Hi! I wanted to order a Librem 5 for a teenager and I would like to know if it has apps design for parental control. I read in the website that kids is one of the market Purism is targeting to. But I coudn’t find specific apps to control which apps children can use or for how long. Any idea about this?
Hey! The interface of PureOS which works on the Librem 5 is based on the GNOME desktop environment but some things are a bit modified. GNOME added parental controls a few version ago in 3.36. If I am not mistaken, PureOS on Librem 5 currently is based on exactly this version?
Parental controls have been added on that version but only initial support. (Watch out, anime Youtuber) I didn’t try it myself but there are videos which indicate this could work. Afaik on 3.38 they have been improved.
Most Linux distros allow a great degree of granular control over who can do what when using the operating system, and pureos isn’t one of the exceptions. The issue is you have to set up a user for your teenager and manually assign that user to groups and grant and revoke permissions.
None of this is very convenient on the phone at the moment. There are plans to add the option to log in as some other user via GUI to Phosh, but that’s a ways off.
A “simple” thing to do that would give you a lot of control would be to set a root password and remove the default user from the sudoers file, although that is more comlicated in pureos than in other distros.
And I was sort of under the impression that while Phosh uses GTK, it’s not really based on any existing DEs. Of course, that application could probably be used in PureOS and other distros anyway.
Technically you are right to some extend, PureOS as you mentioned uses Phosh as a “replacement” for GNOME shell. I was more referring to the GNOME ecosystem with GTK, the GNOME apps (in this case: GNOME settings) and so on.
Whereas I do not know how the parental controls have been implemented in GNOME settings, I assume they can only limit flatpak applications so far. The multi user thing is a good point of you. It can only work on multi user environments, PureOS on Librem 5 only supports one user at this time through the GUI.
It should also be noted that the approach to why it’s also good for kids, as that may differ to what you’d expect. L5 is safe, as in id does not spy on you or anyone else. Expectation of security is on the user. As I see it, in this, it puts it more on the security culture side (“use responsibly”) that on the technical restrictions (“prevent access”). Neither is teenager-proof but the former - if accompanied by adult support and participation - will probably tech overall better skills, attitude and understanding in the long run. May need to invest some time though. May have special circumstances to do otherwise.
In similar vein: would it be worth the work to set up something like a VPN to home router and set that up to filter web-content or is it preferable to set up filtering at the device? Could be for kids, could be for just malicious sites as well. Speeds probably take a hit, right?
i don’t believe you should TRUST in parental-controls to do the job for YOU as a parent.
if you want to do your job as a parent you have to take TIME to be with your ‘guarded’ and i do mean that you should be THERE with them physically. putting barriers and obstacles in front of them only works for so long.
parental-controls work best if the ‘guarded’ has been informed and has understood the danger level of each activity on the web. this is something nigh impossible to happen in practice since not even adults grasp such things … but some do … thank GOD !