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I'd like Software Center, Update Manager and some other system management applications to work without asking for password (like sudo does if configured with NOPASSWD) but only asking for a confirmation instead, or even without any confirmation. At the same time I wouldn't like to use no user password at all. Is this reachable?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

Ubuntu Software Center authorization uses policy kit. When requested for the authentication during the remove action you can expand the "Details" pointer to see the action that is being invoked. It's org.debian.apt.install-or-remove-packages . You can change the corresponding policy to not request for authentication:

Edit /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.debian.apt.policy, search for org.debian.apt.install-or-remove-packages, then find for the defaults section, replace auth_admin and auth_admin_keep with yes .

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this is what i see in org.debian.apt.policy, which things do i need to change to yes? <allow_any>auth_admin</allow_any> <allow_inactive>auth_admin</allow_inactive> <allow_active>auth_admin_keep</allow_active> – dylan murphy Oct 5 '11 at 20:45
Replace auth_admin and auth_admin_keep with yes . – João Pinto Oct 6 '11 at 19:52

Just put in /etc/sudoers all this and it will work

# User privilege specification

# Members of the admin group may gain root privileges

# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
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These methods with NOPASSWD: ALL seem to result in no password being asked. this is not what I want. I want to be asked the ROOT password.

Seems the right hint was to add "Defaults rootpw" to sudoers. At least Synaptic now starts after receiving the root password. Nice. I can use Ubuntu the Debian way :)

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Note:- Disabling password prompts might be a security risk

Open the terminal window from Applications --> accessories --> terminal, run the command:

sudo visudo

Find the line that says

%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL

and change it to


Save and exit the file

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It wont work for software center. – karthick87 Dec 20 '10 at 8:11
That method does remove the authentication/password prompts for many applications, but not for the Software Centre. – 8128 Dec 20 '10 at 8:25
It worked for the update-manager, I figured it would work on the software centre. My bad. I used this method on someone else's computer and not on my own, my bad. – Kyle Clarke Dec 20 '10 at 8:54
Do you just have to disable the keyring to get this to work? – NightwishFan Dec 20 '10 at 9:19
Setting "%admin ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL" in /etc/sudoers is the first thing I do after I install linux to a PC. But this does not seem to affect GUI applications. – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 13:14

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