PIXILAB Player with developer tools

Sometimes it is useful to create a player with settings that enables some tools for trouble-shooting. SSH access to the player, toolbars and developer tools can come in handy while testing scripts and hardware.

Follow the guide to build a standard kiosk but use the settings provided here.

Configuration File

Use the text file method to configure the player, edit and copy the text shown below to another FAT32-formatted USB stick. Put it at the root level of the USB stick, naming it kiosk-config-dev.txt or any other describing name.

connection=wired
dhcp=yes
browser=chrome
homepage_append=mac
homepage=http://pixi.guide/spot
disable_private_mode=yes
homepage_check=PIXLAB Blocks Server can't be reached. Please check your network connections.
wake_on_lan=yes
disable_zoom_controls=yes
persistence=session
primary_keyboard_layout=us
additional_components=uefi.zip initrdpxe.xz 08-ssh.xzm
root_password=pixi
browser_preferences=http://pixi.guide/public/chrome-policies.txt
hide_mouse=no
disable_navigation_bar=no

The differences compared to a standard setting are:

  • Add 08-ssh.xzm module to enable SSH.
  • Set root-password for SSH access.
  • Show the mouse
  • Show the navigation bar
  • Enable a chrome policy file stored on the Blocks server, with this any chrome policies can be set on the kiosks to change browser polices.

Managing PIXILAB Player Policies from your Blocks Server

In some cases, when using the Chrome browser with PIXILAB Player, you may need to override the browser's policies. This can be done by storing a text file named chrome-policies.txt in the directory <your-blocks-root>/public/PIXILAB_Player (where "<your-block-root>" is the location of your Blocks root directory).The path to this file is then be specified in the kiosk-config.txt file used when creating the player the, as described above. This example assumes the default domain name pixi.guide (which in your case may be another domain name, or a hardcoded IP address).

browser_preferences=http://pixi.guide/public/PIXILAB_Player/chrome-policies.txt

The "chrome-policies.txt" file must contain the following policy to be able to access the Developer tools in Chrome.

"DeveloperToolsAvailability": 1,

More information on Chrome policies and syntax can be found here.

Using SSH

In case you need to access the player with SSH, you first have to find its IP number. This can be found in the Blocks editor under Display spot settings/Information

To log on, use a ssh enabled terminal window.

:!: On Windows, you must enable OpenSSH Client under "Windows optional features".

$ ssh root@[ipnumber]

Enter the password specified in the kiosk-config file.

On your computer used to access the player over SSH, you may have to reset the known_hosts file. That is because the hash identifying the player changes on each restart. To do so:

  1. Open the known_hosts file stored under your user in a hidden folder called .ssh using a code editor or other plain text editor, such as Notepad.
  2. Delete the line with your player's IP address.
  3. Save the file.
  4. Use the ssh command again, as shown above, to access the player