Safe Exam Browser
Safe Exam Browser


Safe Exam Browser free download for Mac

Safe Exam Browser

15 May 2012

Carry out online exams safely.


Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is a Web browser environment to carry out online exams safely by locking the computer into a kiosk mode. It provides integration with the open source learning management systems Moodle and ILIAS, but can be used with most other Web based quizzes or e-assessment systems.

SEB disables the OS X Dock, the process switcher (cmd+Tab/cmd+Shift+Tab), menu bar, the Force Quit window (cmd+opt+esc), normal reboot (ctrl+cmd+eject), normal shutdown (ctrl+opt+cmd+eject), hiding the application, printing and Exposé. Display and system idle sleep are also prevented while SEB is running. It can be set whether users can quit SEB and if it is required to enter a quit password to do so.

In the browser window there is no right mouse (or ctrl-) click popup window available, links requesting to be opened in a separate window are opened in the single SEB Web browser window instead. Besides that, the browser is supporting Quicktime, Java and Flash content (as long as the required Flash plugin is installed on the system). Hyperlinks and links embedded in Javascript, in Flash and other plugins requesting to open in a new window can optionally be ignored when they link to another host than the one of the current page.

SEB detects when it was started in a virtual instead of a native environment and refuses to run. This virtual machine detector hinders manipulating SEB when used in unmanaged environments.

In a separate user account managed by OS X parental controls you can run additional (third party) applications during an exam together with SEB. You can download and open files linked in your online exam, edit it in a third party application and then upload the results to your online quiz/LMS again.

Thanks to its safe kiosk mode SEB can also be used in all kind of public presentation situations, where Web based content is presented and users should not be able to manipulate the Mac that it is running on.

What's new in Safe Exam Browser

Version 1.5.2:
  • SEB can now open webpages in additional browser windows.
  • New browser preferences pane where separate policies can be set for opening hyperlinks requesting to be opened in a new browser window and links in JavaScript/plug-ins: Block those links generally, open in same window or open in new window.
  • In addition SEB can optionally ignore links requesting to open in a new window which direct to a different host than the one of the current page.
  • Improved integrity of the SEB environment by elevating all windows (including the background covering windows) on a higher windows level and improving suppression of other applications opening alert windows, requesting to become active and switch to foreground.
  • New option to enable or disable browsing back/forward (with cmd + cursor right/left keys). This can prevent users to browse back out of an exam to an unprotected start page.
  • New options to enable/disable plug-ins, Java, JavaScript and pop-up windows.
  • The clipboard is now cleared when SEB starts and before it quits. But the content of the clipboard (if it's a text string) is saved before SEB clears it, and by pressing a new link button in general preferences pane you can paste that saved string to the Start URL field.
  • Added elaborate suppression for links from Flash video player when it is in full screen mode (context menu link "About Flash player" and other links to external, unprotected webpages).
  • Added option to prevent full screen invoked by Flash (usually used in Flash video players) when third party applications are allowed. When switching to third party applications is disabled, Flash fullscreen mode is deactivated generally now for security reasons.
  • Added option to advanced preferences pane to download a PDF file and open it in a third party application instead of viewing it inline.
  • Added an option to choose the name and path of a file to be uploaded automatically: If users download a file, edit it in a third party application and save it with the same name at the same path, pressing the "chose file" button in the browser window doesn't present a file requester, instead the file is automatically chosen.
  • Now application name ("Safe Exam Browser" or "SEB", according to available space in window bar), version number and title of Web page are displayed in each browser window.
  • Fixed bug when running on OS X 10.7 Lion for "open files after downloading".
  • Fixed Lion Problem with terminated applications (windows still visible) and problem with notification windows (like iCal alerts) being visible in front of SEB windows by using different window level for all SEB windows (but only if third party applications are not allowed).
  • Reload start URL/restart SEB now only after closing preferences and if start URL or setting for allow "switching to third party apps" changed.
  • Fixed saving preferences bug, works now regardless which pane first opens.
  • Fixed switching on presentation options (kiosk mode) again when user tried to put Flash to fullscreen: Browser window becomes fullscreen again.
  • Fixed wrong path preselected in file requester when choosing upload directory in Lion. Fixed some UI strings.
  • Removed embedded WebKit framework. Experiences didn't show any real advantage of using a private WebKit instead of the system's in practice, besides that recent WebKit builds were not working on Mac OS X 10.6.8 anymore.

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