Userful Desktop™ 8: Administrator Mode

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Copyright © 2015 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2015.09.28)

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Thank you for choosing Userful Desktop™ 8, the world’s best and most complete public computing solution.

This is a part of the Userful Desktop™ 8 Administrator Manual. To view the complete manual, please click here.

Administrator Mode

Entering Administrator Mode

You can switch into administrator mode from any station by pressing “Ctrl+Alt+A”. When prompted, enter the administrator password.

Administrator Mode removes the time limit and adds a selection of administrative icons to the desktop. To undertake an administrative task, simply double-click the appropriate icon. Note that icons for some less common commands reside in a folder on the desktop called “Advanced Tools”.

Logging out of Administrator Mode.

An administrator who wishes to work for a prolonged period and avoid the time limit manager could logon as Administrator. However, if the system is left idle for 5 minutes the station logs out.

Be sure to log out once your work in administration mode is complete. To log out, select “Log Out” from the Start Here menu or click the logout icon on the timer.

Administrator Mode passwords: To simplify management, Userful Manager will assign the same password for all Userful Desktops. This password should be known by all administrators and should be changed periodically.

This password can be changed through the Userful Manager web interface. When one administrator changes the password, all administrators added to your Userful account will receive an email alerting them to this change. Keep your administrator password secret, and if you need to write it down, store it in a safe place.

Note: For security reasons, a new and unique password to enter Administrator Mode is assigned the first time a machine registers with Userful Manager. To access and/or change this new password, go to Userful Manager > Solutions Expert > System Passwords.

The default passwords for 'Administrative actions by non-Administrators' are also found in 'System Passwords'.

Desktop Icons: Common Tasks

In Administrative mode, icons for routine administrative tasks appear on the desktop. These tasks are described in more detail below.

View System Information

View System Information.

The View System Information Icon is on the Administrator Mode Desktop. Double-clicking the icon will display a window containing pertinent information about your Userful Desktop including:

  • The product name and version
  • The MAC address for the primary network interface
  • Hard disk drive size
  • Installed memory size
  • Network status
  • Printer information

Userful Manager

Access Userful Manager.

Double-clicking on this icon will open a web browser window for Userful Manager's web portal. With Userful Manager, an administrator can customize settings, appearance and functionality of the Userful Desktop system.

Although Userful Manager can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer, accessing from the Administrator Mode desktop is useful since direct access from Userful Desktop allows you to immediately examine changes made through Userful Manager.

More information about Userful Manager is in a later section of this Guide.

Update Configuration

Get Updated Configuration.

Configuration changes made in Userful Manager are only applied the next time the computer box automatically checks in to Userful Manager's server, which occurs every four hours.

Clicking the “Update Configuration” tool in Administrator Mode causes an immediate update to the configuration on the Userful Desktop. This allows you to check that your changes have had the desired effect.

Updates will be applied to the system when you log out of Administrator Mode. Changes only become visible on sessions started after the Update Configuration tool has run.


Configure the Network.

To access the Network Configuration Tool, in Administrator Mode, double-click the “Network” icon. The Network Configuration tool will appear.

The Network Configuration tool.

This tool must be used if Userful Desktop failed to automatically obtain a network connection. You can attempt to obtain the correct network settings automatically by selecting one of the networks available in the list. Network properties such as DHCP hostname can be changed by clicking "Properties".

Please Note: The "Use in default profile" box must be checked to get auto-connection of the network at boot.

Static IP Configuration

To set a static IP, click on “Properties" and check the "Use Static DNS". You will need the following information for manual network configuration:

DNS domain, the IP address of your local network gateway. First and second DNS servers, the IP address(es) of your local Domain Name Server(s) and the IP Network Mask (usually this is

Proxy Settings

You may set up an HTTP proxy for your Userful Desktop system by clicking on the 'Proxy Settings' icon on the Administrator Mode Desktop.

Other Desktop Tasks

From the Administrator Mode desktop, you can also:

  • "Configure Printing" (this feature is discussed in more detail in the Printing Guide).
  • Schedule a computer "Reboot" or "Shutdown". For more information on rebooting and shutdown, please refer to Other Administrative Tasks.
  • Access the "Advanced Tools" folder.

The Control Center

Userful Desktop comes with it's own Control Center, which can be accessed through an icon on the Userful Desktop Administrator Mode desktop.

For more information about the Control Center, please go to the Control Center documentation.

Please Note: Not all functions and features of the Control Center are applicable to Userful Desktop 8. Please Contact Userful if unsure.

The Advanced Tools Folder

A number of administrative functions can be found in the Advanced Tools folder, a few important functions are:

Command Prompt

This tool should only be used with guidance from a Userful support technician.

Restarting Services

The restarting services icon should be used when any of the below services are not functioning properly. The same functionality can also be accomplished by rebooting the system. You will find the icon in the "Advanced Tools" folder. The services restarted by this icon are:

  • networking (the hostname is also reset to that which is configured by UM)
  • printing (cups) (all pending print jobs are cleared and all "stopped" queues are "started")
  • the stations being served out by VNC (including the VNC server process)
  • the stations being served out by XDM (including the XDM server process)
  • the Linux logging service (syslog)
  • the Japanese input service (Canna)
  • the cron job daemon (crond)
  • the international input method service (iiim)
  • the portmap service (used by xmlrpc functions)
  • the welcome screen backgound server
  • Remote Monitoring and Control
  • the squid proxy
  • the cache is cleared and configuration is reset
  • Dansguardian
  • configuration is re-gathered from configuration downloaded from UM
  • the RHN service (which checks for configuration on Userful Manager)
  • the X font server (xfs)
  • the network time daemon (ntpd)