I have realized this behaviour recently. Before that each time the update manager poped up to tell me there are updates and I tell it to install them it will ask me for a password. But since recently it does not do that anymore. When I click install it just downloads them and installs them.

Is this a bug or intended behaviour? I use Oneiric with latest updates if that helps

  • I get the same behavior in my 11.10 installs. Note that (for me, at least) the Ubuntu Software Center will still ask for your password when you add/remove software, and the Update Manager will still ask for your password anytime you do partial distribution upgrades. – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 18 '11 at 4:59
  • It is exactly same thing that happens to me. Did cannonical change policy without notice or we missed it? – Stefano Mtangoo Nov 18 '11 at 5:46

Why does update-manager no longer prompt for the user's password? As of Ubuntu 11.10, update-manager no longer prompts for the user's password to apply updates. This was decided to improve usability and to make it easier for users to apply security updates and therefore increase system security. The rationale is as follows:

Like in previous releases, by default only people in the admin group are allowed access to perform security updates.

Only updates for already installed software can be applied without a password. Installing additional software still requires people to enter their password. The password prompt had become an irritant for some people such that they would just press 'Cancel' instead of installing the updates. The password prompt decreased system security for those users.

People that did dutifully apply updates became conditioned to enter their privileged password perhaps daily. When the user is prompted for the password, it should mean something and the frequency of update-manager updates meant that some people no longer thought about why they were entering their password. For these users, the password prompt had the potential to reduce security. Source

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    So no need to worry as it is a "usability feature" :) – Stefano Mtangoo Nov 18 '11 at 6:40

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