Automatic updates


Porteus Kiosk is very well secured but is lacking a system for automatic updates enabled by default. This is an important feature which would provide security patches in real time to keep your kiosks safe from any malicious tampering. New versions of Porteus Kiosk are released to the public about three times per year which may not be enough for companies/institutions or even a single users where security is critical from a private or business point of view.

Taking this into mind, we have introduced a paid subscription for those who want to keep their systems updated and secure 365 days a year. We are targeting the 'setup and forget' approach which means that you need to setup your kiosk only once through our Kiosk Wizard, and then it updates automatically without any user intervention. Only a reboot is required so updated components such as kernel or browser can be loaded into PC memory.

Automatic updates allows software freezes and downgrades. It is possible to freeze the linux kernel at a specific version and upgrade it when certain bugs are resolved upstream. It is also possible to freeze, for example, Firefox but keep upgrading other system components. The automatic updates service is very flexible - when in doubt please query info@porteus-kiosk.org for additional information.

You have an opportunity to sign up for a 3 months free trial before buying the subscription. Details can be found here.

When activating 'automatic updates' you are automatically signed to our support service which means that you are eligible to receive a software/hardware related help during the whole subscription period without additional charge.

Real time changelog for security fixes, software upgrades and new features implemented in the system are presented at this address: automatic updates changelog.


Pricing table


Number of PCs PC per year Discount
1-10 €40 EUR -
11-25 €36 EUR 10%
26-50 €33 EUR 17.5%
51-100 €30 EUR 25%
Above 100 Negotiable

Examples:

If your company wants to sign 3 PCs to the 'automatic updates' service for a period of a year then total cost will be: 3 x €40 = €120 EUR for this subscription.

If your company wants to sign 15 PCs to the 'automatic updates' service for a period of a year then total cost will be: 15 x €36 = €540 EUR for this subscription.


If you are a public or educational institution, foundation or non profit organization then the prices could be lowered to a level which is affordable for you. Please query sales@porteus-kiosk.org for a quote.

 

Requirements

  • Kiosks signed to the automatic updates service must be able to access porteus-kiosk.org domain on ports 80 and 443. Please make sure that your firewall is not blocking it.

  • How do automatic updates work?

  • Kiosk boots and does an MD5 sum check of all system components.
  • Once the network is fully initialized, kiosk contacts our server which has a list of MD5 sums for the latest available components.
  • If there is a mismatch between local and remote sums, then the updated component is downloaded from our server, new ISO is created on the fly and burnt automatically on the hard drive.
  • After reboot the system is fully updated and secured again.

  • Please check out following video presenting how Porteus Kiosk performs an update: link


    Advantages

  • System works in full rolling-release development model.
  • Kiosk is kept up to date all the time.
  • Only updated components are downloaded over the network which saves time and bandwidth required for doing an update (short downtime).
  • Everything is done automatically, no need to burn the ISOs manually anymore.
  • Kiosk config is preserved so there is no need to run the Kiosk Wizard and repeat configuration steps.
  • Automatic updates enhances security as MD5 sums are monitored and every mismatch brings a clean component from our server.

  • Limitations

  • Automatic updates can be enabled only for usb/hard drive installations and wont work for CDs/DVDs.
  • There is no possibility to perform manual kiosk ISO customizations due to MD5 sum mismatches with components kept on our server. Modifications authorized through our customized builds service are still possible when automatic updates are enabled. Please mind that extra charge will apply in case when custom component requires additional maintenance effort during updates.
  • PXE booting is not possible with automatic updates enabled as this service works on a 'per PC' model. This limitation could be lifted in case of signing multiple kiosks for a previously negotiated, fixed price per year.

  • Terms and Conditions that apply to the automatic updates service

    1) Before you buy the subscription you are obliged to try Porteus Kiosk (you can download it for free and use for as long as you want) to make sure that your hardware is fully compatible with it and you are fully satisfied with every aspect of our operating system. You may also use the free trial before buying the service to make sure it works properly in your network environment.


    2) To enable 'automatic updates' service you have to activate it through the Kiosk Wizard utility during the kiosk configuration stage. You can pay for the service in two ways:


    a) Directly in the wizard. In this case a fixed signing period and price per kiosk will apply. PayPal notification with unique PC ID included in the order description is sent to both sides as a proof of payment.


    b) By contacting our sales department. Please collect PC IDs (follow FAQ when in trouble) for the kiosks you want to subscribe and send them to sales@porteus-kiosk.org. Our pricing table applies for this case. When an agreement is reached - about the number of PCs, subscription period and the price - an invoice is sent to your email address.


    We accept online payments only: bank transfer (preferred), PayPal or credit card payment. Please do not send us bank checks as they wont be processed. Payment details are included in the invoice which we send to you.


    3) After receiving the money the service gets activated within 24 hours. A confirmation email is sent to you asking you to reboot the kiosks to let them upgrade to latest available version.


    4) Minimum signing period is 6 months so if you buy subscription for one PC and unsubscribe after a month or two - you still will be charged €20 EUR for the service.


    5) If you want to unsubscribe early from the service then please query sales@porteus-kiosk.org and the remaining part of the money will be returned to your account.


    6) You will be reminded about the possibility of extending the subscription for another period 30 days before the subscription ceases.


    7) You can reconfigure your kiosks at any time but it's your responsibility to keep 'automatic updates' option enabled in the wizard as we have no control over your kiosk configuration.


    8) Free support - software and hardware related help will be provided without additional charge during the whole subscription period.


    9) You have the possibility of moving the subscription from one kiosk to another in case of e.g. hardware failure. Just send us the PC ID which should be deactivated and the new one which should be activated in our database.