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I want to prevent users of my personal Google Chrome browser from navigating away from the defined homepage except for refreshing the page.

More "for science" than anything else - how can I do this without any coding?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 11 '11 at 20:24

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For science! +1 –  Šime Vidas Aug 11 '11 at 18:28
    
What OS? I don't think browsers can lock you down this hard, you may need to play with firewalls and such. –  Rich Homolka Aug 11 '11 at 20:52
    
If the homepage has a link you're not going to be able to stop someone from following it. Your only chance is to run all traffic through a proxy that inspects the HTML, AJAX, and strips out any links. –  Ian Boyd Aug 12 '11 at 1:45

4 Answers 4

My solution was to use the host-rules command line switch for Google Chrome. This can be used to force the user to remain on the same domain (and port number, if you like).

For example, if you want to start Chrome in Kiosk mode and disallow the user from navigating away from localhost on port 80:

chromium-browser --kiosk --host-rules="MAP * localhost:80"

Of course, in this case, the user can still navigate to http://localhost/page_2, but they can't go to http://www.yahoo.com/

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Not sure how well this works (I've never tried it), but Chrome seems to have a kiosk mode:

chrome.exe --kiosk [url]

More details on Chrome's Google Code issues page.

Update: Kiosk mode won't prevent navigation to other sites if there are links on the page. The Pentasoft Custom Browser chrome extension allows you to set up a whitelist of domains the browser can access.

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I think this is more 'shutting down certain UI elements to keep you in the browser' than limit to a specific site, though you do want to keep the user tied to one chrome instance if you want to not open up IE or Safari or whatever. –  Rich Homolka Aug 11 '11 at 20:51
    
@Rich, right, and depending on the site that is used, there could be hyper-links to other sites. I don’t think Kiosk mode necessarily blocks that. –  Synetech Aug 15 '11 at 3:34

This is far more difficult than you imagine. For one, what about hyperlinks? Would you allow redirects? What would you consider "one" site? Do you mean domain?

This is far easier in Internet Explorer. Place your one domain in the trusted domains. Everything else under restricted. . .

If it is a homepage you control, just shut off the Internet and allow only network connections to your controlled webserver.

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The library seems to have this worked out. If you try to navigate away from the catalog on the catalog systems, it tells you that you have to use one of the Internet system instead. Of course they use Firefox. Next time I’m there, I’ll check to see if their lock-down is browser-based, network-based, or OS-based. –  Synetech Aug 15 '11 at 3:36

If you're technically savvy and using a version of Windows that supports the Group Policy Editor, you can download and install Google's Chrome GPO template from here. It has white-listing, blacklisting and many more Chrome lockdown capabilities. Another solution is to use 3rd party software. The most robust but simple solution we've worked with for Chrome is Secure Lockdown for Chrome

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