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What is WCGBrowser?

wcgbrowser.png WCGBrowser is a Web Browser designed specifically for kiosks, signage, and other locked-down situations.

WCGBrowser is lightweight, simple, and fully configurable from the command line and plain-text configuration files.

WCGBrowser is open-source software released under the GPLv3, and runs on all major operating system platforms.

Why WCGBrowser?

Modern web browsers are designed for speed, convenience, and functionality. This is great for regular web browsing on your own device, but when trying to lock down a system for use as a kiosk, digital signage, or single-application use, it's rife with pain points:

  • Configuration data is often stored in binary files or databases that are hard to manage over slow WAN links and impossible to script for mass deployments.
  • Browsers are full of kiosk-unfriendly features that must be locked down; worse, they auto-update, adding new features that require a constant adjustment of lockdown strategy.
  • Special kiosk-oriented features – like auto-refresh, clearing history, removing UI components, etc. – may require 3rd party "add-ins" that tend to become unmaintained.

I wrote WCGBrowser to overcome these problems:

  • All configuration is in a plain-text YAML file. Configuration files can be per-user or system-wide.
  • Designed from the start to be a kiosk-only browser.
  • Tons of built-in kiosk-specific features:
    • Auto-refresh & clear history data on a set interval of inactivity
    • Easily enable/disable navigation controls, popup windows, plugins, printing, etc.
    • Fully configurable navigation controls & bookmarks bar
    • Built-in server/URL whitelisting
    • Lots more!

What can I do with WCGBrowser?

WCGBrowser has been used by organizations and individuals across the world anywhere a locked-down browser is needed:

  • Information terminals (Library catalogs, e.g.)
  • Digital signage
  • Interactive kiosks (Job applications, sign-in forms, etc.)
  • Locked-down browsing (for children, e.g.)

WCGBrowser, especially when run on Linux, requires minimal hardware resources; I've run it on 15-year-old PC's and PXE-booted terminals, and I'm told it runs well on first-gen Raspberry Pis.

What are the requirements?

WCGBrowser requires:

  • Python (2.7 or higher – 3.x works fine)
  • QT bindings: PyQt4, PyQt5, or PySide
  • python-yaml

It was designed primarily for use on Linux, but should work fine on OSX, BSD, Windows, and any other platform where Python runs.

How can I get WCGBrowser?

WCGBrowser is open-source software and the latest code can be downloaded from the github repository. Full documentation of its features and configuration can be found in the REAME file.

Arch Linux users can install it from the AUR.

If you need help configuring WCGBrowser for your needs or require custom features, CONTACT ME for paid support at a reasonable cost.

Author: Alan Moore

Created: 2015-03-06 Fri 10:00

Emacs 24.3.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)