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  1. #1

    Question Having trouble preventing users from changing wallpaper/settings

    Hello! I'm having a problem, I need to lock down the wallpaper in ubuntu 14.04, and I thought it would be easy to do but I'm having a real problem trying to get it to work.

    Also, I posted a message on and no one has responded about it yet, please help!

    Here's my original message:

    "I'm sort of new to linux and I'm having a problem, I'm trying to prevent users from changing the desktop wallpaper (as well as other things but that is the main one)

    I know this has been asked before but none of the current topics helped me and I've been at this for more than a week, They are also kind of old topics.

    My configuration is: I installed Edubuntu 14.04, installed gnome (only using gnome for gconf and dconf to get this working, is there a way without gnome?) Have admin account, a standard account and a guest account, Wanting to lock down features on the standard account.

    I've already tried doing it in gconf, dconf and using gsettings.

    I don't want to use a guest account

    I've been trying to use gconf and dconf but it's just not making sense to me, right now I'm trying it in dconf because I couldnt get it to work in gconf, I tried setting it as mandatory and default in gconf but it didnt work (I read that gconf isn't used in the newer versions of Ubuntu in favor of dconf, so that's why I'm trying dconf), right now I'm trying to do this ( in dconf again (the wallpaper part)

    I'm under the impression that I'm supposed to create a file and put all the info they provide in there, like create the user name/database, then the keyfile (how do I make it a .d file?), then dconf update file, right? How do you get it to run after all that? Do I use a text editor like gedit? I tried going to the directory they said to and nothing is there and I wasn't able to make any new files or directory's in the GUI, and I can't move a file into there. Can you only do that through the terminal?

    It would be great if i could restrict it to only the Admin able to change settings so I tried this:

    chmod 744 /usr/bin/gnome-appearance-properties
    But, I'm getting:

    chmod: cannot access 'usr/bin/gnome-appearance-properties': No such file or directory
    when I try that. (what would the correct directory be now? Do I have to use gnome?)

    and I would rather not use this, where you put this in the startup applications:
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri "file:///usr/share/backgrounds/edubuntu_default.png"
    I've seriously tried all the help topics on the forum about this and many other web sites. Please help!


    I hope you don't mind me re-posting this, I really need some help!

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by AdamFF; 08-17-2014 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Turtle Island West
    First of all, linux is basically set up to allow users to change anything they like about their login, but nothing else on the system. I believe you are getting into individual bits of hackery to do the thing you mentioned, as it's kind of against GNU/Linux standards.

    Your chmod seems about right, and yes, that would accomplish the job but cough an error.

    If I wanted to limit a user from doing certain things, I would just remove the items from the user menus. Then they'd have to drop to console and call the program by name, and how would they know what it's called? It would take some kind of guru to do that.

    I'm sure the fallout from this is going to be a post "HELP! My sysadmin won't let me change wallpaper! What can I do?"

    Peace and Cheer.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Victoria, B.C. Canada
    Have you done a web search on linux kiosk mode? Depending on what the end game is you might find something to help.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Hey, thanks SO much for the reply's!

    What do you mean by user menu's? And how would I go about remove item's from them? Do you mean the menu like when you right click on items? in the the GUI?

    I have never heard of linux kiosk mode before but I'm going to go do some research on it, thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.

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