For years, I've had the following in my sudoers file:


For those who don't know, this prevents sudo and friends (gksudo, etc.) from asking for a password. However, over the years, more and more stuff that once used sudo has been switched to using PolicyKit.

I'm looking for an equivalent configuration for PolicyKit, such that it'll never ask me for my password.

For those who don't like my request, let me say this: I understand the reasons for the default configuration, and they are sound. I also understand the risks inherent in the configuration I want to make. Nevertheless, it's the way I want to set up my system. Those who don't fully understand the above shouldn't attempt what I'm attempting.

2 Answers 2


You can use the same technique Ubuntu's Live CD uses by tricking PolicyKit and suppressing ALL password prompts by substituting the action with a wildcard.

DISCLAIMER: The following will suppress ALL password prompts globally for everyone belonging to the admin group, with the exception of the login screen. It is EXTREMELY dangerous and should NEVER be implemented because chances are YOU WILL END UP BREAKING YOUR SYSTEM!!

Don't say you weren't warned!

NOTE: If you are running 12.04 or later, substitute "admin" with "sudo"!

Replace "username" with your actual user name:

usermod -aG admin username

Switch to root:

sudo -i

Create a new policy:

gedit /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/disable-passwords.pkla

Add the following:

[Do anything you want]

Save and exit. Then go try something that usually requires a password. :)

NOTE: It doesn't matter what you use as your .pkla file name. You can name it anything you want.

And last, this is the ONLY policy you'll need when it comes to suppressing password prompts because again, it does so globally.

  • 10
    Could someone describe how exactly this will "break" the system?
    – user541686
    Aug 14, 2014 at 20:30
  • 10
    Yes, please. How will this break the system? Not this! Something stupid that you do after this will break the system, but not this! This will allow you to do anything on the host without password. If you do something stupid, you'll break the system. If you have to put the password and you do something stupid, you will break the system. This, per-se, just makes it a bit easier to do something stupid.
    – blueFast
    Jun 25, 2015 at 7:27
  • 1
    @jeckyll2hide Read the NOTE - it explains why the OP chose [Install package file]. Either you disagree with this and the NOTE requires a similar edit, or your edit is invalid and should be rolled back.
    – bcbc
    Jun 25, 2015 at 19:40
  • 4
    @prusswan you can use Identity=unix-user:scott to only allow the user "scott" to do the action. Also if you want to just allow certain actions, you can grep /var/log/auth.log and polkitd will output the full name of the polkit you were trying when you were prompted for your password. cat /var/log/auth.log | grep polkitd will give you a pretty quick list of them
    – Scott
    Mar 3, 2017 at 21:20
  • 2
    "It is EXTREMELY dangerous" ... then maybe don't make those users admins!
    – y o
    Jan 31, 2020 at 0:53

You can create a .pkla, either an all in one or a couple based on action groups, doesn't really matter.

For reference look in /usr/share/polkit-1/actions, open interested ones in a text editor to get action id's.

As far as a .pkla or 2 I find the best place to put them is here, it will be protected from any updates


So for example here is my main one, named package-manager.pkla though it extends a bit further than just package management policy's

[Install package file]

[Install package synaptic]

[Change add repo]

[usbcreator format]

[Install bootloader]

[Add users]

Note that starting in 12.04 the group used for "admin" user should be changed to sudo, ie.


Also note that actions can be strung together per section, no spaces, use a ; in between id's

  • 3
    It looks like you're making settings for each program individually. That seems rather tedious, especially if I later install some other program that wants to use PolicyKit. I'm looking for a way to make a global configuration change that affects everything. Jan 24, 2012 at 16:31
  • 1
    Have never seen any way to affect 'globally', don't believe that's the way policykit works, there is an policy set per action id
    – doug
    Jan 24, 2012 at 18:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .