At work we are using some HP thinclients running debian with Gnome. Most of them are at the plant floor. They just run the browser but we also need the hability of closing the broser window and launch it again.
The problem is that as they need to stay open anyone, who pases by can play with it and usually change desktop settings, etc. What I would like to know if there is a way to lock gnome so nothing can be changed.
Sounds like you want Gnome Kiosk mode. Try googling for that to see what you turn up. I know that Gnome uses Gconf to control such settings, so you'll likely have to dabble with that.