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Ubuntu CE 6.0 beta Changes
With kids as curious as ever and an internet that’s getting more dangerous by the day I get more and more requests to install parental controls on family computers. I took a look around at the options available and became inspired to use Ubuntu and the internet filtering application Dansguardian together to solve this problem. Since Ubuntu 9.10, Dansguardian has had some problems blocking various innocent sites due to a known bug. Ubuntu CE 6.0 beta, which was released today, includes a working version of Dansguardian among other major features.
- Ubuntu CE is now available in a server edition
- Ubuntu CE desktop version available in 32 and 64 bit
- Changes to the e-Sword installer
- Dansguardian gui improvements make internet and filter sharing easier
The look and behavior of this distro differs from Ubuntu very little which in this case was an advantage. Users with basic family computers already running Ubuntu won’t miss a beat while switching to Ubuntu CE for the parental controls or other family friendly features. I noted only slight changes here and there on the Ubuntu CE desktop and during startup. Of course the background, panels, and a few other desktop items were customized but the feel remained similar to Ubuntu.
Because I was decided to install Ubuntu CE mostly for its Dansguardian fix and parental control ability, this was the first thing I looked for in the menu and on the desktop. While looking for Dansguardian GUI controls, which are under System — Administration — Dansguardian GUI, I started to notice that Ubuntu CE has quite a few extra applications and extra features. In addition to Dansguardian I found Xiphos bible study software, OpenSong for managing lyrics, chords, lead sheets and more, the E-sword bible software installer and a few other additions. On to Dansguardian.
After selecting the Dansguardian option form the main menu, I was brought to the Ubuntu terminal window where I entered my root password and pressed enter. This brought up a simple actions menu for the Dansguardian application. The options include Autoconfig/Reset Dansguardian, Filter setting, Start Dansguardian, Stop Dansguardian, Lock Firewall Proxy, UnlockFirewall Proxy, Internet connection sharing, View denied log, Advanced settings and Exit.
Back at the Dansguardian menu if you select Access Denied log you can see what page have been blocked and why. Here’s my Access Denied Log which shows an attempt at Rotten.com, Date, URL, and Reason For Denial.
I also tested 10-20 sites I frequent and had no problems accessing any of them. Before I was prevented from visiting Amazon and several other obvious non-violating sites. No traces of this with Ubuntu CE 6.0 beta.
Overall Ubuntu CE beta surprised me a bit with many of the things they have going on here. This distro is yet another example of how Linux continues to mold itself to fit the needs of all kinds of people.