Chromebooks Admins to Get ‘Disallow Shutdown’ As Part of Enterprise Policy

Here is one interesting piece of news for Enterprise Chromebooks admins (and users!). Chrome OS team is planning an optional flag “disallow shutdown” as part of the Enterprise Policy.

The team is planning to introduce a flag named kDeviceShutdownAllowed, and admins can set this to false to disable shutdown. The shutdown buttons will be replaced by a reboot.

Here is the CL:

Add device policy to disallow shutdown

This CL introduces a new boolean device policy kDeviceShutdownAllowed. If set to false all occurrences of “Shutdown” buttons are replaced by “Restart” buttons. If set to true, the behavior is unchanged.

So what use case are they looking at? Here is an example from the bug report:

customers are mounting chrome devices behind monitors and in places not accessible to users. For these situations, customers want the ability to disable the ability to turn off the device from software via device policy.

Currently, if a user accidentally turns it off, he either has to reach around the monitor to turn it on… or he might not be able to turn it on if the device is locked up – making it unusable for a time period

If you have a Chromebook or a Chromebox set up as a public kiosk or a meeting room device, you’ll need it on all the time, even if someone accidentally shuts it down. Or, if you have a device that you need always-on, to remotely log in and do something, you do not want someone shutting it down, making it impossible for you to connect. There may be other uses cases as well. (Got any?)

This is currently work-in-progress, and please note, things may change or completely disappear before it is added to Chrome OS and your Chromebook management console.

I’ll keep you posted.

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