Our five-year-old girl is enjoying Ubuntu at the moment - there are some great educational and entertainment applications available for kids. But a problem I have is that as she learns to use the mouse she has discovered the network-manager menu. As she is also learning to read at the moment, she is paying attention to new words. There is some pretty offensive stuff popping up from time-to-time and I would like a way to either:

a) Block one specific offensive SSID from appearing on the list of available (but secured) networks b) Automatically block any offensive entries by keyword.

Eventually, I think Ubuntu could really use something like this but in the mean-time - does anyone know how I could best achieve this effect without uninstalling network-manager?

4 Answers 4


If your doughter users a separate user account, it would be possible to auto-kill the network manager applet only when she loggs in. That will remove it from the pannel completely, but will not affect an already established connection.

Managing network connection without the applet would be problematic, but if necessary, you could always restart is by pressing alt-f2, typing nm-applet and hitting Enter. To kill it again, run pkill nm-applet.

Now, to make it auto-kill, add a startup application, name it, for example, nm-applet-killer, and in the Command feild, enter the following:

bash -c 'sleep 30 && pkill nm-applet'

The sleep X part is the timeout in seconds, and can be adjusted as needed.

  • 3
    Thank you mike whatever, that sorts out the problem by removing the nm-applet while maintaining the default internet connection. The correct format for the command needs to be: bash -c 'sleep 10s && pkill nm-applet' Thanks again, I can relax now! Oct 1, 2012 at 18:37
  • Thank you for the correction. I've actually used a ; when testing, but missed it above. Oct 1, 2012 at 22:43

You can refer to this question about hiding the network manager: Show/Hide either top panel or NetworkManager Applet from command line

Move the following file : /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop

  • 2
    Hi kamil. This is not ideal as it effects all users of the system (there are multiple accounts). But it's good to know there is at least one way to achieve the effect, thank you. Sep 21, 2012 at 16:22

Set her up as a basic user with no administrative rights to the system. Set up your network manager to automatically connect to your own wireless network by default.

Equally important, I would use OpenDNS nameservers as they have good parental control options. It makes for faster Internet access, and they block phishing and ID theft sites, too. Basic services are free and you can set up keyword filters.


They run a free service called Family Shield which is free and blocks all adult content.

Hope this helps...

  • Hi Scooby-2, from what I understand of your solution I will be connecting to my wireless network by default. But this is already the case. The problem is that the offensive text is visible in the list of available networks should she click on the network-manager applet. Sep 21, 2012 at 16:21

You can turn roaming mode off and configure ubuntu to only connect to your network.. go to system->admin->network and go to the wifi interface properties and uncheck roaming mode1

  • 1
    Hi Ketan Patel, I've tried your suggestion but I don't see this "roaming mode" option. I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 running Unity. Oct 1, 2012 at 18:28

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