I have a group of users with sudo privileges. That group is not called admin. The users can use sudo on the command line without any problems, however, Unity GUI dialogs requesting root permission don't accept their login / password. They seem to additionally depend on a membership in the admin group.

How can I change this?

  • Please edit your question and explain how you are giving them sudo privileges. Show us your /etc/sudoers file. Is there any reason you don't have them in the admin group in the first place?
    – terdon
    Jun 30, 2015 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


These applications are likely using Polkit, not sudo (or gksudo or a similar frontend), for authorization. The default rule on Ubuntu for Polkit uses membership in sudo or admin groups:

$ cat /etc/polkit-1/localauthority.conf.d/51-ubuntu-admin.conf 

Just create a new configuration file in /etc/polkit-1/localauthority.conf.d, say 60-local-admin.conf, containing:

  • Thanks, that indeed did the trick. I was unaware of the two layers.
    – barbaz
    Jun 30, 2015 at 16:56

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