I am trying to set up Ubuntu for a school and obviously there needs to be limitations, how would I be able to limit

  • Access to certain programs, like the terminal, gparted, system monitor...
  • The ability to modify the gnome panel
  • Installation of any type of software
  • Viewing of any directory outside the home folder (with the exception of removable storage devices)
  • The ability to run any executable files located in the users home folder or any removable storage device

There are a number of things you can do:

  1. Gnome Nanny: Gnome Nanny
  2. Go to system>administration>user and groups, and set options for each user. Many of the options you seek should be here.
  3. Install eiciel, and add acl to your fstab (for the drive where the home partition is), then use eciel to edit permissions for individual users on particular applications.
  4. You can add a set of users to a group, and then prevent access to particular applications, files, and locations for this group.
  5. You can use pessulus to lock certain features out for some users.

You can also peruse the ubuntu wiki for extra tid bits.


From my knowledge and I might be wrong. Hopefully will be corrected by other community members.

About terminal, gparted, system monitor: you can chmod users not to have rights to use them. This will not and can not stop them from copying terminal from home, lets say and using it at school.

modify the gnome panel: Highly unlikely. Again you might chmod -x programs which modify it.

You are actually talking about capability based security, which does not yet exist in that level in most modern OSes (as I am aware of). If you can not see outside the home folder (read access) there is no way for the applications to run, because they run with user access rights...

Look for Kiosk installations if that's what you want. But if you are in a school then this is not the case...

  • Is there a way to at least prevent nautilus from showing any folder but the home directory? – MetaDark Oct 31 '10 at 23:39
  • I don't believe there is. The problem is such folders outside home are read-only, which is needed for applications to launch, but it also means you can't block them from being seen. – RolandiXor Oct 31 '10 at 23:57

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.