I just today (Sept. 5 2019) installed elementary OS 5 as a virtual machine using Virtualbox.

While logged in to my administrator user account, I created another standard user account for my son. I wanted to test the parental controls features so I turned them on for his account. Then I proceeded to block google.com (as well as https://www.google.com, and www.google.com) as a test.

I also blocked the AppCenter, Terminal, and Epiphany browser on his account.

I logged out of myself and logged in to his account.

However, while logged in to his account, I was still able to open and use all three blocked apps and navigate to google.com in the Epiphany browser.

I logged back in to my admin user account and all of the parental control settings were still there, just as I had made them.

I've even shut down and restarted the instance.

I've also updated and upgraded all packages and the OS through the terminal, so everything seems to be running properly.

Anyone have any idea why the parental control feature might not be working...at ALL?

Can anyone duplicate this issue? Or are the parental control settings working for you?

  • Anyone have a solution to this? have the same issue. Using Juno 5.0 on a Asus netbook I am setting up for an Xmas present for my daughter. Wanted to block appstore, and terminal etc. Already locked down chrome using URLWhitelist, but wanted to stop her launching certain apps as well. All set up ok on settings, but as faramir reports, apps open still! Nov 1, 2019 at 22:08
  • I've had the same issue and tried multiple times under multiple PCs. It never works. What gives? Dec 6, 2019 at 20:20
  • seems to also fail in 5.1 . I wonder why they even have this... designed by the kids of course. Jan 31, 2020 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


I have the same issue. The parental control does not do anything. My current workaround is to use ufw. For my son, I wanted him to only be able to get and send email on his own, hence I allowed only outgoing connections to the smtp (587) and imap (993) ports of his email account, as well as to dns (port 53):

sudo ufw default deny outgoing
sudo ufw default deny incoming 
sudo ufw allow out 53 
sudo ufw allow out 587 
sudo ufw allow out 993
sudo ufw enable

To turn off the restrictions, I disable ufw with

sudo ufw disable

Not very convenient, but works for me..

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