Torvalds:requiring root password for mundane things is moronic

Greg Swift xaeth at
Fri Mar 2 14:42:53 UTC 2012

On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 05:36, Nikos Roussos <nikos at> wrote:

> Here is a weird example of how Fedora currenty handles some permission
> procedures. I created a standard user account (no admin rights) and I'm
> trying to install a package. When I press apply I'm prompted to enter a
> password. Since I have no admin rights I would expect to be asked for the
> root password. Instead of that I'm asked to enter a password of another
> user who happens to be in the administrative group!
> See the screenshot as a proof:
> See on the top right corner that I'm logged in with another account.
> So in the UX level we have actually disabled the root account (I can
> remember when was the last time I was prompted to enter it) thus we keep
> asking for a root password during installation that's ends up confusing
> people about its purpose.
> PS. an interesting question: if I had two users on my system belonging to
> the administrative group. which one's password I'll be prompted to enter
> when I'm logged with a standard user account, like the example above.
I experience a similar scenario.  On my home system (f16) I have my wife
and both in the wheel group.  Every time I go to run virt-manager I get
prompted for her password.  I do believe she is first in the wheel group
after root in /etc/group.  However this doesn't make any sense to me.  It
makes more sense for users that need that level of access to all know the
root password rather than the users to know another user's password.  Even
then, if I am in the same group, doesn't it make more since to either
prompt for my own password or just allow me?  We know each others password
so i've always shrugged it off cause I'm looking at other issues the few
times when I am playing with the virtuals at home but since someone brought
it up...

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