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Limit user to specific app in WinXP Pro?

By opus ·
I need to create some users on an XP Pro box that must be limited to running a single, specific application. Ideally, the app should run automatically when the log on, and when they exit the app they should be logged off. The PC also has other users that must be allowed to log on normally and get their usual desktop. This workstation is in a workgroup, not a domain environment. Is this possible? If so, how?

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by husp1 In reply to Limit user to specific ap ...

depending on the app it might be possable if you edit the group policies (run gpedit.msc)but I personaly have never tried to limit people to that small amount. seems they always need something else about a week later. lol. as for the app you could set it to run on start but as I indicated earlier some apps are not start supported.

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by opus In reply to

I thought of the group policy approach, but I don't know how I'd apply it to only certain users - I think group policy in a workgroup enviornment applies to all users on the box (I could be wrong and, if so, would like to know how to selectively apply group policy to either individual users or groups).

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by ktucker In reply to Limit user to specific ap ...

I have never done this particularly thing myself without the use of remote desktop or citrix but I would think you could possibly write a script to run under the particular user when they login by adding it to the local user account under the profile tab. The trick is getting the automatic logoff to take place when the application is closed. If anyone else has input I would be curious to find this one out myself.

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by opus In reply to

Actually, I thought of the script approach as well; the automatic logoff trick is what I need.

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by CG IT In reply to Limit user to specific ap ...

well what you can do depends upon the application you are using. Some applications have an option during install where you can choose that its for everyone or just the particular user who's installing it.

if the application in question doesn't have this installer option then the only other way to do is group policy. but first you have to create a an installer package for the program to use GP. Just as you would in a domain setting when you use GP to deploy applications either published or assigned you do the same for the local machine.

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by CG IT In reply to

you create the package for the application, then in GP on the local machine you have the software packages for users or computers. here's a link to a KB on using the GP to manage local machine policy on XP Pro
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307882/en-us

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by opus In reply to

All users are allowed to run the application, but some users aren't allowed to do anything else. The system is a PC running a point of sale app, which all of the store employees must be able to run, but the owner and the assistant manager (and I) need to be able to log on and run other apps, do backups, etc. So, I don't need to restrict the app to certain users, I need to restrict certain users to only that one app. If I make changes to GP on the local machine, won't that apply to everyone - including the owner, asst mgr, and the administrator?

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by CG IT In reply to Limit user to specific ap ...

if your running a Point of Sale [POS}, and you want to log on to the POS to run certain applications, which POS are you using? IBM POS has their own server. use a non POS computer [they have to have one around] to remote log in to the POS server and do whatever they want to do. The managers shouldn't back out of the POS program and then run some other program at a checkout terminal even if it's a spare one in the back room.

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by CG IT In reply to

note: you didn't mention a Point of Sale program which isn't like an Office or a DB application where you can exit the program to the desktop and do other stuff. Stations are usually set to boot right up into the POS. as I said, use another computer that is not a POS terminal and log in to the server. then run whatever you want to. That depends on which POS your running.

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by opus In reply to

The POS system is the "POS Module" of Liberty 2002 from ResaleWorld. Liberty 2002 is a combined Inventory and POS system for consignment shops. The POS module is actually a program like Word or Excel that is started from a shortcut on the desktop. It has a database portion that runs on the "server" (does not require a real server machine like Win2003) which the client(s) access over the network. Both modules require a login with username/password which is stored in the db. I agree that the POS system should boot directly into the app, but that's not the way this one is set up. I suppose that if I could replace explorer.exe with the POS module and still log in via remote desktop to do admin chores that would be sufficient. Is there a way to do that? As an aside: this really should not be this difficult. My understanding is that WinNT was derived from DEC's VMS operating system, which had the concept of a "captive user" (one which was limited to a particular set of apps and nothing else). I can't be the first or only person that wants or needs to do this!

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