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Polkit Explorer v1.0 Released



Last year, I wrote about beginning to learn Python, and a utility I was writing back then called PolicyKit Editor.

I was using the Gtk toolkit at that time, and then there’s been a bit of a hiatus because I moved from Japan to Scotland.

I recently decided to have a look at that program again, and decided to change from Gtk to the Qt toolkit.

After a week or so of learning how Qt4 and Python fit together, and coding, I have produced Polkit Explorer.



What is it?

Polkit Explorer allows a user to view the default Polkit system policies as set by any package which makes use of Polkit (older name PolicyKit) for user permissions to perform tasks.

Why is it?

I wrote it because;

  • I wanted to learn Python,
  • Wading through the raw XML for each policy is an awful, awful thing,
  • It’s handy to see what default permissions your system has for certain tasks.

Polkit? PolicyKit?

See here :  http://scarygliders.net/2012/06/20/a-brief-guide-to-policykit/


Basically, my program turns this:


Eww, XML!













Into this :


Much nicer ;)









Obtaining the program

You can obtain it from the repository at GitHub…

git clone git://github.com/scarygliders/Polkit-Explorer.git PolkitEditor

You can download it as a zip file from GitHub at https://github.com/scarygliders/Polkit-Explorer

Read the README.md file.

If it’s useful to you please consider sending a donation.

Feedback is welcome.

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5 comments to Polkit Explorer v1.0 Released

  • Source

    Great little tool! Been using it all morning. A lot easier than scrolling through .XML files. Thanks again!

    Got it to run on OpenSUSE 12.1 x64 after I got the python-lxml package.

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    • Thanks for the feedback – nice to see it also running on non-Debian distros, as it should ;)

      I’ve updated the README.md file for clarity, and added python-lxml in the list of requirements.


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  • Source

    FYI to edit polkit-1 in OpenSUSE is a lot different than Debian-based distros


    Good question. My experience has been that the graphical tool does not work, or at least not with network manager related policies I’ve tried to alter recently. When I get time, I’d like to investigate this further.

    One method is to set the policies in /etc/polkit-default-privs.local

    For example, suppose you have a policy ‘org.freedesktop.udisks.filesystem-mount’, with the following implicit privileges

    description: Mount a device
    message: Authentication is required to mount the device
    vendor: The udisks Project
    vendor_url: http://udisks.freedesktop.org/
    icon: drive-removable-media
    implicit any: no
    implicit inactive: no
    implicit active: yes
    You might want root authentication to mount removable media. So, you could add a line to /etc/polkit-default-privs.local like this

    org.freedesktop.udisks.filesystem-mount no:no:auth_admin
    To apply any changes made here, you then run (as root)


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    • Good comments…

      My next project will expand upon Polkit Explorer, and will allow you to create custom policies as .pkla files which will override the defaults.



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