Parent controls do nothing and can not be removed

This came pre-installed. Launching it shows a grey screen.

Pure OS store has an uninstall option but it returns the message that there are no packages to remove.

How do I get rid of this useless icon?

There is only one solution, become legal age and move away from your parents!

sudo apt purge malcontent && sudo apt autoremove
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I took a quick look to make sure this wasn’t going to send me to the guillotine && have my car towed. Seems to do what is needed.

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Your phone came pre-installed with this icon because Someone else has decided for you, that it belongs there whether you like it or not. What kind of phone do you think you have anyway, a Librem 5 or something?

There must be some kind of “.Desktop” file or other file in the OS where you can add or remove symlinks and other items that you want on your Desktop. My priority would be to find this location, more-so than to just get rid of that icon.

Well, the Pure OS store said there were no packages to remove. From that information I don’t know what if anything was actually installed.

The commands above remove that package involved, or so it seems to me given the package description for malcontent. The process did report a figure like 600 kb to remove so it found something.

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I think that when you open the PureOS store, it is not invoking the sudo command. So, when you try to uninstall, if sudo is needed, it is not invoked in the process. I’m assuming this is something that will be added over time?

Anyhow, so then you need to use the cli to invoke sudo to actually uninstall.

The .desktop files for applications are in this directory:

  • /usr/share/applications/

For flatpaks, each app has its own directory in this one:

  • /var/lib/flatpak/app/

The .desktop file for a flatpak is then in this directory:

  • /var/lib/flatpak/app/APP_SPECIFIC_DIRECTORY/aarch64/stable/active/export/share/applications/

If you want to hide an icon without removing the package that put it there, just copy the .desktop file to this directory:

  • ~/.local/share/applications/

and then use a text editor to add a new line to the .desktop file with the following:

  • NoDisplay=true

Instead of hiding apps, you can change their icons, names, and add or edit quick actions that are available when you tap and hold on an icon in the app drawer. Some apps have built-in quick actions, which is how I discovered this feature. It is like the quick actions on iOS, and even better because of limitless user customization.

To add quick actions to a .desktop file, use this syntax:

  • Actions=button1;button2;

    [Desktop Action button1]

    [Desktop Action button2]
    Exec=command to be executed

You can obvioiusly name the buttons whatever you want and have them execute a script or command. And you can also make your own .desktop file with whatever properties you want.

I think it’s just acting as a placeholder for now. They know they will need a parental controls app once more crucial features are working properly. I also look forward to more control over permissions in general.


This thread is full of good information.

For those here who are new to Linux, the Linux graphical environments often lack the simple graphical tools that you need and are used to accessing easily, in Windows, while those tools are easy to use from a command line terminal in Linux. For example, most Linux distros that I have used do not allow creating desktop shortcuts from the graphical interface (no right-click, create shortcut is available). But a simple use of “ln” in a terminal window will create the desired link/shortcut. So learning a handful of useful Linux commands can be extremely helpful when customizing your environment. When you get stuck, just review the list of Linux commands to see if there is a cli (command line interface) method to do what you are trying to do.

You don’t have to consciously try to remember how to create these command line instructions. Just look them up and re-create them from scratch based on on-line examples, each time you need to use them. Eventually, it gets easier to just re-create them from memory (no need to look them up anymore), and to create new command line instructions based on logic and conventions that you’ve learned over time without specifically trying to learn the command lines as a language. No need to fear the command lines. It’s like learning to ride a bike. One minute it looks impossible. Soon afterwards you’re an expert at it. I never worry about remembering the long fancy commands that I’ll probably never use again. Time and experience tells you when you might want to remember something that you will re-use later. Repetition and time do the memorization work for you the easy way. If you try to memorize the commands without using them as the method of learning, then learning to use the command lines becomes unpleasant when it should be fun. You can get by fairly well at first with only a small vocabulary of commands and only a few different ways to use those commands.

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Seems a fairly dubious decision to me (i.e. this particular application) but at the end of the day you completely control your phone.

If an application is pre-installed, you can uninstall it.

If an application is not pre-installed, you can install it.

You can change your mind as many times as you want.

Taking your point to the extreme, there would be no apps pre-installed at all except for the PureOS Store app and the Settings app (not even Calls and Chatty and Web etc.) and you would just load your phone up as you see fit.

If it were my decision, I would err on the side of “lightweight” i.e. don’t pre-install bloat, just the basics (e.g. PureOS Store and Settings and Calls and Contacts and Chatty), and let people make their own decisions beyond that. I think that for a device that is marketed as a phone, it would be desirable that it can interact with the phone network out-of-the-box.


The problem with using any Android or Google app isn’t only about the ability to install and uninstall the apps of your own choice. From my Pixil 6, running GrapheneOS and running apps in a “safe” sandbox there, I have a unique view of every Android app that I install there. Every app with very few exceptions, contains hundreds of Trojans and Spyware instances within only the one app. It’s obvious that even the more harmless looking apps are actually weapons used against you. With hundreds of Spyware instances coming from only one app, you realize that the spying is far worse than you ever imagined it could be. Even in a GrapheneOS sand box, there are significant risks. You have to install Google services and the Google Framework even in GrapheneOS, before most Android programs will even work at all. Then, even in the sandbox, it’s still not guaranteed safe then after adding those Google components. You need multiple different logins in GrapheneOS, to assure that you are not being compromised. In a safe profile login, the Android programs won’t run at all as the Google stuff is then completely disabled. So it quickly becomes obvious that Android is not safe, because of almost every app, pretty much the same apps that everyone uses most. The safer you get, the more isolated you become and the more critical apps don’t work anymore. The only complete good user experiences that you can have are the ones that open you wide up to an extreme level of successful spying against you.

The only solution is to use only apps that don’t attempt to spy on you at all to begin with. There are very few of those in Android. The Android apps that don’t spy on you tend to be the less attractive ones.

Let’s say you want to throw a party at your home. There are two different groups of people that you can choose to invite. One is a group of your most trusted personal friends and colleagues. The other group that you can choose to invite are a group of known professional thieves, burglers, and con artists. So, which group should you invite in to your home? Let’s say that you decide to invite only the trusted friends and colleagues group. But there is this one guy from the professional thrives, burglars, and con artists group. You decide to invite him also because he can really be the life of any party. When he shows up, he brings with him, several more people with him who you did not invite. All of them seem to add more to the party. But you notice all of those additional uninvited guests, looking in to bedrooms and in to your storage areas of the home, where these uninvited guests have no business being.

So to have a safe party in your home, you have to kick out even the one bad guy that you invited (any Google infested app), along with every one of his friends as well. Then you say to yourself, “gee the party isn’t as fun without them”. But at least you know who to associate with, to avoid tragedies in your life. You have to get rid of Google Play Services and Google framework. That alone will disable most of the best Android apps. So you might just as well focus on only Linux apps and even then, be careful. If your values say “I don’t tolerate any Spyware at all”, then you can’t even install one offending app. If you don’t mind the Spyware, then just use your Android or Apple phone. There really isn’t anything in-between these two extremes. All it takes is one bad guy who comes back to your home after the party when you are not home. He brakes in and steals several things from the home where you held the party. The idea isn’t to decide which bad guys to make exceptions for when putting together the invitation list to your party. The idea is to do your best to keep all bad guys completely away from your home. Don’t even give them a chance to violate your space. Don’t make yourself a target. Don’t use Waydroid to allow the same compromises to be made in Linux as you allow in Android. Don’t knowingly associate with bad guys, ever.


Yep. Totally agree. Google and his bad boy friends are not welcome at my party.

My comment was only about the apparent decision to include parental controls by default on the Librem 5.

Yahoo!!! . I thought it was used to control Parents. Now I feel safer. :upside_down_face:

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@Quarnero How does the command know to remove Parental Controls and not some other app, like login?

I want to clean the desktop but not sure about “malcontent”.

apt info malcontent

Above command will provide help there (related optional package dependencies).

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Well, seeing no other solution, I tossed caution and ran the command line from Quarnero:

I don’t know how it knows to remove Parental Control icon, but it worked.
Selecting “Y” it said 684k would be removed.
Afterward, it said 88Meg was removed. :scream:

But if I could add to Solution, it worked for me, I think. No more wasted icon. Learning new stuff every visit.

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That’s because sudo apt autoremove removes all packages that are appropriate to remove automatically, not just those packages that became in that category as a result of the preceding apt purge command.

In other words if you don’t want to channel your inner Edvard Munch then you should do
sudo apt autoremove
then do the command that you show. (So apt autoremove gets done twice.)

I know this will sound crazy, but what is a “package”? Is it something like an update ‘package’ that should have been removed but wasn’t? Or should I expect some missing programs?


That’s difficult to answer. One answer could be: It is the unit of software installation.

When you install some new software e.g. with
sudo apt install some-new-software
some-new-software is the name of a package.

So later on you would use that package name to uninstall that software if you change your mind.

Autoremoval refers to the process of removing packages that were automatically installed.

Automatic installation of a package happens when you explicitly install e.g. package some-new-software but some-new-software needs the libfubar package to be installed but libfubar is not already installed.

So some-new-software is manually installed but libfubar is automatically installed. The system keeps track of what was manually installed by you and what was automatically installed in order to satisfy the requirements of the software that you manually installed.

Now what happens when you change your mind and decide that you no longer need some-new-software to be installed?

If you remove some-new-software then the system will not automatically remove libfubar because the system can’t be sure that that is what you want to happen.

So from time to time you should do sudo apt autoremove to tell the system to tidy up any automatically installed packages that are no longer specifically needed if that is what you want to happen.

Probably not.


malcontent is Parental Controls

It is just the usual different package name🙄

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