Commit c831a1ae authored by Raphaël Hertzog's avatar Raphaël Hertzog

Add some notes for the future transition to normal user by default

parent 9a42ce6d
When we are going to switch to a normal user by default, we will
have to update many desktop files where the application is not usable
without root rights.
If we have to start/stop a system service, we can just keep using
"systemctl start <service>" as systemctl will generate a proper graphical
authentication request by itself.
If we have to start an application that runs in a terminal, we probably
want to invite the user to type "sudo application-name" (or we run it
directly that way).
If we have to start a graphical application that needs root rights, we
should probably use "pkexec" (from package policykit-1) to start it to
get a nice graphical authentication prompt. By default "pkexec" strips the
DISPLAY and XAUTHORITY environment variables so you have to ship a policy
file in /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/ with the org.freedesktop.policykit.exec.allow_gui
annotation set to a non-empty value (see man pkexec). A good sample file
is the one provided in the "gparted package" (since it's an application
that typically requires root rights to do anything useful):
/usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.gnome.gparted.policy
Note that in the case of gparted, the .desktop file doesn't contain the
call to "pkexec", it's /usr/bin/gparted itself which calls itself
again with pkexec if the current user is not root (/usr/bin/gparted is
a shell script wrapping /usr/sbin/gpartedbin which is the true program).
In any case, you should really read "man polkit" and "man pkexec" to
understand what can be achieved with this mechanism.
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