Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ubuntu Linux User Account Parental Time Limit Control

For years I was using the very nice timekpr script to meter out time allotments and schedules to my kids' accounts on our Ubuntu computers.  And I wrote here how to get timekpr working in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric (timekpr development was already more or less abandoned by then).  But I'm now on Ubuntu 13.10.  And despite my best efforts, I could not get the timekpr admin panel to load.  So I found kidtimer!
Kidtimer is provided by grover66 at Github as a clickable deb file that automatically installs in Ubuntu using the Ubuntu Sofware Center.  It has a terminal interface, which is not as shiny as timekpr, but probably will have more longevity.  See in the README how to install it.  I suggest clicking on the link to the "deb" file and choosing to Open with software-center, which should be the default.  Then open a terminal CTRL+ALT+T and type sudo kidtimer to run it.

Like timekpr, kidtimer lets you turn each one-hour slot in the week on or off for each user account.  Like timekpr, it also lets you allot a daily quota to each user.  It allows separate quotas for "weekdays" and "weekend".  It shows notices as forced logout approaches.

Here are some tasks you may need to do:

Check how much time a kid has at the moment.  Type sudo kidtimer gettime [username]
Add time for today.  Type sudo kidtimer addtime [username]

Don't forget to disable the guest account also.

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