The highly anticipated mechanism which is used to bar Gnome users from performing certain actions is on the way, and its name is Lockdown.
In a worldwide premiere we present you the very first tentative design :)
I was obviously joking with “worldwide premiere” but I was pretty serious about the highly anticipated. While Lockdown seems to be a product that targets in corporate environments, at the same time could be an excellent parent control tool, that can protect your kids from illegal actions or preserve them to access undesirable material.
There is no meaning to use a real case scenario because all of you understand the risks that a share computer even inside your home carries. Tech goodies are easy to get nowadays and many people have a spare laptop somewhere in the their house that every member of the family can use. In Gnome what we usually do is to creating different accounts for different users.
By creating a new user account we have two options, Admin or Standard User. Setting parent control tools on a Standard Account is something that requires the knowledge to do it, but most importantly requires the knowledge to think that we can do it.
What if in Gnome there was a third option.. A “Child Account” ? This would immediate make us to think, “hmm I have a kid, so I should pick that one” and right away an invisible mechanism would be activated and taking care all these actions to verify that our kid will stay safe from unwanted operations. That is pretty much what Lockdown is about, cool huh ?
Of course Lockdown can serve many more scenarios by pre-configuring certain aspects of the Desktop
- single purpose kiosk (eg. museum or library information point)
- internet access point
- enterprise workstation
- children computer
There will be a dconf profile for each account type and accounts could be overridden by the user. Polkit will be the toolkit responsible for granting access to applications and other options of every account type except the admin.
“If there is no appropriate account type or admin wants to review existing one, selecting More… will open the profile editor (so far the perceived editor is the pessulus next incarnation). The problem here is that pessulus is inherently a specific configuration editor, but the account type would suggest that this is a universal configuration tool. Maybe calling it Lockdown profiles… instead of More… would lessen the confusion.”
This App might not be so fancy and anticipated as the also upcoming Gnome Software Center but it is really useful, isn’t it?