Surfing on an Interactive Kiosk
2021-05-26, 13:25–13:55 (UTC), Presentation Room

The Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded are often used for building custom GNU/Linux distributions for powering interactive kiosk and displaying HTML5 content. This presentation will offer the exact steps how to build a minimal GNU/Linux distribution with systemd, X11, openbox window manager and the Surf web browser. Surf is a simple minimalist web browser based on WebKit2/GTK+ with interface that does not include any graphical control elements.


The Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded are often used for building custom GNU/Linux distributions for powering interactive kiosk and displaying HTML5 content.

Although Chromium is the most popular choice for a web browser, it is infamous for the long build time. In this presentation you will see a practical alternative approach using the surf web browser. Surf is a simple minimalist web browser based on WebKit2/GTK+ with interface that does not include any graphical control elements. It a perfect fit for a kiosk.

The presentation will offer the exact steps how to build a minimal GNU/Linux distribution with systemd, X11, openbox window manager and the Surf web browser. Furthermore, we will discuss practical examples for software over air updates of this simple distribution. Raspberry Pi 4 will be used as a reference hardware for all demonstrations.

This presentation is suitable for beginners. It will demonstrate a practical use of the Yocto Project/OpenEmbedded for a common use case, some tips and tricks as well as examples for selection systemd as init system and software over the air mechanism.

See also: Surfing on an Interactive Kiosk (slides)

Leon Anavi is an open source enthusiast and a senior software engineer at Konsulko Group. He is an active contributor to various Yocto/OpenEmbedded meta layers, Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), Tizen any many other open source projects. His professional experience includes web and mobile application development for various platforms as well as porting and maintaining embedded Linux distributions to Raspberry Pi and devices with x86-64, i.MX6, NVIDIA Tegra, Rockchip and Allwinner (aka sunxi) SoC. Leon holds a masters in Information Technology from the Technical University Sofia. His previous speaking experience includes talks about open source software and hardware during events in San Francisco, San Diego, Portland (OR), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Brussels, Lyon Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Cambridge, Bratislava, Prague, Sofia and his hometown Plovdiv.