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Thread: Parental controls for 14.04

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Thumbs up Parental controls for 14.04

    Hi!

    Short intro: my kid has his own computer running ArchLinux (awesome distro), as I'm responsible parent I was limiting time for his account because be it good or bad but one thing is clear that without control they spend too much time at computer desk. I was using Timekpr to limit their time, Timekpr was simple and functional and was really easy to set up as well. One day it stopped working in ArchLinux, so I fixed it and all was fine to the day when my son wanted to try Ubuntu, with all pre-checks made it was one missing thing - parental controls. I didn't find any to be working in Ubuntu, except for manual tinkering.

    So as I liked Timekpr I tried to find out what the problem is. Some time later it was functional and working. I wrote new appindicator for it and fixed all the things to be able to run it on Ubuntu 14.04. Indicator works in a bit different fashion opposed to standard Timekpr client, I find it more informative. My use case which I worked on is time limit for a day, say 2hrs computing at any time. Other methods were not tested carefully and some combinations not at all. So I want more user feedback!

    Note: this is by no means new Timekpr, all credits for Timekpr goes to respective authors, except for my contribution to adapt it to latest Ubuntu and new appindicator for it!

    So here it is for You to try out: https://launchpad.net/~mjasnik/+archive/ppa , add my PPA to the system and install Timekpr. Post Your ideas and bugs here or create them on lauchpad.
    Instructions:
    Code:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mjasnik/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install timekpr
    Then log out/in and see the changes.

    I have tested it only on 14.04 and it works, if it works on other versions - good, if not - not sure, but maybe I'll fix it At this stage please consider it as first beta When it will be good enough I'll try to contact Timekpr maintainers and merge changes in their ppa, although the project seems to be dead - I'll still try.
    Note: As this is parental controls users themselves will have no options for appindicator.

    Happy testing.

    regards
    Eduards
    Last edited by mjasnik; April 27th, 2014 at 08:06 PM. Reason: changed prefix

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Hidden!

    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    Hi mjasnik,
    Nice job, see a few requests for simple time access controls like this.
    Tested in a couple of accounts and both the access duration and time frame worked and was duly logged out.
    Seems to be working fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    1

    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    Hi grumblebum2,

    thanks for testing, hope indicator is informative and works as intended. My son is main tester now, he says it's fine

    regards
    Mjasnik

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    0

    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    Can't wait until I try it (on my son) that is.
    I have been using nanny - but would like to upgrade to 14.04 from 10.04, as this is much faster than 12.04 & great for older computers (precisely what we give to kids) with now matured Lubuntu.
    Well, just wanted express my thanks & possibly suggest an improvement.
    • One thing I always would like to have on the nanny was ability to add time for good behavior. Remotely would be great, but on screen is just fine. Just keep a teamviewer handy is all this requires to do this remotely.

    Still a great app! Keeping my son away from windows means less games & more mature behavior.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Fareham, UK
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    1,521
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    I know its the sort of thing that isn't easy to add to an app like this but here goes anyway, I would like to see a true parental control app that rolls up a timekpr type time control and content filtering all into one easy to use program with a nice simple clean gui for parents who don't feel comfortable using the more complex tools like privoxy, dans guardian, iptables etc etc.

    It's been on my list of things to start working on for years but unfortunately I don't get much time for coding anymore.
    Catch me on Freenode - imark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    U.K.
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    This is a good addition to parental time control tools ..

    Free version ...
    http://www.opendns.com/home-internet.../opendns-home/

    Paying version ...
    http://www.opendns.com/home-internet...ndns-home-vip/

    And quite easy to setup.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    1

    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    Quote Originally Posted by mailhyoon View Post
    Can't wait until I try it (on my son) that is.
    Well, just wanted express my thanks & possibly suggest an improvement.
    • One thing I always would like to have on the nanny was ability to add time for good behavior. Remotely would be great, but on screen is just fine. Just keep a teamviewer handy is all this requires to do this remotely.
    Existing functionality
    There is actually an on screen app to do that "Timekpr Control Panel" it was already there from original project and it has button "Add time Reward / Penalty". Details here: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2014/05/t...-access-ubuntu
    One thing that I did not understood is why they needed to run it as a root from terminal as it's perfectly working from Dash, just press <Super> and write "timekpr", choose "Timekpr Control Panel" and You'll get what You want, internally it uses "gksu" to authenticate and I verified it works on my sons computer.

    Remote admin thing
    I actually do add time remotely as well: my setup is 1h every day, that's what I configure in GUI app, but sometimes I just add more time for kids just as a reward, so to do that I need to connect to that box via ssh, find a file /var/lib/timekpr/<username which kids use>.time and add more time. Time there is measured in spent seconds, for instance if user was logged in for say, half an hour, then file will contain line 1800, if You need to add more time just subtract seconds from that time and you're good to go. Timekpr accepts negative numbers as well, if You would like to reward kids with additional hour (before they spend any of time) just change the line in that file to -3600. Not user friendly, I know and You need to learn math , but that's the way I do it for years in ArchLinux and now Ubuntu, additionally at the moment I do not have plan to implement any remote admin possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by mailhyoon View Post
    Still a great app! Keeping my son away from windows means less games & more mature behavior.
    Hey, that's until they learn what the wine is (not the drink of course)
    Last edited by mjasnik; May 7th, 2014 at 04:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2014
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    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMark View Post
    I know its the sort of thing that isn't easy to add to an app like this but here goes anyway, I would like to see a true parental control app that rolls up a timekpr type time control and content filtering all into one easy to use program with a nice simple clean gui for parents who don't feel comfortable using the more complex tools like privoxy, dans guardian, iptables etc etc.

    It's been on my list of things to start working on for years but unfortunately I don't get much time for coding anymore.
    Yeah that might be very handy, BUT isn't this type of control for router/FW and not for standalone computer? Usually computers are hooked up to local net either wireless or wired, so there You set up whatever routing/FW rules You need for kids computer to restrict what sites they are allowed to visit, but when they take computer out of house that indicates they are grown up already and don't need that type of access restrictions. Or I'm wrong on this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    One thing I just came across is when I click on the launchpad link in the "about" window
    firefox launches as root.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Re: Parental controls for 14.04

    Quote Originally Posted by grumblebum2 View Post
    One thing I just came across is when I click on the launchpad link in the "about" window
    firefox launches as root.
    Well, this most likely is due to authenticating as superuser (root) + then by default sub processes are running with root as well. I'll try to look into the issue.

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