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So, you have a machine running Linux which is also used by kids. We all know how the Web may be dangerous, especially for youngest of Internet fans. But do you know how to shield your Linux system and control what your kids do online?
Even though there are many Linux distros especially aimed at children, this article will focus on how to get your current “adult” distro kid-safe, complementing a previous Make Tech Easier article.Offline Control
An important aspect of kids’ computer usage is the amount of time they spend in front of the screen. A limitation and control of kids’ computing time is vital to avoid future addictions, and let’s face it, kids need to play with real toys, exercise, and so on.
timekpr is a program developed to track and control the computer usage time of a system’s accounts on a daily basis. It allows this limitation to be set both as a “green” period of the day (setting a period of time in which that specific user may use the system) and/or as an amount of hours per day. Unfortunately, timekpr is not available for ubuntu 11.04+ yet, even though its creators expect to provide a new release by August 2013.Controlling Internet Usage
Surfing on the web requires lots of care and responsibility even to adults. Kids are curious and have a natural tendency to explore, so it is no wonder that they end up visiting dangerous or less appropriate websites (not only in a content point of view, but also dangerous to the system’s security). In order to prevent these kind of situations, there are several programs available, usually called “parental control” programs.
Gnome Nanny will help with parental control in Linux and is probably the most well-equipped and user-friendly program available. Specially directed to infant control, it helps define separate rules for different users. It has a tabbed interface divided in “PC use time”, “Web browser”, “Mail client” and “Instant messaging”.
The first feature presents the same functionality as timekpr, so if you want a full suite, Nanny is probably better to fulfill your needs. The second feature is probably the most important, giving the possibility to establish which sites are forbidden and which allowed, either by hand or by downloading lists available online. As far as the site informs, the latest (and unstable) Nanny version was released back in 2010, so its development probably ended back then. It is also reported that Nanny works only with three browsers, Epiphany, Firefox and Konqueror, so if you use other browser I recommend that you test Nanny’s effectiveness.
Finally, WebContentControl is a different kind of program, since it is made to, with its GUI, take control and help users configure other programs – specifically, DansGuardian, FireHol, and TinyProxy. Besides controlling these apps, it provides an easier way to start/stop filtering, backs up configuration files, only changes what is really necessary, and provides SSL filtering.
Now, back to you, how do you configure your computer to restrict Internet access for your kids?
Image credit: Baby With Notebook Portable Computer by BigStockPhoto
Diogo (@diogocostaweb) is a Biologist with a grip on computers and technology. Running Windows systems all his life, has a big interest in discovering new apps that increase productivity or simply make things more interesting. He lives in Portugal and has photography and music as main hobbies. He is also the author of the page chúng tôi a page for short (but useful) computer tweaks and tutorials.
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Children have become more tech-savvy these days than never before. Even a pre-school kid can be able to open apps and play various games on an android device. While bringing up a digital generation is a good thing, your kids could be exposed to inappropriate content online. Additionally, your child could be purchasing apps and games, thus drastically increase your bill. Fortunately, you can control what your kids do or access on Android devices. This guide will show you how to set up parent control on Android phones to monitor and restrict their activities on the devices.
Related: How to setup parental control in iPhone?Option 1: Set Up Parental Control in Google Play Store
You can control what content your kids can purchase or download from the Google Play Store using maturity levels.
Launch the Play Store app and tap the menu icon (the 3-horizontal lines) at the top-left corner of the screen.
Scroll down and open the Play Store “Settings”.
Play Store Settings
Under the “User controls” section and tap “Parental controls” to enable/ disable and configure.
Related: How to setup parental control in Windows 10 PC?
Tap the switch to turn on the option, enter a Pin in the dialogue that appears and press the “Ok” button.
Confirm the Pin on the next dialogue and press “Ok” again.
Content PINSetting Restrictions for Content
On the Parental Controls page, press “Apps & games” to set restrictions.
Pick an option under “Allow Up To” based on the maturity level of the user you want to control. “Rated for 3+” is the most restrictive level.
Tap the “Save” button to complete the setup.
Note: Setting up Parental Controls in the Google Play Store will only restrict your child from downloading or purchasing apps above the selected level. However, the kid can still access apps that you have already installed on your device.Option 2: Setting Up Parental Controls with Google Family Link
Family Link is a mobile app that helps parents keep track of their kid’s digital trails and set usage rules for Android devices. The app enables you to monitor how your child uses apps on the device, lock the phone remotely and set screen time limit.
Open “Google” settings from the device settings homepage and tap “Parental Controls”.
If you have not installed the Family Link app, follow the screen instructions to download and install on your device.
Open the app and tap the “Get started” link at the bottom of the screen.
Start Family Link
If you want to control from the current device, select “Parent” on the next page.
Related: How to setup parental control in Mac?
You need to download and install the Family Link app on your child phone and enter the code given on the next page to connect the devices.
Follow the screen prompts to the end to complete the setup process.
When finished you will be able to review preinstalled apps on the target phone and block any app that you find inappropriate.
On your phone, you can monitor app activities, filter content, track location and control screen time of the target phone.Option 3: Add Restricted User Profile on Your Android Phone
Another Parental Control method on Android phones is to create a new restricted account on the phone for the child. However, the option is not available in some phones though most of the modern models provide that option.
If your device allows, open the device settings app, scroll down to and tap “Users” located under the “Device” category.
Set Up User
Set up the space for the new user by following the screenplay instructions to complete the process.
To switch between the profile, swipe down the screen from the top edge and then tap the user icon at the top of the display.
Pick the profile you want to switch to, you will be logged off from the current account so you can provide the login credential for the other profile.Conclusion
Controlling what your child is up to on the phone is a key role for every responsible parent. Whether your child is using their device or sharing yours, you can use the above methods to set up parental control and monitor their activities on Android phones. If you need further control, you may install a third-part parental control app with the features and functionality that suits your needs.
It’s no secret that internet-equipped devices have completely revolutionized the world. Like all new things, these possibilities fascinate kids, and for the most part that’s a great thing. Even if the internet has moved on somewhat from its original lofty academic goals, it’s still a powerful force for connecting with people, knowledge, and entertainment. I’m sure you can already sense the ‘however’ coming, because like any human social reality, it’s not always just sunshine and roses.
In an age when kids are often more tech-savvy than their parents, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what’s going on in their digital lives. Whether you want to limit the amount of time they spend staring at a device, protect them from unacceptable content, or keep track of who they’re talking to online, there is a software solution for the problem.
Qustodio is my top pick for the best parental control software because it offers a comprehensive set of tools to manage any aspect of your children’s device usage, from blocking specific websites to preventing mobile apps and games from running to limiting screen time. There’s even an online dashboard that does a bunch of number-crunching to give you a quick breakdown of their digital habits on a single screen. Big data has finally reached parenting!
If you’re looking for a free alternative, you might find yourself out of luck. The few free options there tend to be quite limited, although some of the paid options offer more limited versions of their software for free. Kaspersky Safe Kids has one of the best free monitoring options, but as you’ll see in my review, there is a major issue that might make you rethink using it.
An honorable mention goes to OpenDNS Family Shield, which provides free automatic filtering of objectionable website content as long as you have some tech know-how. It’s not exactly software, but it allows you to configure your internet connection to use OpenDNS name servers to filter your home web browsing. It doesn’t have the same bells and whistles as a paid app, and there is no specific control over what content is blocked, but the price is right. If you configure it using your home router, you can protect every single device in one stroke. You probably won’t want to use it by itself, but it’s a great way to ensure that even unmonitored devices have a safer browsing experience.
Why Trust Me for This Guide
Hi, my name is Thomas Boldt, and I’ve been immersed in the world of computers and software for my entire life. Without getting into too many specifics about exactly how long that’s been, I remember watching internet access gradually become common in the average family home and seeing the very birth of the parental control software industry. It was never used in my household when I was young because when my parents needed to limit my screen time they could simply take away the power cord to the computer (I really liked computers).
Of course, that approach wouldn’t really work today, and both the internet and the way we access it have changed a great deal since then. Now that I have a young child of my own in a household full of internet-equipped devices, I see the need to manage the situation a bit more carefully. As a result, the winner of this roundup review will be the software that I choose to use in my own household to make sure that my daughter is safe and happy online – and to make sure she doesn’t overdo it with her screen time.
Disclaimer: None of the companies listed in this roundup review have provided me with free software or any other kind of compensation in exchange for these reviews. They have not had any editorial input on the content or review of my final decisions.
Keeping a Digital Eye on Your Kids
Like many software industries where safety is a concern, many companies in this area market themselves as providing peace of mind. For the most part, this is entirely true: good parental control software provides you with a sense of what your kids are up to, even if you’re busy at work or they’re hiding out in their room.
But there’s one extremely important thing to remember: no software can be a substitute for proper parenting.
While you can monitor and control all the devices that they have access to in your home, that won’t protect them everywhere. Good parental control software is a key part of raising your kids safely in an increasingly digital world, but it’s important to remember that it is only ONE of the tools available to you. No matter how good it is, nothing is better than actually talking to your kids about the importance of online safety.
If you’re not a regular computer user, it’s understandable that you may not be sure how to talk to your kids about online safety – but even if you’re an internet professional, you may still want a bit of help. MediaSmarts is a Canadian foundation dedicated to digital and media literacy, and they offer a huge set of guides and tip sheets for parents who want to know how to protect kids against modern problems like online safety and cyberbullying. Teach them how to stay safe online, and you might learn something along the way too!
Of course, kids are still kids, and they can sometimes wind up in trouble even when they know better – that seems to be one of the inescapable rules of growing up. The very best parental control software will allow you to get ahead of this by keeping tabs on additional things like social media accounts, SMS messages, and other messaging apps.
Ensuring that your software is regularly updated will also help keep you on top of any emerging dangers when it comes to cybersecurity, and help to make sure they aren’t circumventing your program’s watchful eye. Kids are often surprisingly tech-savvy, and there’s always the possibility that they’ll figure out a way around the protective measures you implement.
Once you’ve chosen a software solution you can rest a bit easier, but you can’t just set it up and forget about it. Like many things in parenting, keeping your kids safe and healthy online is a constant ongoing process. In order for it to work properly, you need to stay actively involved. Parental control software is a great start, but it can’t manage everything – not yet, at least!
Best Parental Control Software: Our Top Picks
Note: While I’ll be using the winner myself, for the purposes of testing each program, I’m naturally not using anyone’s real name or information other than my own. Safety first, after all!
Best Paid: Qustodio
Qustodio is a well-regarded parental control software package with good reason, despite its slightly confusing name (think ‘custodian’ or ‘custody’). If you’re only protecting one device, there is a free version available with limited website filtering features, but the paid premium plans are quite affordable and include additional monitoring options.
The plans are based around how many devices you want to protect: up to 5 devices for $54.95 per year, up to 10 devices for $96.95 per year, or up to 15 devices for $137.95 per year. If you need to protect more devices than that, you may be able to contact Qustodio to set up a specialized plan.
The software is relatively simple to install and set up, so you can start monitoring your child’s online behavior almost instantly. Even if they have access to multiple devices in the home, you can protect them all simply by installing the software on each device and then checking the ‘Hide Qustodio on this device’ box during the install process to prevent them from being able to meddle with the settings.
Quick and hidden installation makes it easy to protect your kids
Management of your Qustodio settings is handled through a user-friendly online interface that can be accessed from anywhere. You get quick access to a dashboard that shows a breakdown of all device and internet usage, including general usage time, the amount of time spent on each category of website, and time spent on social media. It will also give you a breakdown of the different apps that your kids use, as well as how long they spend with each one.
I’m not entirely sure why it thought these were my search terms, as they’re all results from reading various Google News articles. ‘Gambling’ was the only term I actually searched for, but it did pull out the appropriate keywords from each article.
Rather than making you manually input all the websites you might want to block, Qustodio has a series of categories that can be allowed, blocked, or set to alert you when they are accessed without actually blocking them. You can also manually configure certain websites to be blocked or allowed if you disagree with Qustodio’s categorization choices. The filtering features work properly even when accessing HTTPS secure websites, and it’s not fooled by using private browsing modes.
For those of you with kids who are spending too much time in front of a screen, Qustodio allows you to quickly set up a schedule for device usage. As with their other control features, this one is quite simple to set up. Qustodio is available for a huge range of platforms, including all versions of Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and even Kindle and Nook e-readers, ensuring that you’ll be able to monitor your kids no matter what device they’re using.
One of the more unique features of Qustodio is their offerings for mobile devices, which go above and beyond what’s available in most other parental control packages. From call and SMS monitoring to location tracking, you can rest easy knowing that your child’s smartphone will only be usable for approved activities. You can block incoming or outgoing calls, contacts from specific phone numbers, and get location alerts regularly about where your child’s device is.
Another unique feature of their mobile package is the ‘panic button’, although it’s only available for Android devices. While it’s absolutely no substitute for 911 emergency services, it can be configured with up to 4 trusted contact numbers to allow your child to easily reach out to people you choose in case they find themselves in need of help.
The only issue that I had with Qustodio involved the initial setup, which was rather frustrating. When trying to install it on my desktop for testing, the program simply wouldn’t work, without any explanation of what the issue was. After a bit of digging, it seems like the culprit is one of the anti-malware protection apps I run, most likely Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. I tried installing it on my laptop (which uses McAfee instead), and it worked with no issues. This is a bit of a disappointing result, but it’s worth keeping in mind that you may be able to uninstall Malwarebytes, install Qustodio and then reinstall Malwarebytes.
Despite that little hiccup, the software generally works quite well. It provides a great deal of peace of mind, although it’s important to remember that no software can replace proper parenting!
Honorable Mention: OpenDNS FamilyShield
Most of the time, this happens without any intervention from you at all – your internet service provider automatically provides you with access to a DNS server. It’s possible to reconfigure your connection to use alternative DNS servers, which is how the Family Shield system works.
Almost all home internet connections use a device known as a router to provide local wifi and wired internet access. By logging into your wifi router and configuring your DNS servers to use the Family Shield servers instead of the default ones provided by your ISP, you can protect every single device in your home all at once. OpenDNS offers a quick guide on how to set up a range of devices here. Or you can watch this video tutorial:
Best Parental Control Software: The Paid Competition
Net Nanny is one of the first parental control software programs ever developed, getting its start way back in 1995 when the internet itself was just a kid. It offers a comprehensive set of web filtering options, with an extremely specific set of categories that cover a wide range of topics. Each category can be configured to allow, block or warn the user of the mature nature of the content they are accessing, and you can set up individualized profiles for each member of the family. The software isn’t fooled by HTTPS or private mode browsing, making it more comprehensive than some of the other options available.
Individualized reports are available displaying each user’s habits in a convenient online dashboard, from how long they spend on each website to their web search history. You can also schedule device time limits, allowing you to restrict both specific times and provide a general usage allowance per day or per week.
I like the feature that allows kids to request access to the website in case it was miscategorized, and all requests show up in your online dashboard for your review
The main drawback of Net Nanny is its complete lack of social media monitoring. While younger children won’t have access to social media accounts, teenagers are most definitely in love with them and use them constantly. If it wasn’t for this huge gap in their protection, they would be a much stronger contender.
If you decide you don’t need social media monitoring features, Net Nanny is available in a series of 3 plans: single-device protection for Windows or Mac for $39.99 per year, protection for 5 devices for $59.99 per year, or protection for 10 devices for $89.99 per year. Mobile device protection is only available on the two ‘Family Pass’ plans which cover 5 or 10 devices.
2. uKnowKids Premier
Quick update: uKnowKids was taken over by Bark in early 2023.
uKnowKids is a service focused specifically on social media monitoring and doesn’t provide any kind of website filtering or device usage limitations. It’s exclusively designed for monitoring mobile devices, although most of the features are centered around Android phones. Monitoring iOS devices costs an extra $50, although that’s a one-time cost.
There’s no explanation given about why Apple devices require an additional purchase, which makes me slightly suspicious of their motives. Apple devices themselves often come at an expensive premium, and some part of me wonders whether they are simply trying to cash in on this perceived extra value.
It’s also capable of monitoring SMS messages and phone calls, as well as device location, contacts, and even photos. Since texting slang is always changing, it even provides a quick-access glossary of acronyms and other slang.
Overall though, uKnowKids is not complete enough to be a one-stop-shop for parental monitoring. The lack of any website filtering features is a major gap in its protection, and the pricing plans leave a lot to be desired.
3. Kaspersky Safe Kids
Kaspersky Safe Kids is available as both a free service and a premium service, although the free service only offers a limited form of protection such as web filtering, app management, and device usage limitations.
The premium service is available for $14.99 per year, making it the most affordable service by far. A premium account adds in location monitoring, social media monitoring, SMS and call monitoring (Android devices only) as well as real-time alerts when they attempt to access something inappropriate.
Interestingly, Kaspersky allows a number of categories by default that are set to be blocked by other parental control services, so be sure to review your default settings carefully. Otherwise, they offer an impressive range of monitoring services, and the online dashboard for monitoring everything is very well-designed.
The premium service was very close to being my first choice for parental control software, but Kaspersky itself has been in some hot water recently about their alleged exploitation by the Russian government. While they categorically deny any such associations, it definitely makes me wary of giving them access to a complete surveillance profile about my child and all my devices.
4. Norton 360
Norton has been around almost as long as Net Nanny, but their family protection products are much newer than the antivirus software that first made them famous. As a result, they’ve gone through a number of confusing iterations of their software, but at last, they’ve begun to consolidate things into a single package.
Norton 360 offers their anti-virus and anti-malware protection, as well as all the features of the Norton Family Premier for about the same cost per year. It’s available for Windows, Android, and iOS, but oddly it doesn’t support the Microsoft Edge browser found in Windows 10. You’re better off with Chrome or Firefox anyways, but it’s a strange gap in their abilities. You can get a free 30-day trial of Norton Security Premium, but if you want to install the Family Premier program you’ll have to register and install NSP first.
Unfortunately, Norton seems to have come down a bit in terms of reliability. It was the only program I installed that actually crashed during setup, which doesn’t fill me with confidence in its ability to safely monitor my child’s usage.
I also didn’t have very good luck using the dashboard. Despite the fact that the web content filtering worked well enough to block me from visiting specific websites, the online dashboard didn’t update itself to reflect that information. There isn’t much use in a monitoring dashboard if it doesn’t update regularly!
If you manage to get everything set up properly, Norton boasts an excellent range of monitoring and filtering tools, from web content filtering to social media monitoring to location monitoring. It offers a convenient online dashboard for reviewing all the data it logs, and it can protect up to 10 devices.
Free Parental Control Software
Microsoft Family is a free service provided by Microsoft, offering a number of useful parental controls. It requires that every member of the family have a Microsoft account, but these are free and relatively easy to set up if you don’t already have one. It does naturally have a few drawbacks, however. It’s only available for Windows PCs and Windows mobile devices, and even on these, you’re limited to filtering content in the Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. You can block other browsers from running, which forces the use of IE or Edge, but that’s still not ideal.
If you don’t mind these restrictions, though, there are some pretty solid features considering that the entire service is free. You can schedule screen time limits, block content from specific websites, and prevent your child from spending a ton of money in online stores without your permission.
You can also get a quick overview of all of their online habits on Windows 10 and Xbox devices, or find their Windows mobile device using GPS. Setup is quite simple, although there are no predefined categories of specific websites to block so you’ll have to go through and block any offensive websites by hand, although this is almost impossible considering how much mature content there is on the web. But you can’t argue with the price point – free – so this might be a good service when combined with another free option like OpenDNS Family Shield for automatic web filtering.
As you might guess from the name, KidLogger is more of a monitoring app than a control app. It doesn’t allow you to filter websites, prevent apps from running or schedule screen time, but does it allow you to monitor all these activities and their usage times. It also logs all keystrokes entered on the computer, and it’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. It can record Skype calls and instant messages, or record directly from the microphone when a certain volume level is reached.
If you’re not sure that you want to actively stop your kids from using their devices the way they want, this might be a better solution for you than simply banning things outright. It gives you a chance to keep an eye on what your kids are up to and then have a discussion with them about it if you find something objectionable. Unfortunately, there is nothing to prevent a tech-savvy kid from simply uninstalling the program unless you choose one of the paid plans, so this isn’t really the best solution for older children or teens.
How We Chose Parental Control Software
There are quite a few different approaches to parental control software, and they’re not all created equal. Here’s a list of the factors we took into consideration during our review process:
Does it have good filtering tools?
Like in the world of medicine, there is a great deal of value in prevention. A good parental control program will allow you to set up filters to block harmful and objectionable content from the web, preventing young eyes from seeing things they shouldn’t. Ideally, it should be customizable but simple to configure. Some basic filtering tools are fooled by using a web browser’s private browsing mode or the HTTPS protocol, but the better ones will still filter content accessed using these methods.
Does it offer comprehensive monitoring options?
In addition to blocking content, it’s important to know what your kids are up to online. You may want to monitor their social media usage, their SMS messages, and any other conversations they have online. The best software will allow you to monitor all of these communication methods, and some will even include some sort of real-time location monitoring for mobile devices.
Does it allow you to limit device usage?
Whether or not you want to monitor every single thing that your child does online or not, you may still want to limit how much time they spend staring at a screen. This may take the form of a lockout screen and hopefully provides the child with some idea of how much time they have left for free usage. Some of the more effective monitoring programs can restrict the use of specific apps and games, allowing your child to continue to do school work without any unwanted distractions.
Does it work on multiple platforms?
While some households may use Apple or Windows products exclusively, most large families tend to have a mix of different platforms and device types. Not only that, but more and more devices are becoming capable of accessing the internet and online content, from gaming consoles to ebook readers. The best parental control software will cover as many devices as possible, ensuring that your kids will be protected no matter what they’re using.
Is there a limit to how many devices it can protect?
Back in 2024, the average North American household had seven connected devices, and that number has been rising ever since with no end in sight. Many developers of parental control software limit the number of devices that you can protect, although the better ones offer flexible plans that allow you to choose the right option for your family. Some of the best don’t limit the number of devices at all so that your protection will grow as fast as your family needs.
Does it give you easy access to data about your child’s usage habits?
Monitoring your child’s device usage and online habits is a great first step, but you need to be able to get quick access to the data at any time. It should be presented clearly in an easy-to-read format that provides you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your child’s privileges. Ideally, this information should be secure but accessible from a range of devices, so you can check up on them whether you’re at your computer or on a mobile device.
Is it simple to configure?
Last but certainly not least, good parental control software should be relatively simple to set up. The best protection in the world is useless if it’s misconfigured or too frustrating to set up properly. Ideally, it should provide you with a simple set of customizable options to determine just what limits you want to place on your child’s access and usage.
A Final Word
Choosing a parental control solution can be a difficult choice, but hopefully, this has made it easier to sort out the good programs from the bad.
But the one thing that I cannot stress enough is that no matter how good your parental control software is, it is no substitute for actually talking to your kids about the importance of online safety and good internet usage habits. Good software can be a huge help, but it can’t replace you! =)
Whether it’s for an SSH Ubuntu server or because your mouse stopped working, learning how to use Linux shutdown commands on the command line works wonders for everybody. Here we show you how to master the shutdown command to quickly shut down your PC.
Tip: Learn the differences between Shut down, hibernate or Sleep.What’s a Shutdown Command?
On Linux, there are two ways to turn your PC off (three if pulling the plug counts):
Pressing the shutdown button
Shutting down via the Terminal.
While it might be a hassle trying to access Terminal first before shutting down, it’s actually pretty useful, especially for shutting down a remote Linux PC or server through SSH.
The shutdown command turns your PC off much like the shut down button on the system tray does. But it gets even better: it has options that lets you choose when to turn off, among other things.How to Use Shutdown Commands
The format goes like this:1. Basic Shutdown Command
The shutdown command starts the shutdown process that kills all ongoing applications before powering off. This requires a time setting – you need to tell it when to shut down before it works. By adding now next to shutdown, you’re telling your PC to stop everything it’s doing and shut down immediately.
You can also link an automatic shutdown shortcut to this command and make a DIY shutdown button. It’s a useful command for SSH servers because it’s super simple to remember. However, some Linux distros and versions might require you to add either a -h or -P flag to work.
Good to know: You can check the shutdown and reboot dates on your Linux PC easily with these tips.2. Shutdown without Power Off
There are times when it’s better to turn the computer off without taking out the power. The halt command does everything that the shutdown command does minus the final step – cutting power out from the system. This works great for when you have self-contained peripherals that take a longer time to turn off than the main computer.
However, you’re better off using the shutdown command with the -h flag. This is because shutdown allows you to set when to turn off the PC, which we’ll get into in a bit.3. Shutdown with Power Off
When your Linux PC or server is on a different room, having to physically press the power button would be pretty problematic. Luckily, sudo poweroff lets you automatically kill all power to the computer so your CPU would be safe from power surges and other power-related things that could break it.
Still, the best Linux shutdown command to use would be the shutdown command with the -P flag. Just remember that it needs a capitalized “P” and not a small one.4. Shutdown after X Minutes
Remember that this does not wait for any processes to end before working, so if your task takes a little longer than it should, this Linux shutdown command will turn your PC off as soon as the countdown finishes.5. Shutdown at a Certain Time 6. Send a Warning Message Before Shutdown
For automated shutdown and restart functions on servers, this message can be really important. You can add this to a script that runs upon boot. That way, your Linux server can automatically shut down for scheduled maintenance or update.7. Basic Restart Command
By using the -r flag, you can make your PC reboot instead of powering down. You can replace now with the time to make a scheduled shutdown, which works great for automatic systems and servers with nightly updates.
Alternatively, there’s the sudo reboot command, but this one doesn’t allow you setting the time. It works the same as sudo shutdown -r now for the most part.
Tip: It is good to reboot your PC after updating your Linux kernels.8. Forced Shutdown Commands
It’s not everyday when you get a system that just becomes unresponsive to the point that most commands won’t work. The poweroff, halt, and shutdown commands can take the -f flag to force a shut down. This is basically the electronic version of a power switch – it’ll force-kill all tasks and shut down.
Only use this for when normal shutdown and restart commands don’t work. You’re bound to lose data (and system integrity) whenever you use this.Bonus: Cancel a Shutdown Command
Suppose you made a mistake and wanted to cancel a scheduled shutdown command. Neither Ctrl + C nor typing exit on the command line would stop it.
The shutdown command has a -c option which tells the system to cancel whatever time it was that you planned to shut it down.Frequently Asked Questions Do Linux shutdown commands break apps?
The shutdown command will not break apps, but if you have unsaved files, then the changes will be lost when the system shut down.Why do I need to type “sudo” every time I enter a shutdown command on Linux?
The shutdown command is a system level app, that is why it requires the super user privileges to run.Do Linux shutdown commands work on Windows?
No. The shutdown command only works in Linux. For Windows, you can make use of these tips to shut it down remotely.Can I turn off my PC before a scheduled shutdown?
A scheduled shutdown is only there to work when the conditions are met. You can safely turn your PC off at any time before the scheduled shutdown.
Image credit: human hand press shutdown button on virtual screen by 123RF. Screenshot by Terenz Jomar Dela Cruz
Terenz Jomar Dela Cruz
Terenz is a hobbyist roboticist trying to build the most awesome robot the world has ever seen. He could have done that already if he wasn’t so busy burning through LEDs as a second hobby.
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Intel is adding new sensors to its server chips to help companies improve the efficiency of data center cooling systems, with a view to cutting operating costs and prolonging the life of equipment.
Intel will make the data available for use by tools that model airflow and cooling in data centers, providing a more accurate way to uncover hot spots and cold spots, and to run simulations that show where to put new IT equipment for the greatest cooling efficiency, he said.
At the DatacenterDynamics conference in San Francisco last week, Intel presented results from a proof-of-concept it conducted with Future Facilities, which develops CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software for simulating airflow.
The test showed that the on-chip sensors allow CFD tools to model more accurately how air is moving in a data center, and also to predict more accurately how new IT equipment will affect airflow, said Akhil Docca, engineering and product manager at Future Facilities.
“If CFD modeling is done properly you can really get closer to the physics of the data center, and if you can visualize your airflow, you can manage it,” he said.
The proof-of-concept was done on two server racks zoned off from the rest of the data center. The next step is to try it on a larger scale, he said.
Cooling systems are carefully configured to provide the right amount of cold air needed to cool a data center. But when IT departments install new equipment, airflow patterns get disturbed, warm and cold air mixes, and cooling capacity is wasted.
“What Intel proposes is to establish the server as the source of the data,” he said. “It’s the source of demand [for cooling], so it makes sense that it should be the source of data as well.”
“We use that real-time data to see what’s happening today, but also to project what might happen if you bring in 300 servers tomorrow,” Docca said.
The data will be available to other management tools besides CFD software, Vincent said.
Intel will enable the sensors in components it sells to “white box” vendors next year, he said. For the big server vendors, it will be up to them whether they enable the sensors in their equipment, and it’s unclear if all of them will. The sensor data won’t be free, Vincent said — Intel licenses a software tool called Node Manager to read the power data it provides currently.
That should make life easier for companies developing third-party management tools, and help customers who manage servers from multiple vendors.
“We’re aware of Intel’s value proposition here and plan to pass it on to customers,” Wilcox said.
HP also puts temperature sensors in its ProLiant servers — 32 of them, according to Michael Kendall, a group manager for HP’s industry-standard servers and software. It feeds the data into its server management tools, which can perform tasks like varying fan speeds depending on how much cooling is needed. It also makes the data available to nlyte Software, a maker of data-center-infrastructure management software, through a partnership.
One challenge is educating customers about the technologies available to them. Most customers probably don’t know about all the instrumentation data that’s already available to them, Wilcox said.
For the sensors to achieve their full potential, IT and facilities staff will have to work together more closely. The ultimate goal of this project and a similar one conducted last year by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs is to link IT equipment directly to power and cooling systems, so that supply can be adjusted automatically to match demand.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Google’s solution for supervising what other users are doing on Chromebooks is called Google Family Link. You can use Google Family Link to set up parental controls for your children’s Chromebooks. Here’s how to set it up.
More: What is a Chromebook, and what can and can’t it do?
Device requirements for parental controls on Chromebooks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Parents will need Android devices running at least Android 7.0 Nougat, or an Apple device running at least iOS 11, to use Chromebook parental controls with Google Family Link. The Chromebook in question will need to run at least Chrome OS 71. If your Chromebook isn’t updated, don’t forget to check out our step-by-step guide on how to do so below.
Read also: How to update your Chromebook
Setting up Chromebook parental controls
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
First, download and use the Google Family Link app on your phone to set up an account for your child.
If it is a new Chromebook, follow the setup process and sign in with your (parent) account. This is vital, as the first account used to sign in becomes the owner account and has access to special privileges. Skip to the next step if the Chromebook is already active.
Now, add your child’s account to the Chromebook.
In the People section, go to Manage Other People.
Turn on Restrict sign-in to the following users. You will see a list of accounts added to the Chromebook and be able to add and remove them accordingly.
Turn off Enable Guest Browsing.
See also: The best Chromebooks you can buy
Chromebook parental control features in Google Family Link
We’ve talked a lot about how to set your Google Family Link restrictions, but what can you actually do? After all, it’s not helpful to run into Family Link mostly blind. Here are a few of the most important features you can manage:
Restrict or block access to apps from the Chrome Web Store and the Google Play Store.
Disable Incognito Mode.
Manage the websites your children can visit on Chrome.
Limit your child’s ability to grant permissions to websites.
By default, with Family Link, the Chrome browser tries to block sexually explicit and violent sites from being shown to children.
Set bedtimes, time limits, and lock devices.
Read more: The best budget Chromebooks
Open the Family Link app.
Select your child’s account.
Locate and tap YouTube.
Turn the Allow app toggle off.
By blocking the website, you can also block children from accessing YouTube or any other site via Google Chrome. Here’s how to do it.
Open the Family Link app.
Select your child’s account.
Tap the Create + button at the bottom right corner.
Tap the Close X button at the top left.
You can also use this setting to allow access to only specific sites using Family Link. Under Google Chrome, you can choose to Allow all sites, Try to block explicit sites, or Only allow approved sites. Use the Manage sites feature to approve the sites.
Also: The best Chromebooks for students
How to block YouTube (or any app) for a specific time
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Family Link also has a screen time limits feature that lets you block YouTube for a specific time. You can set a maximum use time limit for YouTube, after which the app will be blocked for the rest of the day. Here’s how to do it.
Open the Family Link app.
Select your child’s account.
Locate the Manage apps card, and select Set limits.
Next to YouTube, tap the Hourglass, and tap Set limit.
Set the limit as per your preference.
You can repeat these steps for Google Chrome if you want to set a limit for YouTube in Chrome. Instead, you can block YouTube from Chrome using the steps above, and set a time limit for the YouTube app.
See more: How to reset a Chromebook
There are still a few features missing from Chromebook parental controls via Google Family Link. One limitation of Google Family Link is that you can only use it to set up accounts for children under 13. After that, children can create and set up regular Google accounts.
Many consider it a big limitation that they cannot use Family Link with accounts set up with Google Workspace. Users (parents) will need a Gmail account to log in and use Family Link to set up parental controls on any of their children’s devices. But there are some good premium third-party services like Mobicip, if you aren’t entirely happy with Google’s solutions.
Also: Chromebooks vs traditional laptops
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