faq

If you’re not already a Pluckeye user, you may want to take a look at 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 pluckeye?

See how-to-install.

How do I uninstall Pluckeye?

See the uninstallation instructions on how-to-install.

What are the recommended practices for using Pluckeye?

See the tips page.

What does “level 1” mean?

See the installation levels page.

What browsers does Pluckeye work with?

Pluckeye is built to work with Chrome, but is also mostly compatible with Brave, Firefox, Pale Moon (a classic Firefox), Vivaldi, and other Firefox and Chrome variants.

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

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

Command such as

   pluck + allow example.com

are typed in a console window, aka a terminal on Mac OS X or Linux. You’ll need to learn to open and type in one if you want to use some advanced features such as scheduled rules.

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 code blocks, see notation.

How do I whitelist a site?

In Chrome, click on the Pluckeye button, and then click allow.

Or, from the command line:

   pluck + allow mysite.org

Keep in mind that the new setting is effective only after the pluckeye delay waiting period.

How do I block only “bad sites”?

See this guide.

How do I completely cut off Internet access at night?

To schedule daily blackouts from midnight to 6am and from 9pm (21:00) to midnight:

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

How do I schedule access? What format do so-called “sometimes” settings take?

To allow youtube.com from 8am to 9am:

   pluck + when 8-9 allow youtube.com

The same thing, but only for Mondays:

   pluck + when M8-9 allow youtube.com

Enable NHB except on Sunday from 11:30 to 12:00

   pluck + when U0-1130&12-24.MTWRFA0-24 nhb

The schedule format used by scheduled rules is not well documented, but perhaps the following legend will enlighten.

MTWRFAU
sUn, Mon, Tue, Wed, thuR, Fri, sAt, sUn

If you’d like a calendar-like interface to create an hrs-3 string for you, visit https://u.pluckeye.net/hrs3 . Then point, click, and drag your desired schedule, and a properly-formatted schedule string should show at the top of the page. The page supports daily or weekly schedules.

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

Yes. Pluckeye supports blocking by URL. There are 2 ways to do it.

  1. Chrome > Pluckeye button > Allow > Click the “down arrow” (aka caret) to allow a specific url.
  2. Use a terminal and add a rule for the url you would like to allow.
          pluck + allow https://flickr.com/photos/myfamily

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

There are two ways.

The easy way is to login to https://u.pluckeye.net/ from both devices, and to upload the configuration from the first device as described on synchronize configurations. I.e.,

   pluck upload

The harder way, for those who don’t want to use u.pluckeye.net, 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, first, export the settings from the source computer:

On Mac OS X or Linux:

   cd ~/Desktop && pluck export >pluckeye-settings.txt

On Windows

   pluck export > "%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\pluckeye-settings.txt"

Then, copy pluckeye-settings.txt from the desktop of the source computer to the desktop on the destination computer.

Then, on the destination computer, import the settings:

On Mac OS X or Linux:

   pluck import pluckeye-settings.txt

On Windows

   pluck import "%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\pluckeye-settings.txt"

How do I manually remove a rule?

If the rule was added using the “allow” button in Chrome, the “Default” button will remove the rule.

At the command line, you can use pluck -. For example,

   pluck + allow wikipedia.org
   pluck - allow wikipedia.org

What is the complete syntax for rules and settings?

See rule-syntax.

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

Yes, and no. As of Pluckeye 0.31.0, literal urls and url prefixes are supported, like so:

   pluck + allow https://flickr.com/photos/myfamily

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

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?

It depends. One option is to schedule access to youtube. E.g., to only allow media from youtube on Mondays 10am - 12pm:

   pluck + when M10-12 allow youtube.com

Another option is to allow one of the following “clean” youtube sites.

   pluck + allow cleanvideosearch.com
   pluck + allow safeyoutube.net

Another option is to whitelist only specific videos.

Another option is to use a Chromium-based browser and enforce moderate mode:

   pluck + safesearch

or restricted mode:

   pluck + safesearchstrict

Possibly with

   pluck + nofirefox

How can I enforce safe search?

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

   pluck + safesearch

or

   pluck + safesearchstrict

possibly with

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

How do I install linux?

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/GetLubuntu/LTS http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

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 doc 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

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 Plucker 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 nhb. But if nhb is too severe for you, if if 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

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

You may want to enable the NHB option.

Does Pluckeye support password protection?

Yes. Pluckeye calls this a “restricted device” setup, and it is intender other control such as parental control rather than self control. See https://u.pluckeye.net/doc/restricted-device .

How can I use my network printer when Pluckeye is at level 2 and blocks by default?

   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 at installation level 2?

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

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 configuratino in an ordinary 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

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

https://manual.pluckeye.net/
it has a search feature!
https://u.pluckeye.net/doc/help
help using u.pluckeye.net
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

Unanswered question?

Contact me.