idiot proofing users?
I plan on setting up Linux with some people that aren't that competent and have borderline tendencies to destroy things. I have half the belief that if I setup Debian on the computer I'm on right now, that people will start deleting their home files and things for gnome, thus I'd have to setup the user all over again.
So, is there a way to idiot proof a user from destroying essential files to running their profile?
Just do a full backup of their user directory post-initial setup. Then if they hose anything, wipe their directory & restore the backup.
Unfortunately a lot of configuration files need to have write access for them to work so you can't really make the read-only. However config files are hidden:out of site, out of mind.
As long as you don't give them root or sudo access you should be fine. I would second the idea of backing up their startup config from their home directories to restore later.