My DeLi Linux computer’s main appli­ca­tion is an inter­net access “kiosk” for guests who stay at my house. To this end I needed the machine to auto­mat­i­cally login the guest user and launch Firefox.

To auto­mat­i­cally login the user and start the GUI, I added the fol­low­ing com­mand to the guest’s /etc/rc.local file. NOTE: You have to be root to edit this file. This solu­tion was posted on the DeLi Linux forum, but I’m sure it’s applic­a­ble to any Linux distro.

su - guest -c startx

To launch an appli­ca­tion at startup, there are var­i­ous ways. The first is to edit the user account’s ~/.xinitrc file. In the case of Fire­fox, you would change this section

# start some nice programs

exec icewm-session


# start some nice programs

firefox &
exec icewm-session

The appli­ca­tion you want to start must come before the exec icewm-session com­mand. How­ever, I set­tled on using the method built into IceWM instead. Cre­ate a file ~/.icewm/startup. This file is exe­cuted by icewm-session. An exam­ple, using Firefox:

firefox &

Don’t for­get to set the startup file as executable.

chmod +x ~/.icewm/startup

I know there are tuto­ri­als and projects for cre­at­ing an inter­net kiosk using Linux, but I really didn’t care to jump through all the hoops to lock down the machine since a) it would be used infre­quently, b) it wasn’t going to be in pub­lic, and c) though the pri­mary use will be for access­ing the web, it may not be the only use. You never know. My guests may want to play some Minesweeper.

5 Responses to “Automatically Login And Start Applications (On DeLi Linux)”

  1. Jamie Kitson said on July 27th, 2007 at 8:12 pm:

    A con­ve­nient kiosk system:

  2. Brian said on July 28th, 2007 at 3:10 pm:

    Thank you for the sug­ges­tion. How­ever, the sys­tem that my post is about does not meet the rec­om­mended sys­tem require­ments, at least accord­ing to the web site.

    Web­con­verger can run well on recy­cled machines. Pen­tium 3s with 128MB of RAM are quite suit­able PCs for Webconverger.

    The page goes onto say that

    Web­con­verger can run on most PCs that meet Firefox’s min­i­mum requirements.

    which of course are

    • Pen­tium 233 MHz (Rec­om­mended: Pen­tium 500MHz or greater)
    • 64 MB RAM (Rec­om­mended: 128 MB RAM or greater)

    The PC with DeLi Linux is a P133 w/64MB of RAM—a lit­tle too low for Fire­fox 2. In fact, DeLi Linux ships with Fire­fox 1.5 with many of the secu­rity patches back­ported. Still it’s good to know there is yet another kiosk dis­tro out there.

  3. Linden LAN » Blog Archive » Automatically Login to gOS 2.0 said on January 20th, 2008 at 10:41 pm:

    […] 1024×768. This will def­i­nitely make a more appeal­ing inter­net appli­ance for my guests than my pre­vi­ous box. To make it login auto­mat­i­cally as a guest user took a bit of work, though, since this capability […]

  4. Chuck Hale said on November 11th, 2008 at 12:29 pm:

    The writeup was very help­ful.
    We’ve been using icewm for about 3 year. It’s a great light­weight desk­top for edu­ca­tional use which can be eas­ily customized.

  5. Angelina Selvy said on July 28th, 2010 at 5:35 am:

    Nice share dude Thanks