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Several apps have been designed to help people stay away from distracting websites. However, none of the ones I've identified meets my specific needs, which are to block the websites I choose on all browsers on an Ubuntu OS.

RescueTime does not block websites, but only tracks the amount of time a user spends on them. LeechBlock is an add-on specific to the Firefox browser. Anti-Social and Freedom work only with Windows and Mac OSes.

Of course I could simply edit my /etc/hosts file, but I want something harder to over-ride than this.

Has anyone found a good app, or a good strategy, for blocking distracting websites on Ubuntu?

EDIT: I just found DansGuardian, but this seems as easy to over-ride as is editing the /etc/hosts file.

  • Have you tried OpenDNS? – Daniel Aug 28 '15 at 16:07
  • @Daniel no, hadn't heard of it. thanks for the heads up. – dbliss Aug 28 '15 at 16:11
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    opendns.com – Daniel Aug 28 '15 at 16:12
  • OpenDNS is extremely powerful. – Daniel Aug 28 '15 at 16:12
  • Have you tried blocking the sites on your router? I know some routers can do this but not sure if yours can. – user252836 Aug 28 '15 at 21:36
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This is just a simple application of logic to the information in the question, but it wasn't immediately obvious to me (i.e., it took me about two minutes to come upon), so here goes:

Instead of pursing any one strategy for blocking websites, use a combination of

  1. editing the /etc/hosts file [EDIT: This doesn't seem to do anything.]

  2. using DansGuardian (i.e., editing the /etc/dansguardian/lists/bannedsitelist file) [EDIT: This doesn't seem to do anything either.]

  3. using OpenDNS (thanks, @Daniel!)

Reverting any one of these controls is easy, but reverting all three would take substantial time (I hope), especially once one has forgotten exactly what one did to implement them.

I'm still open to the possibility of a better strategy and hope someone posts one!

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