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If I want to fine-tune a user's permissions, can I do it using a graphical interface?

On the User Accounts screen I only see the option to change something called "Account type" between Standard and Administrator, but I think I remember being able to add and remove users from groups here in the past.

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I believe you may be looking for an app called users-admin, with the menu name of "Users and Groups". I believe it is included in the package "gnome-system-tools", which is not included by default.

It has the familiar old dialog (User Settings) with the button called "Manage Groups" and there is also a tab under Advanced Settings for User Privileges, where you can check what tasks a user can perform (I don't know if this is part of the normal user settings dialog or not.

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