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Thread: software updater not asking for password

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    software updater not asking for password

    Hi everyone,

    Hopefully someone can help me with this. I noticed recently that the software updater is not asking for a password. It does not ask for a password when i click on the "install now" button, nor does it ask for a password when I click on the settings button. The settings button brings up the software sources window. I, for one, see this as a security risk especially the settings. I am aware that the install now button will ask for a password for new updates but I would like to be able to put a password for all updates. Is there any way of making the software updater ask for a password for both the "settings" button and the "install now" button everytime I click them. I am running Ubuntu 12.10 32 bit. Thank you for any advise you may share.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2012
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: software updater not asking for password

    That is an interesting point.
    I think that they eliminated it because a lot of people found it annoying having to put a password when updating it with GUI. Specially since updates don't harm your system in any way as opposed to installing or uninstalling software.
    I really don't think there's a way to add password to it because your account is already password protected but if you must insist in typing a password just update your system in the terminal!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    Quote Originally Posted by johnycsf View Post
    That is an interesting point.
    I think that they eliminated it because a lot of people found it annoying having to put a password when updating it with GUI. Specially since updates don't harm your system in any way as opposed to installing or uninstalling software.
    I really don't think there's a way to add password to it because your account is already password protected but if you must insist in typing a password just update your system in the terminal!
    johny, although I appreciate your input, it is not the answer I was looking. I am aware that I can use the terminal but it does not get rid of the issue I am having. As you know, the updater shows up when you first log into the system. Let say I walk away from the pc and a family member starts to use my pc. They accidently update a piece of software like firefox, which i do not want to update due to it breaking some add ons. Well, that situation could be avoided by the password prompt. I know that this scenario is highly unlikely, but you get the idea.

  4. #4
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    Xubuntu

    Re: software updater not asking for password

    You could use the lock screen function in Screensaver I think it is. You need the password to unlock the screen and therefore no-one could even use the computer while you are away from it, let alone update Firefox or anything else ...

    There may be a way of achieving what you are after but it wouldn't be regulation and may require jumping through some hoops ...

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    Bringing up the settings in the update manager doesn't request a password, but _changing_ the setting does require a password. Anyone can see which repositories you are using, but it takes admin access to actually make any changes.

    As for applying the updates, I think that is a function of the "adm" group. If the user is not a member of this group then they should not be able to apply the updates without providing a password.

    Basically, the solution to your problem is:
    A) Don't leave your computer logged into an admin account and then walk away without locking it. This should be pretty obvious.
    B) Don't give people admin accounts unless you want them to be able to perform admin functions, such as updating packages.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    Thanks again for the responses. I do see your points of locking the screen and admin priveleges. I was not aware that it would ask for a password before making changes to the setting via updater, so at least that helps with one issue. I'll have to test that for myself to be sure. Now for the other issue, is there a way to have the updater ask for password for every update install. I know that I can lock my screen and not leave my pc unattended. That was just an example I used to better understand what I mean. Not that I am having issue with or worried about that. I just want a way to have updater ask me for a password for each and every update and to access the settings if possible.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    I just tested the settings portion and it does indeed ask for a password before making any changes. That is great news as that solves one issue. Thanks again

  8. #8
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    Apr 2008
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    The way that package and update management is handled was changed in 11.10.

    You now don't get prompted for a password to update any packages that are already installed on your system, you only get asked for your password to install new packages (like a new kernel).

    The reasoning behind this is that you are expected to always be running the most up to date version of a package available in the repositories, this is more likely to happen if a user doesn't need to use their password. There is no real security risk as no new packages can be installed, only updates which are always bug fixes and security patches.

    The may be some way to change this behaviour by editing the correct policykit action file but I can't look now as I don't have a Ubuntu Desktop machine handy at the moment (but it's probably somewhere in /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/).


    Edit - The answer can be found here.
    Last edited by Cheesemill; December 10th, 2012 at 01:31 AM.
    Cheesemill

  9. #9
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    Thank you cheesemill for giving me a direction to start. I looked at it, but since I am fairly new to Linux, less than a year using it, I dont feel quite comfortable making changes there. Probably because I have no idea which file to even start with. I'll will be getting a new machine in a few months. Then I'll play around with, most likely break, ubuntu with no fear.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Re: software updater not asking for password

    Always:

    Code:
    sudo cp /file/you/are/tweaking /file/you/are/tweaking.bak
    ... then tweak to your heart's content. If it breaks something:
    Code:
    sudo cp /file/you/are/tweaking.bak /file/you/are/tweaking
    ... will copy the original back to where it was and all will be the same as before you started messin'.

    For instance:

    Code:
    sudo cp /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/ /usr/share/polkit-1/actions.bak/
    ... will save the original as /usr/share/polkit-1/actions.bak/
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; December 10th, 2012 at 05:36 AM.

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