I have two users:

  • misha-local (the first user I created when installing Ubuntu)
  • misha (a user authenticated against an LDAP server)

I'm logged in as misha.

misha@misha-antec:~$ whoami
misha@misha-antec:~$ groups
lmd adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare

As you can see, misha is an admin user. However, when I do anything requiring superuser access in the GUI (like installing software), I get this:

password prompt for misha-local

Why is it asking me for the password for misha-local? The current user also has administrative privileges. Why doesn't it ask for the current user's password instead?


This is an Ubuntu 14.04 desktop installation.

Some more relevant command-line output:

misha@misha-antec:~$ id misha
uid=13009(misha) gid=10000(lmd) groups=10000(lmd)
misha@misha-antec:~$ id misha-local
uid=1000(misha-local) gid=1000(misha-local) groups=4(adm),24(cdrom),27(sudo),30(dip),46(plugdev),108(lpadmin),124(sambashare),1000(misha-local)

misha@misha-antec:~$ whoami
misha@misha-antec:~$ groups
lmd adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare
misha@misha-antec:~$ groups misha
misha : lmd

This is odd. groups is reporting that misha is part of sudo and adm, but id and groups misha reports the opposite. What's going on?


misha@misha-antec:~$ id -run
misha@misha-antec:~$ id -un
misha@misha-antec:~$ ps -A | grep nscd
8622 ?        00:00:02 nscd
  • 1
    Could you share the result of doing id misha and id misha-local at a terminal ? – Benoit Jun 17 '14 at 8:05
  • @Benoit: sure, please see the updated question. – mpenkov Jun 17 '14 at 8:17
  • Could you do know id -run than id -un. I suspect that even if you log in with misha, your effective id is misha-local. It may be related to the configuration against the LDAP server to get the user. – Benoit Jun 17 '14 at 8:27
  • Another idea, just out of my head now, do you have the nscd process running or anyother caching mechanism enabled for your LDAP usernames and groups resolution ? – Benoit Jun 17 '14 at 8:28
  • @Benoit: thanks for your ideas. I've updated the question. Yes, nscd is running. – mpenkov Jun 17 '14 at 8:31

You need to add the user misha to the sudo group

Add a user to the sudo group:

sudo adduser <username> sudo

The change will take effect the next time the user logs in.

  • misha is already in the sudo group - please see the original question. – mpenkov Jun 17 '14 at 7:49
  • the command groups shows what groups there are please run groups <username> to see if misha is part of the sudo groups – StallionSA Jun 17 '14 at 8:11
  • Sure. Have a look at the updated question. – mpenkov Jun 17 '14 at 8:23
  • when you type the command groups as per your output it shows what groups are available on the PC. when you type groups misha it should give you what groups the user misha is in and from your output of id misha it says that you are not part of sudo groups – StallionSA Jun 17 '14 at 8:24
  • 1
    @StallionSA: groups used without username in parameters report the groups appartenance for the current user running the command, not the available groups on the system. – Benoit Jun 17 '14 at 8:31

The user you are now is known as Administrator, he is granted most of permissions but not all. Linux system based on root(super user) parodigm: root can do anything without some feedbacks like asking password. In Ubuntu root user was turned off. So Administrator has to perform this feedbacks sometimes, but if you dont want this you can always do sudo | sudo -i | gksudo | ... to grant yourself or your application rigths of root to do everything. Ones you do sudo it will, of course, ask you a password but than app will run with root privileges.

  • 2
    You might have misread the question... – Jacob Vlijm Jun 17 '14 at 7:59
  • 1
    It is not about the password being asked, but being asked to the (at least seemingly) wrong user. – Jacob Vlijm Jun 17 '14 at 8:07
  • ooh i get it: why is it asking you a 'misha-local' password while you are 'misha'?...yes i really misread the qustion. Means 'misha-local' has higher privileges. Is it a server ubuntu or normal? – user3541568 Jun 17 '14 at 8:08
  • I think you should ask OP (which is not me :)) – Jacob Vlijm Jun 17 '14 at 8:10
  • It's a Ubuntu 14.04 desktop installation. – mpenkov Jun 17 '14 at 8:15

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