Chomper is an internet-blocking program I’ve developed for Linux. It is free, open-source and written in Python. You define a whitelist or blacklist of websites, and Chomper will block you from visiting non-whitelisted/blacklisted websites for an amount of time you specify. If you’re interested in using Chomper, go to¬†the Github repository for installation and usage instructions. On this page, I describe my reasons for creating Chomper, and the philosophy I have in mind in directing additional development of Chomper.

Why Chomper?

Some people have the capacity to sit at a computer and work for hours without ever getting an itch to procrastinate on the Internet. I can sometimes achieve that flow state, but it’s become increasingly difficult. Internet blockers are the simplest tool we have to fight back against the pull of social media and mindless web surfing and recapture our minds.

I’m also a Linux user. There’s a myriad of reasons to use Linux as your operating system – one of the most eloquent cases was made by the legendary Neal Stephenson. However, when asked recently if he still uses Linux, Stephenson said:

No but I’ll probably start again. I can’t get work done on my laptop any more because it’s too easy to switch over to internet-based distractions. I am thinking of setting up a laptop that would basically give me emacs and nothing else.

If you have trouble with Internet distractions, it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It affects the very best of us. Linux users do not have a viable internet blocking option, but using an Internet blocker is more necessary than ever. That’s why I developed Chomper.