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I'd like to make an account for my daughter in which:

  • Only the Applications menu is shown. Maybe Places. Definitely no System.
  • The Applications menu only shows the applications I choose for her (games, education, etc.)
  • There's no internet connection
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6  
Completely off-topic, but I recommend computer proofing your kid. It is likely harder, but ultimately provides a better outcome. I mean, don't give her root but Ubuntu user accounts are pretty self-contained for system damage by default. And, yes, I have implemented this upgrade successfully myself. –  msw Aug 13 '10 at 14:45
    
I know what you mean, but she is 5 years old; I just want her to use some apps like gCompris or Childsplay. Gradually I'll place more apps in her menu to explore. Thanks for the advice. –  lamcro Aug 14 '10 at 11:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

To add the new user, go into System -> Administration -> Users and Groups. You can add a new account from here which you should definitely give limited permissions. I would set the account type to 'Desktop User'.

You can then click on 'Advanced Settings', click the 'User Privileges' tab and untick the following:

  • 'Connect to the internet using a modem'
  • 'Connect to wireless and ethernet networks'

This should disable the internet.

I don't think there is an easy way to not show the whole 'System' menu but you can disable menu items using alacarte by right clicking on the menu bar and clicking edit menus. As long as the new user account doesn't have administration privileges, they can't do any harm to the system through these menus anyway. She won't be able to do anything with the System -> Administration programs for instance. The worst thing she can do is completely mess up her theme and delete all her personal files but this will not affect the system as a whole.

Alternatively, if there is only a small number of programs you want her able to access, you could delete the menu applet from the top panel and add shortcuts to the desktop of the programs you want her to access.

See this question for other parental control options.

You may be interested in a program called GNOME Nanny although it is still under development and there are no stable releases.

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Note that the “Connect to ...” privileges only control establishing the connection. If the connection is active (e.g. because someone else is logged in on another console, or because the connection comes up at boot time), every user can use it. –  Gilles Aug 13 '10 at 13:06

I think your answer is pessulus or Sabayon - so called Lock-down editors. See http://library.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/2.14/ (scroll down to the heading "2. What's New For Administrators")

If I understand correctly, what you need is a kiosk mode where only your selected apps are allowed to be run by the user and nothing more. You can check out this post to know more about this.

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Edit: Pessulus is the lock-down editor - this allows admin to specify detailed privilges and allowed apps per user. Sabayon is a user profile editor. Available as package pessulus and sabayon in APT –  koushik Aug 13 '10 at 13:28

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