KioWare Tips & Tools

Important information if your kiosk runs Flash etc

Friday, October 2, 2015

Does your kiosk run Flash, PDF Viewer, Java, or Silverlight?

If yes, we want to make you aware of the following change which may impact your KioWare kiosk deployment.
 
As you may be aware, Google Chrome no longer supports NPAPI.  Google has provided advanced notice of this change and the alternatives.  Those plug ins that use the Pepper API system (PPAPI) are recommended or HTML5 supported alternatives are encouraged for developing and rendering websites with images, videos, or other animated features.  

What is NPAPI?  

NPAPI actually stands for the Netscape Plug in API.  This plug in allowed websites to render video and images in a way that extended website capabilities.  While innovative for its time, this technology is no longer as secure or reliable as needed.  NPAPI causes security issues/risks and is known to be less stable than newer options.   

When does NPAPI go away?

While the change was announced a number of months ago, Google cut off support for NPAPI plug ins on September 1, 2015.  KioWare for Windows will support NPAPI until version 8.3, though as of version 8.2, KioWare for Windows will not “allow” NPAPI as a default setting.
Because this is a security issue, it is recommended that you update your browser based application or website to include PPAPI supported programs.  Some programs (like Flash) have alternative viewing options, but others do not.   
 
The new KioWare for Windows currently allows NPAPI plug ins for KioWare for Windows versions 8.0 and 8.1.  In version 8.2 of KioWare for Windows, KioWare is set to deny NPAPI plug ins by default.  You can change this setting in version 8.2 of KioWare for Windows.  Instructions for “allowing” NPAPI plug ins can be found below.  In the (as yet to be released) version 8.3 of KioWare for Windows, NPAPI plug ins will not be allowed.
 
Other questions that you may have in relation to this change:

Will Java be supported in Chrome? 

Probably not (atleast not so far), and seemingly there is no plan given the limited use of Java in current sites.
 

How do I update to the proper Chromium-specific Flash Plug-in?

1. Go to the Adobe website here.
2. Select your Operating System.
3. Select the plugin for Opera and Chromium - PPAPI.
 
NOTE:
Do not select the one for Firefox. It may work, but it is NOT stable.
As of KioWare for Windows v. 8.3 NPAPI Plugins, including Flash for Firefox, will not work.

Instructions for KioWare for Windows Version 8.2 – Turning NPAPI to “Allow”.  

While KioWare does not recommend NPAPI, we are allowing for a slower transition to grant some additional time for kiosk applications and websites to be updated.  Instructions are below on how to set NPAPI to “Allow”.  
 
In short, you will want to open the KioWareClientSettings.kwconfig file with a text editor and set chromeFlags to "enable-npapi".  The file is found in C:\ProgramData\KioWare Client.  Detailed Instructions are below for Windows 8, but they may vary based on Windows OS.
 
1. Go to the KioWare for Windows Configuration tool. Click View User Data Directory This will open your Windows Explorer. 
2. Go back up one level (from UserData to KioWare Client).
3. In the meantime, close your KioWare Configuration Tool.
File Path
 

 

4. Go back to Windows Explorer. Once in this view, find the KioWareClientSettings file. You will want to right click on it.  

5. Click “Open with”
6. Click “Choose default program”
7. Uncheck “Use this app for all .kwconfig files”
8. Click “More options”
9. Select “Notepad” or other Text Editor
10. Press “Ctrl F” or Search file for “chrome”
11. Find “chromeFlags”
12. Make change from null to “enable-npapi”
 
Save, close, and run KioWare – your application or website should render as expected.  
 
NOTE: You will need to modify the website/application OR find alternate PPAPI supported plug ins before updating to KioWare for Windows 8.3.

You can read more about NPAPI and the transition to PPAPI from Google here:

 


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