I have a client who wants to use Mac OS X and a Mac Mini to sell a software solution to end users that ALWAYS boots straight to an application when the Mac is turned on. They can't access the login screen, desktop or anywhere else (in fact they should NEVER even see it.) the only thing they would see is the grey apple screen on boot up.

That being said, we'd also need someway of being able to get at the desktop and the rest of OS X for an Admin person (my client or myself).

I've looked around, and everything seems to either be focused on a kiosk web browser or booting to desktop and then launching the application... both of which are NOT what the client wants to happen!

Any ideas on how best to accomplish this action?


See This Apple Tech Note on creating a kiosk type UI in OS X. Be careful you configure a way to boot normally, in case of mis-configuration, application starts hanging, etc.

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  • With regards to ability to boot normally, this would mean you MUST choose an account before seeing the application and you can't automatically just login as this would prevent boot normal later for admins? – Cameron Jun 12 '14 at 22:05
  • Also to add to the mix.. what if the application code isn't configurable so we have the .app file but can't edit it but want to run it in kiosk mode. Thanks. – Cameron Jun 12 '14 at 22:06
  • You're out of luck if the app wasn't written to run this way. Best you can do us auto-login and resume in full screen mode. – Ian C. Jun 12 '14 at 22:13
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    @Cameron Not sure what your application will be for the kiosk, but to get started I would; 1. Create a secure admin account. 2. Enable auto-login for the kiosk user. 3. Make the kiosk user a guest account. 4. Enable the firmware password. This setup would allow you to safe boot into the admin account and fix any config issues, but would block any unauthorized attempts to mount any other boot devices or get to the safe mode login without the firmware password. Normal operation would be to boot into the kiosk user and launch the app you selected. Hope this helps. – Brian Duke Jun 12 '14 at 22:49
  • Would the end user see the welcome screen where they can choose either Admin or Kiosk User? (obviously they wouldn't know the password for Admin) OR would it actually auto default and bypass the welcome screen? – Cameron Jun 12 '14 at 23:17

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