Documentation for recent versions (Linutop OS V4) is available on

Modes/Lock old

From LinutopWiki

Linutop OS V3 documentation. For V4, see


Setting up the Lock mode

Setting up the system to use the lock mode requires 3 steps.

Switch to a persistent system using the configuration tool: this can be done in the Advanced tab, in the Data persistence sub-section, as show on the screenshot below. Once you have set this, you need to reboot your Linutop.

Advanced tab of the Linutop Setup tool

Once you have rebooted, log with the user account. You should now tweak the settings for this account, these settings will be used in the Lock mode:

Log out and log with the linutop user. Enable the lock mode in the Linutop configuration tool, in the Security tab shown on the screenshot below by checking the Use the Linutop Lock checkbox.

Advanced tab of the Linutop Setup tool

You will be asked to choose a password for the linutop user. This password will be needed the next time you'll log with the linutop user, and for any task requiring administrative rights.

Reboot the system to launch the Linutop in Lock mode.

Do not forget the password you set when turning the lock mode on! It is the only way to disable the lock mode easily (although an emergency solution will be described later).

Disabling the Lock mode

Once the Lock mode is enabled, the user user will logged in by default. To disable the Lock mode, you need to log with the linutop user, to open the Linutop configuration tool and to uncheck the checkbox about the Lock mode in the Security tab. The password you set before is required to perform those actions, so don't forget it !

Users and Lock mode

'linutop' and 'user'

When the lock mode is on, you (linutop admin) will have to handle two system users. You already know the first one, 'linutop', who has every rights on the system and is used by default. The second one is 'user'. His rights are very limited, he can only access his own personnal directory, and can't modify the system data (he can't disable the lock mode for instance).

Each user has a password. For 'linutop', it's the one you've type when you turned the lock mode on. For 'user', it is an empty password by default.

Each user also owns his own home directory. This means that the customization done on the 'linutop' user will not appear on the 'user' one.


Do not forget that running under lock mode means that almost everything is done in RAM. The only files that can be changed are the files on the root of the USB key or internal disk, in the /cdrom dir, and this can only be done by the 'linutop' account.

This means that the modifications that you need to do on the system (adding a new software, a driver, changing the wallpaper or the icon theme...) have to be done before switching to the lock mode, and in persistent mode.

Backups and restoration


Before switching to lock mode, we highly recommend to perform a backup on an USB key. This backup can be used to restore your Linutop's internal memory if something wrong happens.

Emergency restoration

If you've lost your 'linutop' password, you'll be locked. A solution to restore the system on the internal disk without erasing the system is to boot on a backup key, and to copy the file /cdrom/syslinux.cfg to the root of the hard drive. In a terminal this can be done with:

sudo mount /dev/hda1 /mnt         # this makes the device writable
sudo cp /cdrom/syslinux.cfg /mnt/ # copy the file
sudo umount /mnt                  # cleanup

You should be able to reboot in the default Linutop mode.


Restrict the shutdown/reboot

You probably don't want to let the users shut down the linutop when it is used in locked mode. To make sure than user can't do it you will need to:

  • Check the "Activate the xfce kiosk mode" button in the lock mode configuration tab
  • Disable the menu in the login manager. To do so:
    • open System -> Login Window in the menu
    • uncheck the "show actions menu" item in the second tab of the dialog ("Local")

To shutdown or reboot the machine, you'll have to log in as linutop and use the shutdown dialog in the panel or the menu.