How do we implement parental controls? We have a customer with multiple retail locations and one computer at each. They switched to Ubuntu to lock down the computers, but many of the employees are computer savvy and they are still bypassing the controls. As far as I know, the computer is used for printing shipping labels, and they do need internet access for this. From what I know about the customer, they don't mind as much about browsing random websites, they care more about preventing the computer from being messed up and not being able to print, but they do want to implement those controls. Using a firewall for blocking at each site is not possible due to the cost. Here's what I've come up with so far:

  • opendns for basic parental controls
  • disabling usb access, to stop them from using portable browsers (this means compiled in a way that they don't require installation, statically linked binary?) and TOR
  • disabling Samba browsing, in case they plugged in a laptop with binaries - we can go as far as disabling ftp

We can't stop them from downloading a psiphon or TOR binary, and launching it.

Another route we could go is to lock down the computer and only allow access to the ips of the websites that they have to access. I assume this is possible with iptables. Any thoughts?


1 Answer 1


As you indicated there is a limited set of websites the applications need to access, provide those in /etc/hosts and disable DNS lookups. Just make sure you have some mechanism to update those hosts files (either remote initiated scp, or download on a regular basis).

This will not block people from using IP addresses to connect to unwanted sites, but makes the whole surfing much less enjoyable.

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