Update: I found a method for getting the Parental Controls that I needed in Ubuntu.
http://skindley.wordpress.com/2006/12/11/fedora-core-6-controlling-logins-by-time/ – Thank You Scott Kindley for this excellent how to.

Kids on a ComputerI have been using Ubuntu as my main Operating System now for a couple of months and I have been very pleased at the functionality and flexibility of using a non-Microsoft system. That is until I discovered a feature set that the Linux community does not feel is relevant. Parental Controls.

I really want a simple method for designating when a specific user can be logged into the system. OSX can do this. Vista can do this. Why hasn’t anyone in the Linux world come up with this? As I explored this I discovered that the need does not seem to be recognized as legitimate by the majority of developers. Statements like “That is bad parenting.” seem to resonate any time a user asked why these features are not available.

The reality is that you can’t keep track of your kids 100% of the time, and you can’t be looking over their shoulder every second they are online. Being able to have some enforceable restrictions as to how long a user can be on the system to the time of the day are very reasonable approaches, and should be considered valid by the Linux Community.

Due to the lack of these features I am now using Vista on my home PC, so that I can make sure that the kids don’t get up in the middle of the night and use the computer. This is mot my preference, I would much rather them be using Linux. But until I can find reasonable and appropriate parental controls for my Linux system, Windows Vista will have to remain. šŸ™