Linutop OS Documentation

The Linutop OS is a lightweight Linux based Operating Sytem.

More info on Linutop OS.

Linutop Documentation Index


Table of Contents
1. About Linutop OS
Hardware requirements
Linutop OS for PC
Linutop OS for XS (Raspberry Pi)
Energy Efficient Computing
Get the OS
2. Download and Install the Linutop OS Free
How to install the ISO image on a bootable CD
How to install the image to create a bootable USB or SD
How to install NOOBS image on an SD card for Raspberry Pi
How to install SD image or NOOBS in a Raspberry Pi compute module
3. Full version Installation
System Installation
System backup and restoration (PC only)
Perform backups
Restore backups
System reset
Root user and passwords
4. Linutop Configuration Panel
Overview
Local settings
Display settings
On Linutop OS for PC
On Linutop OS XS (Raspberry Pi)
Network settings
Connect to the local network
Sharing data
Advanced settings (mostly PC)
5. Use your Linutop System
Available applications
Automatically start applications
Main application
Additional applications
Adding Applications
Using Synaptic (PC only)
Using a terminal (PC and Raspberry Pi)
6. Linutop OS security
Overview
Security level setup
Back to normal mode
Halt/Reboot in lock mode
7. Hardware
Touch Screens - calibration
Printers (PC only)
8. FAQ
9. Recipes & tips
Security
Prevent thunar network access
Thin client
Terminal Services client
Citrix client
Linutop OS as server
Setting up a web server

Chapter 1. About Linutop OS

Hardware requirements

Linutop OS for PC

Minimum hardware requirement for Linutop OS:

  • x86 processor (Intel, AMD), at least Pentium III (500Mhz)
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Any type of bootable storage (USB hard drive or key, IDE or SCSI drive, SSD). Your BIOS should also be able to boot the desired hardware (configuration is hardware dependant).
  • At least 1GB of disk space

The system is based on Ubuntu 14.04, and has the same hardware compatibility. To make sure your hardware is compatible, download and run the Linutop OS Free.


Linutop OS for XS (Raspberry Pi)

Minimum hardware requirement for Linutop OS XS:

  • Raspberry Pi 3, 2, b+, b & Zero
  • At least 4GB of SD card space

The system is based on Raspbian, and has the same hardware compatibility. To make sure your hardware is compatible, download and run the Linutop OS XS Free.


Energy Efficient Computing

Linutop OS is a maintenance free system for:

  • Public Internet access
  • Digital signage
  • Telecom
  • and many other uses


Get the OS

  • Linutop OS is already pre-installed on Linutop machine.

  • Linutop OS can be purchased on USB Key or SD on Linutop shop.

  • Linutop OS Free can be downloaded for free. (full version can be purchased on the Linutop shop) The Free Version has no limitation, only Linutop Kiosk and linutop Configuration Menu are in demo version most features can be used the full version is avalable on the shop and can be installed. This can be done from the Free system, following the installation documentation.


Chapter 2. Download and Install the Linutop OS Free

The Free system is provided under three forms:

  • ISO image for CD-ROM for PC
  • USB image to be installed on USB key, hard drive or flash memory for PC
  • SD image to be installed on SD card for Rapsberry Pi
  • NOOBS image to be copyed on SD card for Rapsberry Pi

Linutop OS Free can be downloaded on Linutop.com download page.


How to install the ISO image on a bootable CD

The ISO image needs to be burnt on a blank CD-ROM.

To burn the image on Windows™, download InfraRecorder and install it. Insert a blank writable CD-ROM and start InfraRecorder. Click on the Write Image button, select the Linutop .iso file and click OK.

On Linux, tools such as Brasero, K3B or wodim can burn the ISO image on CD-ROM.

Reboot your computer with the CD-ROM in the tray. The system will be run from your CDROM drive. Nothing will be written on your hard drive.


How to install the image to create a bootable USB or SD

The USB or SD image needs to be written on a USB or SD device.

On Windows™, download Disk Imager, uncompress it and execute the software. Plug in a USB key or an SD card (1GB min), select it and select the Linutop .img file. Click the Write button.

On Linux systems, use the following command, where /dev/sdX if the name of the device:

$ dd if=linutop-demo-latest.img of=/dev/sdX
In order to determine the proper device name for the usb key or SD, you can use the lsblk command:
$ lsblk

Caution

Be carefull to select the correct device.


How to install NOOBS image on an SD card for Raspberry Pi

On Windows™ or Linux, Linutop OS XS NOOBS files can simply be copied on a FAT formated SD card.

Noobs.zip decompressed files

 


How to install SD image or NOOBS in a Raspberry Pi compute module

Linutop OS XS can be install on NEC Large-Screen Pxx4 and Vxx4 Displays with Raspberry Pi Compute Module

Download and install the Compute Module boot installer. It will make the compute module visible as a storage

- For the NOOBS simply copy the NOOBS files directly on the compute module storage and restart the screen.

- For the SD image needs to be written on the compute module storage.

On Windows™, download Disk Imager, uncompress it and execute the software. Plug in a USB key or an SD card (1GB min), select it and select the Linutop .img file. Click the Write button.

 

On Linux systems, use the following command, where /dev/sdX if the name of the device:

$ dd if=linutop-demo-latest.img of=/dev/sdX
In order to determine the proper device name for the usb key or SD, you can use the lsblk command:
$ lsblk

Caution

Be carefull to select the correct device.


Chapter 3. Full version Installation

System Installation

The installation of a new Linutop OS needs to be done from a running Linutop system. This can be:

  • a system installed on a Linutop machine
  • the Linutop demo CD or USB system

You need to be connected to Internet in order to perform the installation.

In the Linutop Configuration Panel, select the Services tab, and login with your linutop.com email address and invoice number:

When logged in, a list of available OS and configurations will be available. Select the system you want to install. If you don't know which one to select, choose the first one marked as Current:

A new dialog will appear. Plug in a USB key or hard drive. The device will appear in the Target drop down list. Select it.

Caution

The target device will be ENTIRELY ERASED, deleting all the data on it if you proceed to the next step.

Click the Apply button:

The system will be downloaded and intalled on the selected device. When the end dialog appears, it is safe to remove the device.

The device can be used to boot on the same machine, or an other one.


System backup and restoration (PC only)

Perform backups

It is highly recommended to backup the Linutop OS before you start tweaking it. The entire system can be duplicated on a USB key (1G minimum).

To start the backup tool, open the Linutop Configuration Panel and click USB Backup & Restore in the Advanced tab:

A new window will appear:

Plug in the USB device on which you want to perform the backup. If several devices are connected, choose the correct one from the Target drop box.

You can choose to backup the system only, as provided by Linutop. It is recommended to have one such backup.

The other choice is to backup the system and the modifications you've done on it (added applications, configurations...). Make sure that your data and the system can fit on the USB device.

Caution

The target device will be ENTIRELY ERASED, deleting all the data on it if you proceed to the next step.

Click the Apply. When the copy is done it is safe to remove the USB device.


Restore backups

When you do a backup, the USB key can be used to boot the system. Restoring a backup is a simple operation:

  1. Boot on your backup key.
  2. Start the Linutop Backup & Restore tool.
  3. Choose the internal disk as target.
  4. Select the copy type (system only or all data).
  5. Validate.
  6. Shut down, remove the backup key and restart.

System reset

The original Linutop OS will never be altered, even if you delete files or remove applications. To restore the system to its original configuration, follow these steps:

  1. Run the Linutop Configuration Panel and select the Advanced tab. Click on the System reset button:

  2. If you really want to reset your system to the original configuration, click on the Yes button. You'll have a last chance to cancel the operation.

    The system will reboot.

  3. After the reboot, a simple menu with three choices will appear. Select what you want to do with the up and down arrow keys. Validate with the Enter key.

    The three choices are:

    Cancel the restoration

    Do nothing, and restart the system.

    Restore the system (keep user data and configuration)

    Only the installed/suppressed software will be wiped out.

    Restore the system (delete everything)

    Suppress all modifications (including data that might have been added on the system.

    Caution

    The last two choices will DELETE various elements from the system. Make sure that's what you want to do before validating.


Root user and passwords

The root account is not enabled on the Linutop OS. All administrative tasks need to be executed using sudo:

$ sudo ls /root
$ sudo service ssh restart

If a password is requested, you must use the one of your current user.

gksudo can be used instead of sudo to graphically ask for the user password.

On Linutop OS for PC, the linutop user default password is blank.

On Linutop OS XS (Raspberry Pi) the pi user default password is raspberry.

To enable the root account, set its password:

$ sudo passwd


Chapter 4. Linutop Configuration Panel

Overview

When booting the Linutop OS for the first time, the Linutop Configuration Panel will be started on the desktop. This application lets you configure the essential features of the Linutop OS.

To start the Linutop Configuration Panel later, use the Configuration Panel item from the Linutop menu:


Local settings

The first tab of the Linutop Configuration Panel will let you configure your local settings:

  • language
  • keyboard layout
  • timezone

Clicking on each button will start a new dialog, allowing the make your choice.

Note: Modifying the language first will update the keyboard layout and timezone as well.


Display settings

On Linutop OS for PC

By default the Linutop OS will detect the screen resolution automatically.

If you need to set a specific resolution, click the Screen configuration button. A new dialog will open, allowing to select a resolution.

Available resolutions :

  • 1920x1440
  • 1920x1200
  • 1920x1080 (Full HD)
  • 1680x1050
  • 1600x900
  • 1600x1200
  • 1440x900
  • 1440x1050
  • 1366x768 (HD)
  • 1280x1024
  • 1152x720
  • 1024x768
  • 800x600
  • 640x480


On Linutop OS XS (Raspberry Pi)

Available resolutions :

  • AUTO
  • 3820x2160 (4K test)
  • 1920x1440
  • 1920x1080 (Full HD)
  • 1920x1200
  • 1680x1050
  • 1600x900
  • 1600x1200
  • 1440x900
  • 1400x1050
  • 1366x768 (HD)
  • 1280x1024
  • 1024x768
  • 800x600
  • 640x480

Linutop display configuration menu has been designed specificaly for Raspberry Pi with most important graphics settings features in one menu.

Note: Some resolutions or videos might require more GPU memory to work properly.

Screen resolution, orientation and overscan can be easily set up .

Linutop advance display settings menu has been designed to accomodate many custom settings including Led panels configuration on Raspberry Pi.


Network settings

Connect to the local network

The Linutop OS uses Network Manager to handle connections to the local network. This tool can be accessed in the notification zone of the panel, on the bottom right corner of the screen:

A right click on the icon will let you configure the connection.

A left click on the icon will show a list of available devices. If you have WiFi hardware, discovered networks will appear. Click on the one you want to use, and the connection will be enabled. If needed, a passphrase will be prompted.


Remote access

Configure the remote access

The Linutop OS can be accessed remotely if it is connected to a network. The remote access is disabled by default. To enable it, open the Linutop Configuration Panel, go to the Network tab, and click the Configure the remote access service button.

A new dialog will appear, in which you'll be able to setup a few things:

It is highly recommended to request a password for remote access, by checking the corresponding box.

The buttons on the right column will let you manage the remote access service without rebooting the system.

Click on the Quit button when you are done.


Access the Linutop OS

The remote access uses the VNC protocol.

You will need two things to access the Linutop OS:

  • the Linutop OS IP address
  • a VNC viewer

The Linutop OS IP address is available in the About tab of the Linutop Configuration Panel:

A VNC client for Windows™ can be downloaded on the RealVNC website. Install the application and execute it. The IP address of the Linutop OS will be prompted in the Server field. Set it and click Ok:

If you set one, the password will also be prompted. Type it and click OK:

A new window will open, displaying the content of the Linutop OS desktop.


Sharing data

Accessing Windows™ shares

Access to Windows™ shared folders can be done in several ways.


Browsing

Open your home directory by double clicking the Documents desktop icon. On the panel, select Network menu.


Acces to other shared data

You can install the Gigolo from the package manager to access various types of servers (FTP, SSH, WebDAV, ...).


Share folders from the Linutop OS (PC only)

The Samba allows to share folders from your Linutop system. It is installed by default and you can configure it from the Linutop configuration pannel.


Connect via SSH (terminal connection)

The SSH allows to acces remotely to your computer with a terminal. You can start the ssh server via the configuration panel.


Static IP network configuration

Linutop OS can be configured as a fixed IP using the /etc/network/interfaces file.


auto lo
iface eth0 inet static

Address 192.168.1.81
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.254

Example of file configuration: /etc/network/interfaces


Advanced settings (mostly PC)

The Advanced tab of the Linutop Configuration Panel lets you configure some less used features.

System Backup & Restore: see details.

System Reset: see details.

The Misc frame lets you configure the following features:

Schedule a daily reboot

Restart the system every day at the configured hour. This helps cleaning the system memory, and restart in ideal conditions.

No graphical interface

For a server use, you might want to disable the graphical interface on the Linutop.

To re-enable the graphical interface, use the startx command from the console when logged in. Uncheck this setting in the Linutop Configuration Panel to automatically restart the graphical interface during boot.

To log in, use the linutop user name. The password is blank by default.

Check and try to fix filesystem errors

The system checks that the filesystem is in good shape when it boots. This is a safety that shouldn't be disabled, but this option lets you decide otherwise.

Don't update the hardware clock

If enabled, the system will not change the hardware clock setting on shutdown. It is recommended to use it on a dual boot system (Windows/Linutop OS).

Format a USB key

This option will format a USB to make it usable under Windows™.


Chapter 5. Use your Linutop System

Available applications

The Linutop OS comes with a set of installed applications. All these applications (in fact, the entire system) are open source.

Table 5-1. Linutop OS XS for PC - Main applications

Firefox

A web browser

LibreOffice

An office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation)

Linutop-kiosk

A Kiosk Web Browser and a Digital Singage Player

Linutop Configuration Panel

An complete system configuration menu tools

VLC

A multimedia player

Mirage

An image viewer

TSClient

A thin client tool (RDP, VNC, X11)

Solitaire

A card game

Ubuntu

The Linux operating base system

The Linutop OS XS is slighly different to accomodate the Raspberri Pi Platform.

Table 5-2. Linutop OS XS for RaspBerry Pi - Main applications

Epiphany

A web browser

LibreOffice

An office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation)

Linutop-kiosk

A Kiosk Web Browser and a Digital Singage Player

Linutop Configuration Panel

An complete system configuration menu tools

VLC

A multimedia player

Mirage

An image viewer

Solitaire

A card game

Debian

The Linux operating base system

These applications are integrated in a desktop environment called Xfce. It is the application handling the windows, background, icons, file manager...


Automatically start applications

Main application

This application will automaticaly start an application just after boot, if the application unexpectedly stops, it will be automaticaly restarted.

The automatic startup of the main application used on the Linutop can be configured in the Linutop Configuration Panel, on the General tab:

The Selected line shows which application is currently set to be started automatically. Clicking on its button will start the AppStarter application:

The drop down menu on the top on the window will let you select the application you want to start. For each application, a specific menu will be displayed on the bottom part of the window.

Two choices are common to all applications:

Disable the screen saver

This option will forbid the screen saver to start (handy for digital signage applications).

Hide the mouse cursor

If no mouse movement is detected, the mouse pointer will disappear after a second.

Note: The flashplayer will automaticaly switch to fullscreen mode after a few seconds.

To test your settings, click the Run a test button.

Validate your choice by clicking the OK button. The newly selected application will appear in the Linutop Configuration Panel.


Additional applications

More applications can be automatically started, using the desktop session mechanism.

To set this up, select in the main menu : Settings Manager. In the settings menu, select the Session and Startup Item, then the Application Autostart tab.

Click the Add button to add a new application to autostart.


Adding Applications

Using Synaptic (PC only)

The Linutop OS is based on Ubuntu, a Linux operating system. Ubuntu provides access to a software library containing around 40.000 packages. All these packages contain applications or tools, and can be easily downloaded and installed. All you need is an Internet connection.

To access the collection of software, start the Synaptic Package Manager from the System menu. The main window will open:

Click the Reload button to refresh the informations about the packages.

You can browse through the multiple categories to have an overview of what is available. Hit Ctrl+F to open the search box:

Click the Search button to start the search. A filtered list of packages will be available in the main window. To install a selected application, follow the following steps:

  1. Right click on the line corresponding to the package, and select Mark for installation in the popup menu:

  2. Reproduce the previous step for all the packages you want to install.

  3. Click the Apply to start the installation:

Warning

To keep the installed packages after a reboot, make sure to be in persistent mode.


Using a terminal (PC and Raspberry Pi)

You can also add an application using linux system command :


$ sudo apt-get install packageName
You can use the tab key for autocompletion.


Chapter 6. Linutop OS security

Overview

The Linutop OS offers a security system bound to its internal architecture. It uses the concept of LiveCD, but makes it more flexible.

The system is contained in a single file that can't be modified. No matter what happens on the system, you'll always be able to restore the original state of the system using this file.

By default the Linutop OS behaves like any system. Anything you do is written on disk and will still be there after a reboot. Administration tasks will require a master password.

Switching the system in Lock mode will make all new changes temporary. After having configured the system to your needs, switching to this mode will allow to discard all new changes on reboot. You'll always find the same start at startup.


Security level setup

The choice of the security level can be done in the Linutop Configuration Panel, Security tab. Check the Linutop Lock box to enable high security.

The Lock mode offers additional options:

  • the admin password can be changed (Password button)

  • security options can be added/removed (Setup button):


Back to normal mode

To switch back to normal mode, you'll have to execute the Linutop Configuration Panel and uncheck the Linutop Lock in the Security tab.

If you've disable the startup menu and the desktop icons, you can use the Ctrl+Alt+s shortcut.

The password you've defined when you switched to lock mode will be asked to start the application. Don't forget this password!


Halt/Reboot in lock mode

To halt or reboot the system in lock mode, start the Linutop Configuration Panel and go to the Tools tab.


Chapter 7. Hardware

Touch Screens - calibration

Most touch screen work out of the box on the Linutop OS. You might need to calibrate them though. To do so, start the calibration tool from the System menu:

This tool will ask you to touch four points on the screen and will change the settings dynamically. Settings will be reloaded at each boot.

Some touch screens are known to work well:

  • ASUS all in one
  • ASUS eeetop
  • eGalax touch screens
  • EloTouch touch screens


Printers (PC only)

To configure printers, start the Printing tool:

Click the Add button to configure a new printer. The system will try to autodetect connected printers.

Network printers can also be configured. Here is an exemple for a HP printer:

The printer will appear in the main interface list after configuration:


Chapter 8. FAQ

Can I disable the screen saver?

Yes, in the main menu, select System Preferences Screensaver. Change the Mode to Disable Screen Saver.

How can I take a screenshot?

Use the print screen key to take a snapshot of the whole screen, and alt+print screen to take a snapshot of the active window.

I'm prompted a login and a password, what should I use?

The login is linutop and the password is blank (unless you've activated the lock mode).

I want a fancy desktop with lots of effects. Is it possible?

You can enable compiz (if the hardware supports it) in the last tab of the appearance setup tool (System Preferences Appearance).


Chapter 9. Recipes & tips

Security

Prevent thunar network access

By default thunar can access your network. to secure/prevent this network access for a public kiosk, use the command below.


$ sudo chmod 000 /usr/share/gvfs/mounts/network.mount
And if you want to put it back:

$ sudo chmod 644 /usr/share/gvfs/mounts/network.mount
You need to restart your computer in order to apply the change.


Thin client

Terminal Services client

The Linutop OS provides tools to run Terminal Services sessions. This can be done by using either Terminal Server Client (Internet menu), a graphical application, or by using rdesktop.

Using rdesktop will let you automate the connection to the server. To do so, run the autostart configuration tool, select Custom Command, and define a command like:

$ rdesktop -f -k fr 192.168.1.1
This will connect to the TS server 192.168.1.1, display le login screen in fullscreen, and use a french keyboard to transmit key events.


Citrix client

Citrix provides an ICA client for Linux, usable on the Linutop OS. You can download it from their website (select the .deb download). Save the file in your home directory (/home/linutop). This file can now be installed using the dpkg package manager:

  1. open a terminal (in the menu, Accessories Terminal)

  2. copy the following command and validate with the Enter key:

    $ sudo dpkg -i /home/linutop/icaclient*deb
    

To use the client, start Terminal Server Client (Internet menu), and select ICA as Protocol.


Linutop OS as server

Setting up a web server

All the commands listed here have to be typed in a terminal (in the menu, Accessories Terminal).


Apache HTTP server

To install the Apache web server, install the apache2 package:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2

To make sure it is installed, start firefox and go to the url http://localhost.

The web pages have to be copied in /var/www by default.


PHP

To install PHP, install the libapache2-mod-php5 package:

$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5

To make sure it works edit /var/www/test.php:

$ sudo gedit /var/www/test.php

Put this line in the file and save it:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Go to http://localhost/test.php in firefox, you should see the PHP informations page.


MySQL Database server

To install a database server (MySQL), install the mysql-server and associated tools:

$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server php5-mysql

A password will be prompted for the root user. It is the MySQL administrator login/password, needed to perform actions on databases.

To install a frontend for the sql server use:

$ sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Questions about phpmyadmin configuration will be asked, select apache2 for the first question, select no for the second. Go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin in firefox to use the frontend. The login is root and the password is the MySQL one.