I need to develop a basic, though commercial, stand-alone GUI
application on a dedicated (Linux) PC. It'll be a bit like those
email/telephone/web browser kiosks that you see on the street. I need
to make sure that people can't mess about with it and can't e.g.
reformat the disc or close down my application or run their own
application etc.

I've done this before, but not with Linux. In order to decide whether
to go with Linux, I was wondering if anyone could help me with a few
basic questions. Any help with any of the following would be much

I know that it is possible to reset the root password during startup
with Red Hat Linux 9. Is it easy to prevent this option in Linux?
Is it easy to get Linux to boot directly into my own application
without going to a login screen?

I can either go with KDE/GNOME or something more low level.
If I went for the low level approach, is it easy to write GUI
applications directly for the XWindows layer? What kind of tools would
people use? Does anyone have any books they could recommend? I've
looked on Amazon and all I can find date from 1990 - 1992.

If I went for a KDE/GNOME desktop environment, there are a lot of
tools that can make programming and development easier. It should also
make it easier to set up the PC. However, is it easy to prevent
malicious users from doing stuff like killing my application from
within the desktop environment or minimizing it so that the next user
doesn't know where it is?

There are IP issues that will prevent me from releasing the
application code under the GPL. As I understand it, this limits the
choices I have for tools and libraries for use in developing my
application. While runtime licensing isn't a showstopper, I would need
to make sensible choices that allow me to keep such costs to a

Thanks for any help,