February 16, 2009
Yes I know, horrible name. Move along ;-)
I originally wrote this project for school, but it’s real use stemmed out of a need I saw in linux firewall software. There is all the software in the world to control what IP addresses can access what networks etc. but there is no real software to limit the amount of time a given user can spend online(Linus Torvalds tried, see below for details). Enter access.
“Access” is a multiuser management system to limit any given person’s allowed time to be on the Internet per day(in theory the “Internet” could be any network, but in practicality it will usually be the Internet). Each user has a set amount of time per day and they can use it at their discretion. If however, they exceed the amount of time given per day they are automatically logged out and blocked from the Internet.
There are 4 main parts to Access:
The only user visible part of the system. Here the user can enter his username, password, and whether he wants to log in or log out or see how much time he has left.
The admin can log in here and edit user passwords, block users and edit how much time per day is allowed for the user
Logs users out who have exceeded the amount of time per day they are allowed.
Restores the leftover time for every user to the allowed time per day(should be run at midnight).
Now, Linus noted in his weblog that he had done a similar thing for his kids. This system, however, differs in that it only needs to be run on one computer for the entire network(the firewall computer). Furthermore, it is cross-platform(Linus’ code only worked on linux 2.6 kernels) so a windows or macintosh computer can use the system as well.
All the code is available at(GPL-2 license): http://dev.gentoo.org/~gentoofan23/access
If anyone finds problems or has used my software, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org