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Customized Ubuntu OS for kiosks and digital signs

Jun 17, 2013  |  Eric Brown
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Logic Supply has signed a deal with RapidRollout to offer the latter’s custom Linux appliance platforms on embedded computers aimed at non-desktop applications such as interactive kiosks and digital signage. RapidRollout is a lightweight, customized version of Ubuntu enhanced with features like remote management tools and easy-to-use configuration and set-up utilities, says the company.

RapidRollout’s “appliance OS” is a customized, open source version of Ubuntu Linux designed for kiosks and digital signage appliances. Aimed at customers that lack Linux expertise, the lightweight stack adds kiosk/signage features such as touchcscreen support, and removes unwanted desktop Linux features.

The stack is supplied along with applications including a web-based platform configuration tool that lets users manage system settings and build deployable images. A separate remote management platform is used to deploy devices.

RapidRollout features are said to include:

  • Graphical and web-based configuration utilities for adjusting system settings on-site
  • Remote management tools for network configuration, video mode, audio levels, power management, and storage
  • Onscreen touch keyboard for text entry, keyed for auto display when input fields are selected
  • Support for popular touchscreens, with integrated calibration utility
  • Custom branding graphics displayed during startup
  • Fine-tuned VLC media player integration for optimized video and audio playback
  • Support for Java, C/C++, Python, Ruby, and PHP applications
  • Full Linux shell access on the system console and over the network using SSH with key-based authentication
  • Software installation using the APT Debian/Ubuntu package management system
  • Linux utilities installed by default: cron, including upstart, vim, gdb, and bash

Logic Supply sells a wide variety of pre-configured small form-factor systems for industrial and general embedded computing. The company did not mention a particular system that might offer the RapidRollout stack, but it sells a number of compact computers designed for digital signage.



Typical Logic Supply kiosk- and signage-oriented system
(click images to enlarge)

 

Logic Supply’s signage-oriented models include the Intel NUC-sized LGX AG960 Industrial Computer (shown above), which is built around an Intel Core i Ivy Bridge ULV CPU, clocked at up to 1.8GHz, up to 16GB of SODIMM SDRAM, and up to 128GB mSATA SSD storage. The 115 x 108 x 37mm (4.5 x 4.3 x 1.5 inches) computer’s I/O ports include 4x USB2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI v1.4a A/V with Intel High Definition Audio.

“A lot of people get hardware from one place and their OS from somewhere else,” says Forest Bond, founder of RapidRollout. “What we’re doing with this partnership simplifies all that, and encourages collaborative problem solving instead of the finger-pointing that sometimes happens when multiple, unrelated vendors are involved in a project.”

RapidRollout for Logic Supply systems is available now. More information may be found at the Logic Supply and RapidRollout websites.
 

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