PKLOCALAUTHORITY(8)            pklocalauthority            PKLOCALAUTHORITY(8)

       pklocalauthority - PolicyKit Local Authority

       The Local Authority is the default PolicyKit authority implementation.
       Configuration for the Local Authority and information pertaining to
       authorization decisions are read from local files on the disk. One
       design goal of the Local Authority is to split configuration items into
       separate files such that 3rd party packages and users won't conflict
       trying to edit the same files. This policy also ensures smooth upgrades
       when distributing PolicyKit using a package management system.

       Files shipped with PolicyKit and 3rd party packages (e.g. under package
       manager control) typically have comments (such as "DO NOT EDIT THIS
       FILE, it will be overwritten on update") telling the system
       administrator that changes will be overwritten on update.

       PolicyKit makes a distinction between user authentication (to make the
       user in front of the system prove he really is the user) and
       administrator authentication (to make the user in front of the system
       prove he really is an administrator). Since various operating systems
       (or even flavors of the same operating system) has different ways of
       defining "administrator", the Local Authority provides a way to specify
       what "administrator authentication" means.

       By default, "administrator authentication" is defined as asking for the
       root password. Since some systems, for usability reasons, don't have a
       root password and instead rely on a group of users being member of an
       administrative group that gives them super-user privileges, the Local
       Authority can be configured to support this use-case as well.

       Configuration for the Local Authority is read from files in the
       /etc/polkit-1/localauthority.conf.d directory. All files are read in
       lexigraphical order (using the C locale) meaning that later files can
       override earlier ones. The file 50-localauthority.conf contains the
       settings provided by the OS vendor. Users and 3rd party packages can
       drop configuration files with a priority higher than 60 to change the
       defaults. The configuration file format is simple. Each configuration
       file is a key file (also commonly known as a ini file) with a single
       group called [Configuration]. Only a single key, AdminIdentities is
       read. The value of this key is a semi-colon separated list of
       identities that can be used when administrator authentication is
       required. Users are specified by prefixing the user name with
       unix-user:, groups of users are specified by prefixing with
       unix-group:, and netgroups of users are specified with unix-netgroup:.
       See the section called "EXAMPLES" for an example of a configuration

       The Local Authority reads files with .pkla extension from all
       directories located inside the /etc/polkit-1/localauthority and
       /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority directories. By default, the following
       sub-directories are installed.

           `-- localauthority
               |-- 10-vendor.d
               |-- 20-org.d
               |-- 30-site.d
               |-- 50-local.d
               `-- 90-mandatory.d


           `-- localauthority
               |-- 10-vendor.d
               |-- 20-org.d
               |-- 30-site.d
               |-- 50-local.d
               `-- 90-mandatory.d

       The /etc/polkit-1/localauthority hierarchy is inteded for local
       configuration and the /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority is intended for
       3rd party packages.

       Each .pkla file contains one or more authorization entries. If the
       underlying filesystem supports file monitoring, the Local Authority
       will reload information whenever .pkla files are added, removed or

       Each directory is intended for a specific audience

           Intended for use by the OS vendor.

           Intended for the organization deploying the OS.

           Intended for the site deploying the system.

           Intended for local usage.

           Intended for the organization deploying the OS.

       and new directories can be added/removed as needed.

       As to regards to the content, each .pkla file is a standard key file
       and contains key/value pairs in one or more groups with each group
       representing an authorization entry. A .pkla file MUST be named by
       using a scheme to ensure that the name is unique, e.g. reverse DNS
       notation or similar. For example, if the organization is "Acme Corp"
       needs to modify policy for the product "Frobnicator", a name like
       com.acme.frobnicator.pkla would be suitable.

       Each group in a .pkla file must have a name that is unique within the
       file it belongs to. The following keys are are recognized:

           A semi-colon separated list of globs to match identities. Each glob
           should start with unix-user: or unix-group: to specify whether to
           match on a UNIX user name or a UNIX group name. Netgroups are
           supported with the unix-netgroup: prefix, but cannot support glob

           A semi-colon separated list of globs to match action identifiers.

           The result to return for subjects in an active local session that
           matches one or more of the given identities. Allowed values are
           similar to what can be used in the defaults section of .policy
           files used to define actions, e.g.  yes, no, auth_self,
           auth_self_keep, auth_admin and auth_admin_keep.

           Like ResultActive but instead applies to subjects in inactive local

           Like ResultActive but instead applies to any subject.

           A semi-colon separated list of key/value pairs (of the form
           key=value) that are added to the details of authorization result on
           positive matches.

       All keys specified above are required except that only at least one of
       ResultAny, ResultInactive and ResultActive must be present. The
       ReturnValue key is optional.

       When a Mechanism requests services from the Authority to check if a
       given Subject is authorized for a given Action, the authorization
       entries discussed above are consulted using the following algorithm.

       The authorization entries from all .pkla files are ordered using the
       following rules. First all the basename of all sub-directories (e.g.
       30-site.d) from both the /etc/polkit-1/localauthority and
       /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority directories are enumerated and sorted
       (using the C locale). If a name exists in both /etc and /var, the one
       in /etc takes precedence. Then all .pkla files are read in order from
       this list of sub-directories. For each .pkla file, authorizations from
       each file are appended in order resulting in an ordered list of
       authorization entries.

       For example, given the following files

               |    10-desktop-policy.pkla

               |    01-some-changes-from-a-subvendor.pkla

       the evaluation order of the .pkla files is:

        1. 10-desktop-policy.pkla

        2. 01-some-changes-from-a-subvendor.pkla

        3. (the /var one)

        4. (the /etc one)

       When the list of authorization entries has been calculated, the
       authorization check can be made. First, the user of the Subject is
       determined and the groups that the user belongs are looked up. For each
       group identity, the authorization entries are consulted in order. If
       the authorization check matches the data from the authorization check,
       then the authorization result from RequireAny, RequireInactive or
       RequireActive is used and ReturnValue is added to the authorization

       Finally, the authorization entries are consulted using the user
       identity in the same manner.

       Note that processing continues even after a match. This allows for
       socalled "negative authorizations", see the section called "EXAMPLES"
       for further discussion.

       The following .conf file


       specifies that any user in the staff UNIX group can be used for
       authentication when administrator authentication is needed. This file
       would typically be installed in the /etc/polkit-1/localauthority.conf.d
       directory and given the name 60-desktop-policy.conf to ensure that it
       is evaluted after the 50-localauthority.conf file shipped with
       PolicyKit. If the local administrator wants to override this (suppose
       60-desktop-policy.conf was shipped as part of the OS) he can simply
       create a file 99-my-admin-configuration.conf with the following content


       to specify that only the users lisa and marge can authenticate when
       administrator authentication is needed.

       The following .pkla file grants authorization to all users in the staff
       group for actions matching the glob com.example.awesomeproduct.*
       provided they are in an active session on the local console:

           [Normal Staff Permissions]

       If the users homer and grimes are member of the staff group but policy
       requires that an administrator needs to authenticate every time
       authorization for any action matching com.example.awesomeproduct.*  is
       required, one would add

           [Exclude Some Problematic Users]

       and make sure this authorization entry is after the first one.

       Written by David Zeuthen <> with a lot of help from
       many others.

       Please send bug reports to either the distribution or the polkit-devel
       mailing list, see the link on how to


polkit                             May 2009                PKLOCALAUTHORITY(8)
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