Parental Controls and Metered Data hackfest

London, UK, 2019-03-18 to 2019-03-21

Primary contact: Philip Withnall <>
Secondary contact: Rob Mc​Queen <>

Relevant GNOME team

gnome-software, gnome-shell, flatpak, gnome-control-center developers; designers


A hackfest to plan integration of parental controls and metered data features into the wider desktop.

Parental controls and metered data are two separate features, but it seems that they involve a lot of the same people upstream. gnome- software/flatpak/gnome-shell are touched quite a lot by both features.

Parental controls is the ability to prevent installation of apps which are too violent (or intense in other ways) for non-administrator accounts; and to set filters on which installed apps an account may run. Parents would set an account up for their child with such restrictions.

Metered data is the ability to set a policy for when ‘large’ downloads can happen, according to your internet capacity restrictions and a timing schedule. Phase 2 of it is planned to monitor the bandwidth usage of apps for reporting in the system monitor. Phase 3 could apply per-app limits. See

Since there are a few questions about the UX to work out for both features, we’re targetting 3.34 with them. It’s a bit late for 3.32 now.

Agenda, goals

  • Plan how to integrate Endless’ current parental controls functionality into GNOME for 3.34
  • Evaluate existing parental controls functionality from a UX design perspective and iterate on it
  • Develop a roadmap for further integration and development of parental controls for 3.34+
  • Plan how to integrate Endless’ current metered data functionality into GNOME for 3.34
  • Evaluate existing metered data functionality from a UX design perspective and iterate on it
  • Develop a roadmap for further integration of metered data for 3.34+
  • Develop a roadmap for further feature development of metered data, including limiting app bandwidth and collecting per-app statistics


Red Hat London offices, Peninsular House, 30–36 Monument Street, London

Nearest tube station: Monument (

If you’re coming on the Tube, you’re heading to the Monument (the big marble tower). When you pop out the subterranean walkways, it’s a two minute walk.

When you arrive, go up to the 1st floor reception and get a “building pass” from the receptionist. Then go to the 4th floor and go through to the reception area -- if you get stuck in the glass doors ping/ring me and I’ll let you in if the receptionist is somewhere else. As you go through the glass doors, please sign in with the receptionist and then look forwards and diagonal right. The meeting room is the one labelled Leadenhall (Monday–Wednesday) or Spitalfields (Thursday) and just come in and say hello.

The office will be open from 07:00 to 19:00, and the meeting room is booked all day on Monday to Wednesday. It’s booked from 09:00 on Thursday.

Code of Conduct

As for all GNOME-related events, the GNOME Events Code of Conduct and CodeOfConduct/PhotographyPolicy apply.

Any violations of either should be submitted to the event organizers (see above) or the GNOME Code of Conduct Committee


  • 2019-03-18 to 2019-03-19: Parental controls work
  • 2019-03-19 evening: potential GNOME London beers
  • 2019-03-20 to 2019-03-21: Metered data work
  • 2019-03-20 evening: hackfest dinner


  • Venue: Red Hat
  • Dinner on Wednesday night: Endless



Relevant contribution/aim

Arrives on

Departs on

Staying at

Robert McQueen

Upstream all the things; Board director; Endless PHB




Philip Withnall

Upstream parental controls and metered data developer; Endless developer

2019-03-18, 07:58 at EUS

2019-03-21, 20:30 at EUS

Dover Castle Hostel, 6a Great Dover Street

Richard Hughes

GNOME Software Maintainer, OARS initiator; Red Hat employee

Lives Here

Lives Here

Home, ~1h away

Georges Stavracas

GNOME Shell and GNOME Settings developer; Endless developer




Iain Lane

Canonical/Ubuntu desktop team; Debian developer; GNOME contributor




Florian Müllner

GNOME Shell developer; RH




Nick Richards

Product for Parental Controls and Metered Data when at Endless; Lucid

Lives In London

Lives in London



Endless desktop team lead

Lives In London, days TBC



  • Venue: Sponsored by Red Hat

How to get there

If you are new in London and don’t have a contactless credit/debit card with no overseas transaction fees, it’s extremely recommended to go into one of the Underground stations and get yourself an Oyster card. You’ll pay a lot less on buses and underground. Don’t get the Visitor Oyster card, as you lose a £5 deposit on it.

Contactless credit/debit cards get the same travel prices as Oyster cards, but your card provider might charge overseas transaction fees.


The quickest way to move around the city is the Underground, also known as "The Tube". Red buses are also fairly easy to catch and can take you anywhere.

If you have a smartphone and a data connection it's highly recommended to download the CityMapper app; it'll help you get anywhere you need to go, and warn you about eventual issues on the way.

From Europe

  • Fly to any of the London airports
  • Eurostar train to London St. Pancras then tube (Northern Line heading towards Bank station) to Monument station

From faraway places

  • Fly to any of the London airports


Suggested hotels:

Available couches:

  • None yet


There are a variety of cafes/restaurants/fast food places centred around Monument station.

More places to eat are available at Leadenhall Market, which is a short walk north from the office.

Previous discussions, organization threads, drafts, relevant links, etc

  • Tentative initial discussions on IRC and in private mail thread


None yet.

Hackfests/ParentalAndMetered2019 (last edited 2019-02-18 12:24:00 by PhilipWithnall)