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Sunday, May 6, 2012

[ubuntu] Physical lockout of computer ideas? Flash drive as a key?

I'm trying to come up with a way to lock out a computer unless there is a physical key present.

I thought of a key switch in series with the power button, but I thought maybe a flash drive with something essential on it might be more elegant.

My wife caught our ten year old son playing Club Penguin on his computer way after bedtime, so (besides grounding the little tyke) I thought that it might be a good idea to have a way if mechanically preventing him from using his computer if we need to.

He used to have a laptop, so it was easy to simply confiscate it, but he now has a tower.

I thought of simply confiscating the mouse, but (apart from thinking it's a good idea to play Ckub Penguin at 1am) he's a smart kid and would get around that problem.

Is there a way to set the machine up so that it can't boot without a flash drive containing some key files, short of using the flash drive to actually hold the entire OS?

It's important that he is able to boot the machine on his own, so simply using a login password won't do the trick

I'm open to other ideas too, there are probably loads of ingenious ways of accomplishing this...