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Chrome kiosk quick start guide

What is a Chrome kiosk app?

You can use a Chromebox as a kiosk by turning on Single App Kiosk mode for your Chrome app. This mode works best for any single-purpose use case such as guest registration desks or library catalog stations. Chrome kiosk apps are useful for environments that require a user to interact with a single application.

Chromeboxes are also useful for running digital signage kiosk apps, such as flight schedules in an airport, session schedules in a conference, or restaurant menus.

Chrome apps

Chrome apps are similar to desktop software programs you install on your computer. The main difference is that you use apps directly within Chrome.

Chrome apps have access to Chrome Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) and services that aren’t available to traditional websites. Chrome apps look and behave like native apps, and they have native-like capabilities that are much more powerful than those available to web apps.

Chrome apps deliver an experience as robust as a native app, but as safe as a webpage. You can build and deploy powerful apps such as music and video streaming and editing that interact with network and hardware devices and media tools.

Chrome kiosks

A Chrome kiosk can be any type of computer kiosk hosted on a Chrome device, such as digital signage in airports, a restaurant menu, or an interactive game. It can be a business center computer where users walk up, browse the web, and all of their session data is wiped when the user ends the session.

There are public-session kiosks and single-app kiosks on Chrome OS. With public-session kiosks, multiple users can share the same Chrome device and access multiple websites in a window mode (not full screen mode). Because no user credentials are required and all session data is deleted when the user exits the session, public-session kiosks are popular in libraries, business centers, and business lobbies.

Single-app kiosks are designed to run in full screen mode and don’t allow users to exit the app. They’re great for a purpose-built Chrome device, such as a guest registration desk, a library catalog station, or a point of sale system in a store.

Can you configure a Chrome device as both a public-session kiosk and a single-app kiosk? Yes, but you can only automatically log in to one type of session or app at a time. For example, if you select Auto-Launch Public Session, you can’t set Auto-Launch Kiosk App on the same device.

Note: For large files, such as video billboards, you can configure a Chrome device to use external storage using the chrome.fileSystem API. For example, if you have a digital sign that features video content that's 300 GB, and your Chrome device only has 16 GB of storage, you can use a SD card or USB hard drive to store the content for offline use.

Chrome kiosk apps

Chrome kiosk apps are packaged Chrome apps that are designed to always run in full screen mode using single-app kiosk mode on Chrome OS. They don’t allow users to exit the app. Any Chrome app can be a Chrome kiosk app if you select to run it as a kiosk app and set kiosk_enabled to true in your app’s manifest file, although apps designed to be full screen apps work best as kiosk apps.

A Chrome kiosk app can be launched manually or set to automatically launch when the Chrome device boots up. Once a Chrome kiosk app starts, the user experience is dedicated to the tasks defined by the app.

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