How to restrict and enforce usage for individual user?

On my home computer, one of the roommates spends entirely too much time goofing off online. These are my machines, but I don’t want to have to be a nanny to a grown man.

I want to block websites, disable flash, and set time limits. I want him restricted usage to 9am-9pm, with a two hour allotment total for the day with a minimum one hour break between those hours.

This sounds like a situation you should approach using social skills and not technical skills.

I think that may be part of the problem, as in too much social networking? :slight_smile:

How about “parental controls”. ISP’s over here often provide some free software to do that.

Like nightwishfan already suggested, this sounds like a social issue, not a technical one.

Anyway, something like this?


No RPM package that I’m aware of…

Set up cron job(s) and do this

Kiosktool can do a lot of restrictions. Anybody seen a GNOME equivalent?

These are common controls which nowadays are implemented by Policy (It’s just a name/method for implementing collections of settings as a packaged whole).

Because Linux is fundamentally based on system security and less on user-based security (for example, compared to Windows), today the things you ask may not be that easy to accomplish, Most settings by default will apply to the whole system and is harder to base on the logged in User. As previously posted, <some> things might be configurable by UserID, but YMMV.

So, some observations and suggestions to further your research (sorry, I’m not going to spend time trying to find things that might be hard to find today but may be different soon)

  • I recommend you start your investigation based on the particular Desktop you’re running (ie KDE, Gnome, other). When a User logs in, only then does the means exist easily to modify what the User can or cannot do.
  • As I noted, things may change in the relatively near future. I’ve been reading a bit lately about systemd, and I see tidbits where the possibility may exist to configure Linux security in new ways that don’t exist today. Whether that might support User based security is uncertain from what I’ve read so far, though.
  • If you implement some kind of User Based Network Security like Windows AD, then the possibility exists to do some of the things you ask, but IMO it’s not likely fool-proof. A User might find it easy to circumvent controls meant for Windows boxes that is likely imperfectly applied to Linux (you can investigate further on your own).