Session Management on Public Computers

Karl Auer kauer at
Fri Jan 22 09:30:40 UTC 2016

On Fri, 2016-01-22 at 10:34 +0200, Admire Mutsikiwa wrote:
> I am running a public computer lab with 300 computers with Ubuntu as the
> cleint software. I want to limit my users to a quota say 5 hours per day.
> I  have been using the Libki system but it was not consistent as it will
> work on one session and not on the other session.  I will appreciate any
> pointers to an alternative software, even a proprietary software that works
> on Ubuntu. It will be nice if it can authenticate against an Integrated
> Library System such as Koha

Can your users log into any of these 300 computers? If so, it it with a
personal login name or as "guest"? Do you want to limit the total time
logged in across all computers, or the total time logged in to any one?

For one computer, timekpr has been resurrected and would do exactly what
you want. For lots of computers and logins that work on any of them, you
might need something better. Or hack it :-)

Integration with Koha (or whatever) will depend entirely upon how
proprietary it is - if it is basically just RADIUS or LDAP or something,
you will be able to hack something up reasonably easily. There are
existing front-ends to those. The authentication side will be easy
anyway - reliably detecting logoffs may be less so. If your
authentication backend is closed, um...

Another way (if the backend is not totally closed) might be to do a
daily export of the user database to something more hackable, and
authenticate just the lab against that. Then you are not tied to e.g.
Koha. Get skilled help though - otherwise you might inadvertently expose
the user details to attack.

How are these lab users authenticating now?

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at

GPG fingerprint: E00D 64ED 9C6A 8605 21E0 0ED0 EE64 2BEE CBCB C38B
Old fingerprint: 3C41 82BE A9E7 99A1 B931 5AE7 7638 0147 2C3C 2AC4

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list