Guest Account

I wanted to enable a "Guest Account" in GNOME, but there's currently no way to do it :( So figured out how do it myself.

I started by creating a guest user, with the default home directory /home/guest.

sudo useradd -C "Guest" guest

Then I wanted to allow passwordless login, I prepend this to /etc/pam.d/gdm-password.

auth	sufficient	user	ingroup	guest

The next step was to log into the guest account and customise it, I changed the themes added plugins and the most important thing was to hide lots of installed applications. Hiding them is simple, but time consuming, copy the /usr/share/applications/XXX.desktop into ${$XDG_DATA_HOME:=$HOME/.local/share}/applications/ and append Hidden=true.

I don't want any future changes to be persistent, unfortunately it's not as simple as making /home/guest read only. But there are still several ways to do it, I made /home/guest/ a tmpfs and populate it on each boot.

Move the customised home:

sudo cp -r --preserve=all /home/guest/. /usr/share/guest-factory
sudo rm -rf /home/guest/*

And add the tmpfs to /etc/fstab

echo "tmpfs	/home/guest	tmpfs	noexec,nodev,nosuid,uid=guest,gid=guest	0 0" >> /etc/fstab

And finally I needed to populate the guest home directory on every boot, so I created a systemd unit and enabled it. /etc/systemd/system/guest-setup.service

Description=Set up guest home directory

ExecStart=/usr/bin/cp -r --preserve=all /usr/share/guest-factory/. /home/guest


Cj Malone on