Looking for distrobution built for people that break computers

PhotographOtter

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The reason I stressed an external hard drive was to remove any chance that your bro could get to the stored snapshots
Restoring is like toasting a slice of bread..Simplicity itself.
Even if he manages to screw up your abaility to boot the pc he uses......you can boot that pc from a usb stick with Linux mint on it...access Timeshift .....it will "see" where the snapshots are stored (have the external plugged in)....hit Restore....and away you go again.
That definitely sounds like a good way to go. He breaks it every day, so it would probably be the first thing I'd do every day when I get to the house. I'm wondering if there's a way to make it restore itself every time it restarts. It sounds like this application isn't made for something like that.
My brother's situation is a very uncommon one so I don't expect a terribly simple solution to it, but maybe if I could figure out how to make it automatically boot up from a backup it might work
 


Alexzee

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I recently found out about a distro called Kodachi.


Basically you run it Live from a USB stick and when you shut down the system everything that was done is wiped away.
Not sure if Kodachi is right for your situation but it couldn't hurt to try it and make your own judgement on it.

With Slackware you can create your brother as a 'new user' on the system and he can only have privileges that you, (the root administrator) give him. Without your brother knowing the root password he can't do things to change or otherwise modify the system.

With Slackware you'll have to read the documentation to learn how to run it.
 

stan

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Does anyone have any advice? Is there a linux distro out there that's built to just work? No settings, no options. Just a browser and a few applications that I'd install in advance. I'd want him to not be able to change ANY settings on the computer.
In your situation, I might would try this: Porteus Kiosk. It is a locked-down web browser and Linux system, but it may not run those "few applications" that you need. Since you need to be present when those programs need to be run anyway (as I guess), I think you could have those available with a Live Linux USB, or maybe even use your own personal laptop briefly to fulfill his needs. Other kiosk ideas are shown here. You may want to apply a BIOS password to his computer too, but don't forget it!
 
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70 Tango Charlie

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@Condobloke @captain-sensible
Welcome Otter, to the Linux.org forum!
I think you will soon agree, that very likely whatever your problem is, someone here will be able to help. From what I've read in your comments, this is truly an unusual situation that you have, and I'm sure extremely frustrating for you.
As captain-sensible mentioned Condo and I are the big supporters of Linux Mint.
I wholeheartedly agree with Condobloke on his idea of saving everything on Timeshift.
One thing he mentioned, is using an external hard drive. That is most important as I see it.
I would think that if you took a Timeshift snapshot just before he uses it each day or two, on an external HD, you would have all the protection you could ask for. Take the snapshot and remove the external HD before he begins using the cp. Then if everything goes south on you, all you have to do is plug the ext.HD back in and restore the system. Voila! Success - until the next time your bro messes things up. Just make sure that he never gets to use the computer with that 'safety net' plugged in.
{The more I think about it, you would only have to take a snapshot once to have a usable backup}
It seems like it is a lot of extra work, but it would surely save you a lot of hassle trying to salvage a useless machine.
Please keep us appraised of how things are going with this, and if you have any questions that we have not made clear with the answers.
Thanks.
Old Geezer Tango Charlie
 

wizardfromoz

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I can think of 3 or 4 ways with Timeshift to effect a possible solution for you.

Two of them involve USB sticks, and one working from the command line interface.

I can run them by you and see what you think?



(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke, bearing tidings of interest engraved on stone tablets. Drops one of the tablets, it smashes - "OK, 2 - 3 ways with Timeshift")

Thought it time to make an appearance seeing as my name was being bandied around.

G'day @PhotographOtter and welcome to linux.org :)

I have to leave for my evening in Australia, but I am intrigued by your dilemma and in saying that, do not for a moment think that I am downplaying the stress you must be undergoing, nor the love you must have for your brother.

I myself have 8 mental disorders, listed here

https://linux.org/threads/mental-well-being-and-coping-strategies.29492/post-95432 in our off topic section, but if I am fortunate it is in that I am high-functioning, and thus able to take an active part in addressing my deficiencies, so I empathise for your brother.

Don't go racing out and buying things, but if I can ask a couple of questions of you:

1. Do you have a couple of free USB sticks, maybe one 8 GB and one either 16 GB or 32 GB?

2. What are the specs on your brother's computer and yours?

3. Does his computer also have an optical drive?

Recommended Reading:

https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/tutorials.html#timeshift

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

and

https://www.linux.org/threads/make-my-linux-portable.17878/

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

Alexzee

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A BIOS password is a great idea.-:)

Drive encryption may help too.

Thinking about all that our members have suggested the best bet looks like running Linux on a Live USB.

I wish you the best Photograph Otter.
 

f33dm3bits

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In your situation, I might would try this: Porteus Kiosk. It is a locked-down web browser and Linux system, but it may not run those "few applications" that you need. Since you need to be present when those programs need to be run anyway (as I guess), I think you could have those available with a Live Linux USB, or maybe even use your own personal laptop briefly to fulfill his needs. Other kiosk ideas are shown here. You may want to apply a BIOS password to his computer too, but don't forget it!
Or you could try running a Ubuntu Kiosk setup or as an Ubuntu Kiosk web appliance.
 
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hawkins

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You can use a WM like i3 and make your own keybindings. This would make it impossible to change settings if you didn't know the binding to get to the settings.
 


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