Torvalds:requiring root password for mundane things is moronic

Richard Shaw hobbes1069 at
Fri Mar 2 19:23:15 UTC 2012

On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM, Greg Swift <xaeth at> wrote:
> 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...

This sub-thread seems to have gotten dropped but I was hoping for a
Fedora admin type to pipe and say, "Hmm... That shouldn't happen.."

I ran into this on my wife's laptop where I created my account first
to keep the UID/GID's consistent across our systems but when I added
her account I did mark it as an admin account, yet each time it
prompts her for my password, not hers.


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