb's Download Center under the name of nativeEx.

It is a very slim version and reaches around 31Mb if you disable those scripts that add feature you don't require. As for firefox - you can find it as a script under NativePE (similar names but different developers).

NativePE is also based on nativeEx so you can download all scripts from this project and try them on the slimmed nativeEx.

Hope this helps, good luck! :thumbup:

#6 Iznogoud

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 02:07 PM

No, your English appears to be very good :1st:, maybe your post lacks a bit of detail.

I mean, WHY is the system you put together not satisfying?

Does it miss some features, or does it have too many of them?

I don't know if it would be better to take something out of your current build, (of course, not knowing what you took out and what you left in, it is rather difficult to give you any advice) or to start from a very minimal one and add some other features you need (which again, not knowing what they are appears as a rather disputable topic).

Please do read "common sense" advice, contained in Rules here:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showtopic=82

with particular attention to points b., c. and d. then scroll a bit up and re-read Rule #12

jaclaz


Little explaining.
Oke, i was making an asumption that you knew what kios mode meant.
The problem wich i have with the LiveXP is that it still starts an explorer. I have tried to remove this option and only let start Opera. (This browser is standard in LiveXp)
But i get errors building the cd and when i rumble with some options i get the explorer back :thumbup:

I want to make an LiveXp or NativeXp or VistaPE image, don't care wich one, it only has to be small.
Withing this image all application must or can be stripped and i only want to get Firefox or maybe if possible Internet Explorer 7.
The advantage of this image is when "stupid" people are browsing on the internet they download virusses etc, if you reboot this image it's all clean again.
The reason why i want it as small as possible is the faster it will boot and hopefully i can create a ramdisk in Windows Xp where it can boot from.

I will try NativeXp now instead of LiveXp wich one of you advised me to do. In the mean while if you people got some tips for me, please let me know.

#7 pscEx

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 03:06 PM

I will try NativeXp now instead of LiveXp wich one of you advised me to do. In the mean while if you people got some tips for me, please let me know.

NativeEx will not be very different, as long as it uses PELoader to start Explorer.
(If you do not know yet: I'm the developer of the nativeEx core which is used in LiveXP and NativePE)
Try to use OB1 (that's smaller for tests) as shell.
Look into nativeEX cmd script, how to use cmd.exe as shell and do similar.

I have no idea wheter this works, but the issue seems interesting for me. Next week I'll do some trials.

Peter

#8 was_jaclaz

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 03:30 PM

Oke, i was making an asumption that you knew what kios mode meant.

Well, your assumption is correct, I think I know what kiosk mode means :1st: , what you were missing was that "kiosk mode" does NOT mean "NO explorer - or any other - shell or windows manager".

You actually NEED to have a shell or windows manager to be able to run a GUI browser.

Having Explorer or other similar filemanager enabled shell dos NOT make ANY difference when it comes to "kiosk" mode and to :

The advantage of this image is when "stupid" people are browsing on the internet they download virusses etc, if you reboot this image it's all clean again.

simply disable access to your "real" Hard Disk, and only allow read/writes to the RAMdisk.

Of course using a very light one will contribute in reducing your image footprint, that's why i originally suggested you Native_ex:
http://www.msfn.org/...nux_t99019.html

Since the "stupid" people you are referring to, together with the kiosk mode request you made make me presume you are talking about your prospective customers :thumbup:, it would be maybe more "politically correct" and in the long run more rewarding, getting the habit of defining them as "less experienced". :thumbup: :thumbup:

jaclaz

#9 Nuno Brito

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 04:42 PM

Here are the steps that I think that should produce you a good result to run firefox in fully automatic manner.
  • Open wb on a new and clean folder
  • Go to the download center
  • Select "Minimum" on the box
  • On the list you can deselect available project and leave only NativeEx and Tools untouched
  • Inside nativeEx you should also select for download the script.project file
  • Click download to get this project from the net
  • Next we need firefox and here's the direct link
  • Save this file as "firefox.script" inside the NativeEx folder (If possible, create a folder called apps and place it inside)
  • Now we will define firefox as the default shell, you should copy&paste the text below:

    [main]
    Title=Set Firefox as default shell
    Description=This script will set firefox as the default system shell
    Selected=True
    Level=4
    Version=004

    [process]
    echo,"Loading setup registry hive.."
    RegHiveLoad,"Build","%targetdir%\i386\system32\setupreg.hiv"
    echo,"Writing new value.."
    RegWrite,HKLM,0x1,"Build\Setup","CmdLine","explorer.exe"
    echo,"Unloading hive.."
    RegHiveUnLoad,"Build"
    echo,"All done"

  • You can save this file and place it on the same folder as firefox, you should name it firefoxshell.script.
  • One detail: Look on the red text in bold letters - you will need to create your boot disk and then replace this red text with the proper path to your firefox.exe. If your source is english it would be something like "X:\Programs\FireFox\firefox.exe". After booting your disk for the first time you can then correct this value and firefox will start instead of explorer.
  • Don't forget to press the refresh button on WB or restart the program to display all new scripts.


I'm not sure if you can follow these steps in blind folded way, so please read them and try to understand what needs to be done. It's not dificult but will require some time concentration.

If you have any more douts I'll be here to help.

btw: If you omit explorer as shell how are you planning to start the network services? Perhaps Peter can reference better how to solve this issue.

:1st:

#10 Iznogoud

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 05:42 PM

Since the "stupid" people you are referring to, together with the kiosk mode request you made make me presume you are talking about your prospective customers :thumbup:, it would be maybe more "politically correct" and in the long run more rewarding, getting the habit of defining them as "less experienced". :thumbup: :thumbup:

jaclaz


Jaclaz, i am not referring to my customers because i don't have any yet :1st:
But in general people who don't know what they are doing and click yes or do everything to get there where they want to go.
But you are right, is more respectfull.

Here are the steps that I think that should produce you a good result to run firefox in fully automatic manner.

  • Open wb on a new and clean folder
  • Go to the download center
  • Select "Minimum" on the box
  • On the list you can deselect available project and leave only NativeEx and Tools untouched
  • Inside nativeEx you should also select for download the script.project file
  • Click download to get this project from the net
  • Next we need firefox and here's the direct link
  • Save this file as "firefox.script" inside the NativeEx folder (If possible, create a folder called apps and place it inside)
  • Now we will define firefox as the default shell, you should copy&paste the text below:
  • You can save this file and place it on the same folder as firefox, you should name it firefoxshell.script.
  • One detail: Look on the red text in bold letters - you will need to create your boot disk and then replace this red text with the proper path to your firefox.exe. If your source is english it would be something like "X:\Programs\FireFox\firefox.exe". After booting your disk for the first time you can then correct this value and firefox will start instead of explorer.
  • Don't forget to press the refresh button on WB or restart the program to display all new scripts.
I'm not sure if you can follow these steps in blind folded way, so please read them and try to understand what needs to be done. It's not dificult but will require some time concentration.

If you have any more douts I'll be here to help.

btw: If you omit explorer as shell how are you planning to start the network services? Perhaps Peter can reference better how to solve this issue.

:thumbup:


I will follow your mini guide tonight and let you know what it become of it, thank you for so far.

#11 was_jaclaz

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:01 AM

Jaclaz, i am not referring to my customers because i don't have any yet :1st:


Yep, since you have not (yet :thumbup:) a "product" to sell, I had gathered that much, so I used the adjective "prospective":
http://www.wordrefer...ion/prospective

as a small "good luck" wish for your supposed future activity :thumbup:

:thumbup:

jaclaz

#12 Iznogoud

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:19 AM

Jaclaz, i am not referring to my customers because i don't have any yet :1st:
But in general people who don't know what they are doing and click yes or do everything to get there where they want to go.
But you are right, is more respectfull.
I will follow your mini guide tonight and let you know what it become of it, thank you for so far.


When i follow you steps and when i start for building the image i get 2 errors when WinBuilder want to create the ISO.

First error:
He can't find the 7za.exe in \Projects\Tools\

Second error:
He can't find the mkisofs.exe in \Projects\Tools\

After these 2 errors WinBuilder stops and i am not seeing an image in the ISO folder.

I will manually copy these files from an previous folder where i downloaded everything, don't know it this is the right way, but i could try.

And what you said about the Network settings etc., thats a could point. What can you do with an Internet browser wich doesn't have netwerk support :thumbup:

First thing first, i will try to complete the ISO as you subscribed above.

-EDIT-

The ISO was created after i copied those files. When i boot yhe ISO it gives an error of:
hiderun: Windows can't find the file hiderun. etc.etc.
Windows Update: There has been an error with installing browseui.dll.
Windows Update: There has been an error with installing shdocvw.dll.
hiderun: Windows can't find the file hiderun. etc.etc.
hiderun: Windows can't find the file hiderun. etc.etc.

Sorry for not copying the complete error, this is because i have a dutch version and i don't know the exact error in english. I could translate but i know if i correctly translate the error it will not be exact the same as you would get in an English Windows XP.

#13 Nuno Brito

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:53 AM

Try downloading all files from the Tools folder - it's not a project, but most files inside are used by all scripts.

browseui.dll and shdocvw.dll are symptons that the ramdisk wasn't created - and this happens because emulated RAM is simply too little. Look on the qemu script - from there you can increase the emulated ram to a value that works on your machine. (you can also burn a CD/RW and try on a real machine..)

About network connectivity - I think the really simple solution would be downloading the nativeEx project, include firefox and still include explorer.exe as default shell.

This is far simpler since you don't need to worry about anything more (network support is included and should work without need to edit anything) and the boot disk is still read-only wich means that users won't be able to ruin it..


If you want a RAM bootable disk - there are also scripts done for this, but you will need to use a windows 2003 source to use the RAM files. Search the forum and you'll find the answers you need.


Also helps if you upload your log.html file - it is the most complete way to let us know how your project is done.

Good luck. :1st:

#14 Iznogoud

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:41 PM

Try downloading all files from the Tools folder - it's not a project, but most files inside are used by all scripts.

browseui.dll and shdocvw.dll are symptons that the ramdisk wasn't created - and this happens because emulated RAM is simply too little. Look on the qemu script - from there you can increase the emulated ram to a value that works on your machine. (you can also burn a CD/RW and try on a real machine..)

About network connectivity - I think the really simple solution would be downloading the nativeEx project, include firefox and still include explorer.exe as default shell.

This is far simpler since you don't need to worry about anything more (network support is included and should work without need to edit anything) and the boot disk is still read-only wich means that users won't be able to ruin it..
If you want a RAM bootable disk - there are also scripts done for this, but you will need to use a windows 2003 source to use the RAM files. Search the forum and you'll find the answers you need.
Also helps if you upload your log.html file - it is the most complete way to let us know how your project is done.

Good luck. :1st:


About the qemu script. If i follow your directions qemu isn't an option wich is available. So i booted the iso with VMware wich had 256mb available to use.
Oke if i/we step of this problem with not using explorer. Is it possible to create a NativeXp with explorer as shell where Firefox is installed and autostarted?

You made me thinking, if people closed firefox they couldn't start it again. Now if we do it with an explorer shell and 1 shortcut on the desktop. If they close Firefox accidently, they can start it again.

#15 Nuno Brito

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:15 PM

We've been discussing for a few weeks now an easy way to create shortcuts, and there is a new way which might help you.

- Open the firefox script with notepad or using wb's editor (select the script, click on edit and select the source code tab)

- Add these values on the respective sections:

[variables]

%ProgramTitle%=Firefox

%ProgramEXE%=Firefox.exe

%ProgramFolder%=Firefox



[process]

Add_Shortcut,Desktop

Add_Shortcut,AutoStart

You need to check the values under the [variables] section because I didn't had the firefox script to ensure that they are all valid.

Here's a quick explanation:
%programtitle% is the title that will be displayed on your shortcuts
%programexe% is the executable that will be run
%programfolder% is the folder where all files are placed (no need to add X:\programs or anything else - just add the respective folder name which I think that should be just firefox)

And that's it!

Next time you run the script it will add a shortcut on desktop and another on the autostart...

:1st:

#16 Iznogoud

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 09:03 PM

We've been discussing for a few weeks now an easy way to create shortcuts, and there is a new way which might help you.

- Open the firefox script with notepad or using wb's editor (select the script, click on edit and select the source code tab)

- Add these values on the respective sections:

[variables]

%ProgramTitle%=Firefox

%ProgramEXE%=Firefox.exe

%ProgramFolder%=Firefox



[process]

Add_Shortcut,Desktop

Add_Shortcut,AutoStart

You need to check the values under the [variables] section because I didn't had the firefox script to ensure that they are all valid.

Here's a quick explanation:
%programtitle% is the title that will be displayed on your shortcuts
%programexe% is the executable that will be run
%programfolder% is the folder where all files are placed (no need to add X:\programs or anything else - just add the respective folder name which I think that should be just firefox)

And that's it!

Next time you run the script it will add a shortcut on desktop and another on the autostart...

:1st:


Just to make sure, do i need the BETA version of WinBuilder to create an ISO with the Firefox script?

I get this event in the log screen:
This script needs WinBuilder version 071 beta 3 or newer!

Its maybe to obvious, but i want to make sure i am not doing things wrong.

BTW. the variables you provided me above, wheren't available. Just for your information :thumbup:
I added them anyway.

#17 Nuno Brito

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 09:23 PM

Sorry, forgot that Peter has already updated his project to work with the new CopyOrExpand command (faster) instead of the older Expand.

You can get the latest beta from here:
http://www.boot-land...sion-t2195.html

Good luck! :1st:

#18 Iznogoud

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 04:45 PM

Sorry, forgot that Peter has already updated his project to work with the new CopyOrExpand command (faster) instead of the older Expand.

You can get the latest beta from here:
http://www.boot-land...sion-t2195.html

Good luck! :1st:


I tried the Beta version and use the same wich.
Copying the firefox script in the Apps folder
Edit the script and added the rules wich you previous supplied.
Winbuilding in a clean folder and choose for minimum download with the Tools folder and making sure of script.project.
Then builded the ISO and loaded in VMware.

I get the error "The entry "ntkrnlmp.exe" in the [SourceDisksFiles] section of the INF file is corrupt or missing.
Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.


I am using Windows 2003 source files. Am i missing something or is it just stupidity of me?

#19 was_jaclaz

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 06:39 PM

Iznogoud, but does this error only come up when adding firefox (or any other program you might have added) ?

I mean, is it a "new" error as compared to a previously working "bare" build?

If not, you should try to build WITHOUT added apps/scripts, the ntkrnlmp.exe exe should be a pretty "basic" system files, not really connected to firefox or other "external" program.

jaclaz

#20 Nuno Brito

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:45 PM

Jaclaz has a very good point since this is an extremely severe error which that a lot of things went likely wrong on your project and the basic files are not even found..

btw: Unfortunately, the newer 071 beta 4 is proven to be faulty (and buggy) when running projects, we are discussing an overall rework of the script engine to avoid memory leaks and improve overall speed and memory usage which is a good thing - but for your case this is not so good since you need a working result right now.

The latest "safe" beta to use is number 071 beta 3 - otherwise try another project like LiveXP or NativePE and disable all the scripts you don't need and try with them because they were meant to work on our latest stable 070

Also remember to post your log.html next time so that we can have a look on it..

Good luck! :1st:

#21 pscEx

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:58 AM

How to build a 'minimum' PE, see here.

Peter

#22 Nuno Brito

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 12:32 PM

Peter, beware that network support is also needed.. :1st:

#23 pscEx

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 12:36 PM

How to build a 'minimum' PE, see here.

Peter


In the case of Iznogoud: yes
In other cases: no

I'll add a constellation 'minimum_net'

EDIT: I did.

Peter

Edited by psc, 12 June 2007 - 02:47 PM.
More important information


#24 Iznogoud

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:36 PM

In the case of Iznogoud: yes
In other cases: no

I'll add a constellation 'minimum_net'

EDIT: I did.

Peter


Thank you, i will look it over right now. I tried the BETA 3 version, but i got the same error again.
I also will try different 2003 OS like the Standard or Enterprise cd, maybe that will make a difference.

-EDIT-
I presume i can also use the Firefox script wich Nuno Brito supplied me in the same way as we did before?

#25 Nuno Brito

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 09:23 PM

Yes, the script is still valid.

I also recommend first start with a working project and then work your way customizing it as you wish.

btw: your log would help to have a more clear idea on how you're building your project.. :1st:




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