Parental Control Setup in Zorin 17 core


I'm exploring the parental controls, and can't seem to set blocked applications.

I get a blank field after clicking on the button to restrict applications.
Fresh install on a VM.


I can't even get Parental Controls started, nor can I see it in the Menu anywhere but understand the reason behind that. I think it is because hardware metadata is missing which the app cannot see, because it is a VM, not a bare metal install. Well done for getting as far as you have - I can't get to that point!

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I had to create a new user before I could get to that point.

I wonder if testing it from a live USB might work.

Looks like a possible path forward for a public access computer install.

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

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I figured that out about creating a user, in my case it was 'Child' (no Mandalorean connection whatsoever!) but still could not get as far as you did. All I could achieve was seeing a Software channel window stating it was installed! How did you get it to run? I noticed that there are a couple of other apps of that ilk when viewing in the Software window that opened.

As per the release announcement of ZorinOS 17:

Parental controls: After creating a Standard (non-Administrator) user account, you can access new Parental Controls from the Settings → Users panel.

The default user that you create during the installation process is considered an administrator. An administrator is any user who belongs to the admin group which in turn allows them to run commands as sudo. It would be pointless to try to restrict access to certain programs to a user that already has the ability to overrule those restrictions.

As for which software is not allowed to run, there are some pretty significant caveats. From one of the Malcontent developers, which powers the Parental Controls:

Malcontent can only work with applications which are flatpaks or which explicitly support parental controls themselves (and hence advertise X-Parental-Controls)

So there must be some flatpaks already installed, or the software itself must be developed with this feature in mind. And it doesn't look like Snaps or native packages (.deb in the case of ZorinOS) will be supported soon. The reasons are understandable once you read about the technical implications, but still, I wish this was better documented.

If someone wants to add support for snap, and maintain it, then I will happily review and merge it. I do not plan to write such support myself, though.

Overall, a bit lacking in functionality, but I guess it may do fine for the basic cases to restrict certain applications easily.


... or perhaps another dev disillusioned by Flatpak, just like users like me! Or this could be the real reason?

"All the library APIs are currently unstable and are likely to change wildly."

[Source: malcontent/ at master · endlessm/malcontent · GitHub]

Perhaps suitable alternatives?

We could suggest those but definitely some more research is needed, and perhaps even a more clear notice to users trying to implement this given the existing restrictions.

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OK found this useful article on how to get this application up and running:

Open a Terminal and enter:


I have removed access to Firefox so it does not show in Child Account.

If internet is needed (homework) either supervise on your account or let them use Firefox and use something like OpenDNS - there is a free one but have become more commercial - you do get whitelists and blacklists with OpenDNS.

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