Provided by: policykit-1_0.105-26ubuntu1.3_amd64 bug


       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 file.


       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 changed.

       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 syntax.

           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 sessions.

           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

           └── localauthority
               ├── 10-vendor.d
               │   └── 10-desktop-policy.pkla
               ├── 20-org.d
               ├── 30-site.d
               ├── 50-local.d
               │   └──
               └── 90-mandatory.d

           └── localauthority
               ├── 10-vendor.d
               │   └── 01-some-changes-from-a-subvendor.pkla
               ├── 20-org.d
               ├── 30-site.d
               ├── 50-local.d
               │   └──
               └── 90-mandatory.d

       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 result.

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

       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.


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