Can i prevent/restrict standard user from installing/uninstalling software in Ubuntu 12.04 desktop?


2 Answers 2


You have asked a lot of similar questions.

To install software you either need to be root a special account which is locked by default or an administrator.

In 12.04 and later administrators are part of the group sudo in previous versions it was admin.

You can check what groups a user belongs to by typing id in a terminal when logged on as that user or id username replacing username with the name of that user. On my machine I see

warren@vb:~$ id
uid=1000(warren) gid=1000(warren) groups=1000(warren),4(adm),24(cdrom),27(sudo),30(dip),46(plugdev),108(lpadmin),124(sambashare),125(vboxsf)
warren@vb:~$ id joe
uid=1001(joe) gid=1001(joe) groups=1001(joe)

Which shows I warren is an administrator and joe is not.

By default the first user created on the computer is an administrator; all others are not. To stop someone being an administrator just make sure they are not in the sudo or admin group. To make someone an administrator add them to the sudo group.


Can you? Anything's possible when you put enough resources at it. You can make the partition the users launch from a read-only partition. Pretty restrictive, but that would solve that problem.

Also, there are application whitelisting solutions for Linux. Those will block installations.

I think that the biggest question here is what you mean. Do you mean "Using the OS, is it possible to..." or do you mean "using whatever means exists, how do I..."

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