How to Easily Turn Your Computer Into an Internet Kiosk

An Internet kiosk is fairly common in cafes and airports. If you have the need to install an Internet kiosk in your shop or home, there is no need to pay for a custom solution. With a little hack, you can easily turn your existing computer into an Internet kiosk.

Here is how you can do it for Linux (Ubuntu), Windows and Mac OS X.

Turning your Ubuntu machine into an Internet kiosk

Note: while the steps below are for a Ubuntu machine with Unity desktop, the general instructions will work for any other distro as well.

Setting up a new user account

1. Open up “User accounts” in the “System Settings.”


2. Click the “Unlock” button on the top right, followed by the “+” button at the bottom left.


3. Give the new user a name, something like “KioskUser,” and set its account type to “Standard.” Click Add.


4. Next, click the “Account disabled” button beside the Password field and set the action to “Log in without a password.” An optional setting is to change the “Automatic login” field to “ON.” This will automatically log the kiosk user into kiosk mode when you boot up the computer.


Setting up browser

Google Chrome (or Chromium) comes with a kiosk mode that you can use to display the browser in full screen. If you have not installed Chrome, you can do so by downloading the .deb files from the Google Chrome site. If you prefer to go with Chromium, you can install it from Ubuntu Software Center, or with the command:

One thing of note is that the kiosk mode for Chrome/Chromium doesn’t come with the URL and Tab bar. If you find it lacking in features, you can use Firefox in Full Screen mode as well.

Setting up kiosk desktop

Open up a terminal and type the following command:

and paste the following to the terminal:

Press “Ctrl + o” to save and “Ctrl + x” to exit.

Next, type the following command:

and paste the following:

You can change the startup URL to your preferred site.

For Firefox, replace the google-chrome... line with this:

Press “Ctrl + o” to save and “Ctrl + x” to exit.

And lastly:

Setting up the kioskuser account

Now log out of your current administrator account and log in to the kioskuser account. Open the Chrome/Firefox browser. Maximize it to fill up the whole screen. For Firefox, you can install the mKiosk extension and enable kiosk mode by default.

Next, open the “Brightness & Lock” settings under “System Settings.” Turn the Lock switch to OFF and uncheck the box that state “Require my password when waking from suspend.”


Lastly, log out of the kioskuser account. Click on the icon to select the Desktop Environment. Select “Kiosk Mode.”


That’s it.

Turning your Windows 8 machine into an Internet kiosk

If you are using Windows 8, you can follow this tutorial that we have written earlier to turn your Windows 8 computer into an Internet kiosk.

Turning your Mac OS X machine into an Internet kiosk

The easiest way to turn your Mac OS X machine into an Internet kiosk is via the eCripser kiosk app. What this app does is open up a browser window that cannot be closed without an administrator password.


There is plenty of customization for the kiosk, like setting the default home page URL, placing your business logo, setting up time restriction for each usage, etc.


eCrisper costs $79 but comes with a free trial so you can evaluate first before buying. It is definitely not a cheap solution, but it sure can get your kiosk set up very quickly and easily.


While there are vendors that sell commercial kiosk booths, they do cost a ton and probably also run the same software as your desktop computer. With this simple hack, you can easily turn your computer into an Internet kiosk, either for free or with a minimal amount. Do let us know if this is working for you.

Image credit: Hong Kong Airport Satellite Terminal Interior, Internet Kiosk at Narita Airport Station

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Webconverger and Porteus Kiosk are distros designed specifically for running Internet kiosks. They are stripped of all the extraneous software that comes with a full blown distro such as Ubuntu.

    1. @Darren, can you check is “kiosk.desktop” created in the “/usr/share/xsessions” folder?

    2. Try to use latest version of mKiosk plugin. See:

  2. Ubuntu Kiosk mode:

    Description works flawlessly! Now, how could get out of it, log out and start a normal session with my admin account for example?? Pressing F11 does neither exit nor anything else.

    So please how do I log in to another user???

    By the way, pressing the “Turn off” button of your computer at least solves the shutdown for me now.

  3. I solved deleting via “sudo rm -rvf /usr/share/xsessions/kiosk.desktop” in Console 1 (press ctrl+alt+f1) file! So this was easy, but more sophisticated:

    Another interesting question is, how can I add touchscreen functionality with a keyboard to the kiosk mode?

    1. You can add the onscreen keyboard by onboard to the file. This will launch the onscreen keyboard together with the browser.

  4. Sorry for asking so much: Again on Ubuntu linux:

    How can I change now the resolution (do I need a xorg.conf, which is missing (not needed, but now??) in modern ubuntu distributions?). I have various monitors but for example on my 1280×1024 monitor it prints a fat black strip at the right side, and does only use approx. 1024×1024 or something like that….

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