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Recently I have renovated an old computer which once belonged to my dad (the old HDD crashed, and I just bought a new one to replace it). My parents want me to fix this computer for my 5-year-old sister to use. I decided to use Linux Mint as the OS because everything (flash, mp3, etc.) is already configured.

How do I create a user account in Linux Mint with limited access for my sister, so that it won't mess up the entire system?

All she does is surf the web, so I'm just worried that she might accidentally mess up a system setting that I eventually will have to fix it.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If she doesn't have any sudo powers then there is really very little she could do to brick the system.

The worst she could do is trash some user based settings.

There are also some kid themed versions of Linux floating around. If you want here to be normal I would avoid the Hannah Montana one though.

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This is what I love about linux: No user can interfere with the system's operation for other users...with even the shutdown command traditionally only available for root. – marcusw Apr 21 '10 at 13:30

Do a disk clone and periodic backups of user files. Let her loose on the system. If she messes it up, rescue disk to the rescue.

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If you give her sudo powers you have made an error. Without that there isn't a way to seriously damage the system itself. – Josh K Apr 21 '10 at 3:09
@Josh: That's true, but I'm advocating a different approach. If she can use sudo at 5 years old, then she's well on her way to becoming one of us. And she will thank her brother (and me) for leaving the door open. You can't learn much in a cage. Thanks for the downvote. – Dennis Williamson Apr 21 '10 at 4:01
By the same logic maybe we should let them drive cars and shoot guns at five years old. She is not going to know what she did to crash the system. It's not a learning experience, it's a headache and a problem. "Thanks for the downvote." I hate it when people take down votes personally. – Josh K Apr 21 '10 at 5:27

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