FAQ

If you’re not already a Pluckeye user, you may want to take a look at the non-user FAQ instead of this page.

Table of Contents

Using Pluckeye FAQ

What operating systems does Pluckeye support?

Pluckeye supports Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android.

See platforms for more information.

How do I install / uninstall Pluckeye?

See how-to-install.

What are the recommended practices for using Pluckeye?

See the tips page.

What browsers does Pluckeye work with?

Only Chrome and its variants are fully supported. See Browsers.

When the system feature is enabled (which used to be known as level 2), Pluckeye will block all browsers with which it does not integrate, such as Internet Explorer and Safari.

Where do I type the pluck commands that are mentioned on this site?

Commands such as

 pluck + allow example.com

are typed in a console window (AKA a terminal on macOS or Linux). If you are using Pluck 1.0 or above, you can accomplish most tasks without ever using a console. If you are using Pluckeye 0.99.60 or below, you can only take advantage of some advanced Pluckeye features such as scheduled rules by using a console. However, the basic feature set requires only pointing and clicking in the browser, and many people use Pluckeye without typing anything, ever.

For a longer explanation of how to type in commands, see notation.

What is a ___?

See the glossary.

How do I whitelist a site?

There are a couple ways. The most common way is to click the Pluckeye button () in the browser, and then click “allow”.

You can also type in a console:

 pluck + allow mysite.org

Keep in mind that no matter how you do this, the new setting will only be effective after the Pluckeye delay waiting period.

For more information on adding rules, see rules.

How do I block only “bad sites”?

See this guide.

How do I schedule allowing or blocking of a website?

If you are using Pluck v1.0+, you can add a rule that only has effect at certain times by doing the following:

  1. Click the Pluck button in your browser (in the top right corner).
  2. On the “New Rule” page that opens, select what you want the new rule to do using the “action” and “location” drop-down menus.
  3. Click “advanced”.
  4. Use the “schedule” drop down menu to select when you want the rule to have effect. (Select “other…” for times of day and days of the week.)

If you are using Pluckeye v0.99.11 or later (including v1.0+), another way to do this is by adding a when rule.

How do I completely cut off Internet access at night?

To schedule daily blackouts from midnight to 6am (0-6) and from 9pm to midnight (21-24):

   pluck + when 0-6&21-24 block everything

Use a when rule and the everything context to understand how this works.

How do I block or allow part of a website, but not all of it?

You can add a rule to block or allow specific urls. For example, you can allow https://www.facebook.com/myfriend and block https://www.facebook.com/myenemy.

How do I transfer (export/import) my Pluckeye settings between computers?

There are two ways.

The easy way is to login to the users site from both devices, and to upload the configuration from the first device as described on synchronizing-configurations. I.e.,

   pluck upload

The harder way, for those who don’t want to use the users site, is to use the export and import commands. It’s harder because you have to copy the files yourself, and unlike synchronized configurations, will not result in future changes being synchronized between the devices. To do it this way:

  1. Export the configuration from the source computer as shown in the examples for the export command.
  2. Copy pluckeye-configuration.txt from the desktop of the source computer to the desktop on the destination computer.
  3. On the destination computer, import the configuration using the import command.

How do I manually remove a rule?

There are many ways.

In Pluckeye v1.0+, you usually remove rules by clicking the Pluckeye button () in the browser, selecting the verdicts tab, expanding the verdict you dislike, and then deleting the corresponding rule. But you could also click on the config tab and search for the rule you would like to remove.

In Pluckeye v0.99.60 and below, you can click the Pluckeye button and then “revert” on a site on which you formerly clicked “allow” or “block”. You can also use the Pluckeye button > history page to delete rules.

In any version of Pluckeye, you can also use pluck’s - (minus) command in a console window:

 pluck - allow mysite.org
 pluck - allow https://www.facebook.com/myfriend

More detailed instructions are given on the rules page.

What is the complete syntax for rules and settings?

See rules.

Can I whitelist a URL, perhaps using wildcards, pattern matching, a specific resource or something similar?

Yes, and no. Literal urls and url prefixes are supported, using the + (add) command:

Full regular expressions support is not yet implemented, and may never be. If you would like regex support, see this uservoice suggestion.

Why can’t I see the contents of public blacklists on the users site?

The content of the blacklists are hidden by default because some people report that the textual content in blacklists can trigger behavior they are trying to change. If you want to see the content of the blacklists, you need to include the string ‘wigwam’ in your profile description and wait for your delay (if any) to elapse.

Why can’t I publish (make public) my general configuration on the users site?

Currently only admins can publish general configurations. General configurations may contain powerful rules like block everything, which overrides other rules. Since users can import public configurations into their own configurations, if anyone could publish general configurations, someone might import a very restrictive configuration into their own without realizing how restrictive it is. You can still publish other types of configurations, though.

Why can’t I assign an import list to my device?

TL;DR: Use a general configuration; it can import just as well.

Currently only general configurations can be assigned to devices. This is because other configuration types are limited in the kinds of rules they can contain, and a user should never be prevented from adding a rule to their local configuration (though some rules are subject to their delay). For example, if you had an import list assigned to your device and you ran pluck + allow example.com, it would be impossible to add the rule, since “allow” rules cannot appear in import lists. (In theory the rule could be added to one of the configurations listed in the import list, but there is no good way of determining which one of these it should be added to.)

Why can’t I import one of my general configurations into my import list?

Unpublished (i.e., private) general configurations cannot be imported into import lists. The reason for this is the same as the [[#why-can-t-i-publish-make-public-my-general-configuration][reason only admins can publish general configurations]. To get around this, you can use a general configuration (which can import any configuration type) instead of an import list.

How do I use expedite on mobile?

Expedite only works with Pluckeye on desktop systems (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux). It is hoped that it will one day work on mobile as well.

Does the users site collect data about users? What’s your privacy policy?

See the user site’s privacy policy, which is short and easy to read.

Can Pluckeye notify my accountability partner?

See the documentation on Inspectors.

I share a computer with others. Is it possible for some users to use Pluckeye while other users are completely oblivious to Pluckeye’s presence?

Yes. You can simply allow by user. E.g.,

   pluck + allow user:susan
   pluck + allow user:\\paravel\polly

How can I watch videos on YouTube?

See the YouTube page.

How can I enforce safe search?

You can enforce safe search on google.com by using Chrome or a Chromium-based browser and enabling the safesearch feature:

   pluck + safesearch

or the safesearchstrict feature:

   pluck + safesearchstrict

possibly with:

   pluck + nofirefox
   pluck + block bing.com
   pluck + block duckduckgo.com

How do I install Linux?

How do I block torrents?

   pluck + block application/x-bittorrent

How do I block all websites except a few select ones?

If you only want access to ok.com:

   pluck + block
   pluck + allow pluckeye.net
   pluck + allow ok.com

How do I block downloading of a live ISO?

   pluck + block application/x-iso9660-image

How do I block or unblock PDFs or other documents?

To allow PDFs or .docx files or other documents on specific sites, one generally just allows a url, or a domain. E.g.,

   pluck + allow http://my-college.edu/courses
   pluck + allow my-church.or

To block PDFs on most sites:

   pluck + block application/pdf

See also the no-documents configuration.

How do I block downloading of all programs?

Try the no-programs configuration

Or, `pluck + block application/download`

How do I block all downloads?

Pluck supports a pseudo-type, “application/download” specifically to control “downloads.”

 pluck + block application/download

That said, downloads typically have a separate, true media type and can be allowed or blocked.

How do I block audio by default?

   pluck + block audio/

Does Pluckeye interfere with the Mac App Store, iTunes, and Apple Mail? If so, how can I use them?

It depends on your Pluckeye settings, and your version of Mac OS X. In v0.99.14+ you may be able to allow these programs. Note that this syntax is only valid for v0.99.x and above.

The App Store, in macOS 10.13 or so and above:

   pluck + allow program App Store
   pluck + allow program commerce

iTunes

   pluck + allow program iTunes

Mail

   pluck + allow program Mail

Note that you may need to configure Mail using Other Mail Account. For Gmail accounts, you will need to enable the less secure apps option.

Note that the above settings will not permit images in most HTML email. Such images can’t be allowed at present without also allowing all of Safari, a feature that almost no Pluckeye user wants.

In Pluckeye before v0.99, at installation level 2, iTunes and the App Store are blocked on some machines. The workaround is to periodically drop down to level 1 to apply updates from the App Store.

If you use macOS 10.12 or below, you may not be able to allow the App Store without also allowing Safari. In which case, a periodic allowance for WebKit might be useful. For example, to allow WebKit (includes Safari and the App Store) on Mondays from 10am to 12pm:

   pluck + allow program App Store
   pluck + when M10-12 allow program com.apple.WebKit

How do I block the Windows App Store?

The Microsoft App Store is blocked by the NHB feature. But if NHB is too severe for you and you are using Pluckeye v0.99.24+, the app store can be blocked with

   pluck + block program winstore.app.exe

How do I allow all websites and then only block specific ones?

Really? With Pluckeye? Shrug.

   pluck clear

Then block the sites you want to block.

How do I reset Pluckeye to its default settings, with all images being blocked?

   pluck factoryreset

This will overwrite your existing configuration. If you want to save a copy of your configuration for later, use the export command.

What if Pluckeye doesn’t block enough for my tastes?

You may want to enable the NHB feature.

Does Pluckeye support password protection?

Yes. Pluckeye calls this a ”restricted device” setup, and it is intended for other control (such as parental control) rather than self control.

How can I use my network printer with the system feature enabled?

   pluck + allow port 3910
   pluck + allow port 3911

How can I enforce use of a particular DNS server?

See this guide.

How do I access github.com, rubygems.org, npmjs.org, and heroku.com from the command line? They all use https.

Like so:

   pluck + allow github.com

Typical symptoms of this FAQ:

$ git clone https://github.com/plujon/fmemopen
Cloning into 'fmemopen'...
fatal: unable to access 'https://github.com/plujon/fmemopen/': Couldn't connect to server
$ bundle install
Unfortunately, a fatal error has occurred. Please see the Bundler
troubleshooting documentation at http://bit.ly/bundler-issues. Thanks!
/usr/lib/ruby/2.2.0/net/http.rb:879:in `initialize': Permission denied - connect(2) for "rails-assets.org" port 443 (Errno::EACCES)
$ heroku logs
Enter your Heroku credentials.
Email: blah
Password (typing will be hidden): blah
!    Unable to connect to Heroku API, please check internet connectivity and try again.

The solution to all of the above:

   pluck + allow github.com
   pluck + allow rubygems.org
   pluck + allow rubygems.global.ssl.fastly.net
   pluck + allow npmjs.org
   pluck + allow heroku.com
   sleep $(pluck delay)
   git clone https://github.com/plujon/fmemopen
   # Cloning into 'fmemopen'...

Also useful to some folks:

   pluck + allow program:git
   pluck + allow program:git-remote-http

How do I allow pip packages?

On Linux:

   pluck + allow pypi.org
   pluck + allow pythonhosted.org

How do I use Homebrew on Mac OS X with the system feature enabled?

Run the following commands in a terminal.

   cat >~/.pluckeye.homebrew.env <<EOF
   export HOMEBREW_DEVELOPER=pluckeye
   export HOMEBREW_CURL_PATH=/usr/local/bin/curl
   EOF
   for i in ~/.bashrc ~/.bash_profile ~/.bash_login ~/.profile; do
       [ -f $i ] && break
   done
   echo source ~/.pluckeye.homebrew.env >>$i
   source ~/.pluckeye.homebrew.env

After that, allow the hosts that homebrew requires. E.g.:

   pluck + allow bintray.com
   pluck + allow gnu.org

Another approach is to edit /usr/local/Homebrew/Dockerfile, inserting HOMEBREW_NO_ENV_FILTERING=1 before brew tap homebrew/core, and then to run brew update.

Alternatively, you could use a periodic whiteout. E.g., to reserve time on Saturdays from 12pm to 2pm for homebrew updating:

   pluck + when A12-14 allow everything

See when and everything to understand how this works.

How do I unblock a program such as Steam?

First, start the program. In this case, we’ll use the program Steam as an example. Then run pluck verdicts to see what the names of the blocked programs are.

   pluck verdicts

Finally, allow programs with that name.

   pluck + allow program steamwebhelper.exe
   pluck + allow program Steam.exe

For minecraft, one might use

   pluck + allow program:minecraft
   pluck + allow program:java

You could instead allow by IP addresses if the IPs used by the programs are stable.

On Linux, instead of allowing by program name, you can allow by domain name. E.g.:

   pluck + allow steampowered.com
   pluck + allow steamcommunity.com
   pluck + allow steamgames.com
   pluck + allow steamusercontent.com
   pluck + allow steamcontent.com
   pluck + allow steamstatic.com
   pluck + allow akamaihd.net

How do I use Playonlinux?

   pluck + allow repository.playonlinux.com

How do I modify Pluckeye configurations in an ordinary text editor?

If you only want to add settings:

   pluck export >settings.txt
   $EDITOR settings.txt
   pluck import settings.txt

If you want to remove a lot of settings:

   pluck export >settings.txt
   $EDITOR settings.txt
   pluck clear
   pluck import settings.txt

But using the users site may be easier.

How do I temporarily override a “block otherwise” rule?

Remove the rule (e.g. by running pluck - block otherwise in a a console window), wait for your delay to pass, do whatever you need to do, and then restore the rule (pluck + block otherwise). If you find that you do this often, consider whether combining a when rule with block otherwise (so that block otherwise only sometimes has effect) would be better for you.

How do I temporarily unblock a block for a specific website?

We’ll use Facebook as an example. Let’s say you normally block Facebook, like this:

 block facebook.com

If you want to use Facebook unfiltered for 10 minutes, you could do this:

 pluck + when now+10m allow facebook.com

If you want to only allow Facebook, except for images and video, you could do this:

 pluck + when now+10m allow facebook.com
 pluck + when now+10m block facebook.com image/
 pluck + when now+10m block facebook.com video/

How do I allow or require another person to approve changes to a Pluckeye configuration?

See Expedite and Restricted devices.

Can I increase the delay beyond a week?

This question is usually asked by people who have not actually tried using a 7 day delay. Have you tried using a 7 day delay and found it ineffective in practice? If so, feel free to let us know.

Pluckeye does allow you to restrict your device if you want to give up control.

Where can I get more help and/or find more Pluckeye documentation?

The manual you are on right now
it has a search feature!
https://www.pluckeye.net/faq-about.html
big picture questions
https://www.reddit.com/r/pluckeye/
community-based subreddit
https://forum.pluckeye.net/
a pluckeye user forum
https://contact.pluckeye.net/
how to reach Jon
   pluck more-help

How do I cancel my subscription?

Just plop your email address into https://s.pluckeye.net/unsubscribe

How do I update the credit card associated with my subscription or change my subscription level?

Resubscribe using the same email address you originally used. Stripe should automically update your payment information and simply switch you over to another plan. You shouldn’t be double-billed for overlapping time because Stripe automtically pro-rates such changes.

Unanswered question?

Contact me.