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Thread: Disabling networking as a normal user?

  1. #1
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    Disabling networking as a normal user?

    Is there a way I can forcibly disable networking as a non-root user? I want to be able to make a script with the capability to turn off all networking on my computer, but I don't want to have to run it as root.

  2. #2
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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    bump

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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    I don't think so, no. You'd need to take down the interfaces with commands like "ifconfig eth0 down" and those require root privileges.

    The reason for this is obvious, once you recall that Linux is multi-user. Letting an individual user bring down the network would crash any other users' sessions that were using networking.
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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    How about pulling out the ethernet cable and turning off the wireless with its hardware switch
    Cheesemill

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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    That must be the part in the script that controls the robotic hand!
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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    I don't think so, no. You'd need to take down the interfaces with commands like "ifconfig eth0 down" and those require root privileges.

    The reason for this is obvious, once you recall that Linux is multi-user. Letting an individual user bring down the network would crash any other users' sessions that were using networking.
    I'm sure there's a way. I can disable wireless simply by clicking on the red (X) or uncheck the checkboxes here, and I'm pretty sure that GUI runs as a normal user yet is still able to "ask" the process running as root (NetworkManager) to disable networking. So why can't my script "ask" NetworkManager to bring down the network just as the GUI does? Theoretically I could even write a script that would move my mouse to the icon and disable networking as if I were doing it myself, and that wouldn't require root (not that it would be practical to do though).

    Maybe using qdbus?

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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    Yes you could try qdbus or even dbus-send, I can get wireless to disable/enable that way but the overall networking enable doesn't seem to allow it i.e.

    Code:
    $ dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager \
    /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager \
    org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Set string:"org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" string:"WirelessEnabled" variant:boolean:false
    method return sender=:1.3 -> dest=:1.251 reply_serial=2
    (and it works) but

    Code:
    $ dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager \
    /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager \
    org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Set string:"org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" string:"NetworkingEnabled" variant:boolean:false
    Error org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.AccessDenied: Property "NetworkingEnabled" of interface "org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" is not settable
    You *may* need to look at modifying the polkit-1 rules to make it work the way you want

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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonecold1995 View Post
    I'm sure there's a way. I can disable wireless simply by clicking on the red (X) or uncheck the checkboxes here, and I'm pretty sure that GUI runs as a normal user yet is still able to "ask" the process running as root (NetworkManager) to disable networking.
    You know, I never really thought about that, though I have certainly turned wifi and wired networking off and on as an ordinary user with NetworkManager. I think the first or second time I used that ability I wondered about its security implications, but then I soon forgot about it.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    Quote Originally Posted by steeldriver View Post
    Yes you could try qdbus or even dbus-send, I can get wireless to disable/enable that way but the overall networking enable doesn't seem to allow it i.e.

    Code:
    $ dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager \
    /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager \
    org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Set string:"org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" string:"WirelessEnabled" variant:boolean:false
    method return sender=:1.3 -> dest=:1.251 reply_serial=2
    (and it works) but

    Code:
    $ dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager \
    /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager \
    org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Set string:"org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" string:"NetworkingEnabled" variant:boolean:false
    Error org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.AccessDenied: Property "NetworkingEnabled" of interface "org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" is not settable
    You *may* need to look at modifying the polkit-1 rules to make it work the way you want
    I don't really understand all this. My knowledge of qdbus is limited to setting/reading klipper contents, controling plasma-desktop, and related.

    How do I modify polkit-1 rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    You know, I never really thought about that, though I have certainly turned wifi and wired networking off and on as an ordinary user with NetworkManager. I think the first or second time I used that ability I wondered about its security implications, but then I soon forgot about it.
    I doubt there are many security implications in relation to networking. Same goes with the ability to shutdown and reboot (actions which are normally only available to root), etc. The real issue is the ability to access the keyboard, display, etc without root making keylogging easy.
    Last edited by Stonecold1995; April 19th, 2013 at 01:56 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Disabling networking as a normal user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonecold1995 View Post
    I don't really understand all this
    Well I certainly don't - I've played with dbus a little (using dbus-send / dbus-monitor and some python) but I'm still waiting for the 'Aha!' moment. Right now it's all looks like the API was dreamed up by the Department of Redundancy Department - to make matters worse most of the documentation that I've found so far appears to be incomplete and/or out of date.

    Did you try just pasting in the 1st dbus-send command to see if it works for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonecold1995 View Post
    How do I modify polkit-1 rules?
    It's all XML iirc - I *almost* played with the network-manager bits at one point (trying to work around the 'non privileged user can't connect to a new network' issue) but decided against messing with it. I *think* the right way to do it is to create a custom rules file in /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/ however I've seen threads where people edit the file(s) in /usr/share/polkit-1 directly. Don't quote me though.



    EDIT: ... FINALLY figured out the dbus interface to disable / enable ALL networking not just wireless (equivalent to the nm-applet Enable Networking check item) - it's the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager interface instead of the org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties interface:

    Code:
    dbus-send --system --type=method_call --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.Enable boolean:false
    The --type=method_call seems to be optional
    Last edited by steeldriver; April 19th, 2013 at 05:38 AM.

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