All-in-One Locked-Down Public Computing Solution

Managing desktops for public use can turn traditional PCs into an IT burden and put a strain on budgets. Userful is designed for public use as an all-in-one, simple, and secure desktop platform.

Userful is a locked down public computing solution that is turnkey and ready to go out of the box. It includes a full suite of public computing features such as print and time management as well as all the end user software needed for patrons. Managed through the cloud by Userful, it requires no local IT management.

Userful saves libraries money by powering multiple desktops through one server using energy conserving zero client devices. This saves up to 80% on hardware costs while reducing software and electricity costs. Userful includes everything needed for any public computer deployment and also allows organizations to provide a rich desktop environment with a variety of features and applications available to meet every patron's need.


Key Features

Completeness – 40 applications for your patrons in 30 languages, a solution for children and for the visually impaired.

Self Service for Users – Time and Print Management options save time for your staff.

Administrator Time Savings – No more patches, upgrades or updates. Userful centrally updates itself.

Simplicity – A complete solution from a single vendor simplifies implementation and eliminates finger pointing between suppliers. Controlling and customizing the user interface and policy settings is easy: visit, an easy to use web portal and control your settings from a browser.

Security – A solution that is locked down out of the box: tamper-proof, immune from viruses, spyware, hackers, and identity theft.

Cost effective - Our unique resource-sharing system allows multiple people to work from a single computer. Each station has just a monitor, keyboard, mouse and ethernet connected zero client device which greatly reduces the cost of deploying computers and does not reduce performance. (Optionally you can run it as Single User Userful Desktop on your existing PCs)

Userful Control Center and Userful Cloud

Using Userful’s control center, the entire look, feel and functionality of each desktop can be easily configured.

With Userful Cloud you can access the Userful control center remotely allowing you to easily change and manage settings across multiple sites from anywhere you’ve got internet access.

Among the many things you can control through the Userful Control Center:

  • Web filtering
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Desktop shortcuts
  • Opening hours
  • Automatic end of day log-off to facilitate closing the facility
  • Print control
  • Browser home page
  • Warning messages about end-of-session
  • Which sessions are available on which stations
  • Station numbering and naming
  • View or directly control any station from your web browser
  • Manage and control the system entirely through Userful Cloud

Userful also includes a full statistics feature. It collects usage stats on number of sessions, length of sessions, type of sessions, and much more. Libraries can pull statistics based on day, branch or even station with the Usage Report feature.

Time Management

Userful comes with a session timer that keeps track of time spent on a session, warns users when the session is about to end, and then logs the user out.

Pre-Book Cloud Reservation System.

Pre-book delivers advanced time management to customers allowing patrons to book a desktop in advance or can be used to create a queue giving the next desktop available to a waiting patron. It also allows customers to limit users total daily computer time. This features requires user authentication (ie to Library ILS) to implement.

Print Management

Basic Print Management:

Userful's has a configurable print cost control dialog box built in. When a user prints from any application, Userful calculates and displays print-job costs for the user's approval before paper and time are wasted. This pop-up can also display custom messages like instructions on how to retrieve and pay for their printout. To handle payment, Userful offers a print queue management system that can hold print jobs until a staff member releases them. This ensures no printouts are made until they are paid for

Advanced Print Management:

OCS is a Userful partner, and our go-to solution for automated print release. Patrons log into Userful with their barcode, that code is then sent with their print jobs. The user punches in their barcode at the station (or swipes their library card if you have mag-strips) and can then pay for and collect their print job.

Wireless web printing with the OCS advanced print module requires OCS Print Release Server software for the print release station, as well as OCS support & wireless web print.