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#1 2018-08-27 21:24:52

johnywhy
Member
Registered: 2011-10-09
Posts: 151

Will `pkexec thunar` Break the Local User Environment?

i've read that running GUI apps as root can break the app, because configs written to local user home during the execution will be owned by root. Later, local-user won't be able to run the app, since now root owns it's config files.

the given workaround is:

pkexec env DISPLAY=$DISPLAY XAUTHORITY=$XAUTHORITY SomeGuiApp

which (i think) causes config writes to be done in root home, instead of local-user home. (is that correct?)

is this workaround necessary with thunar?
i'm doing [c]pkexec thunar[/c], and not noticing any errors.


Mint 19 xfce, 4.15.0-29-generic #31-Ubuntu SMP, x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

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#2 2018-08-27 22:26:51

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 4,846

Re: Will `pkexec thunar` Break the Local User Environment?

johnywhy wrote:

is this workaround necessary with thunar?

Depends on the policykit definition. Look for a file called org.xfce.thunar.policy on you computer. If it specifies:

<annotate key="org.freedesktop.policykit.exec.allow_gui">true</annotate>

...then those two environment variables are passed. From https://www.freedesktop.org/software/po … xec.1.html:

As a result, pkexec will not by default allow you to run X11 applications as another user since the $DISPLAY and $XAUTHORITY environment variables are not set. These two variables will be retained if the org.freedesktop.policykit.exec.allow_gui annotation on an action is set to a nonempty value

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#3 2018-08-27 22:35:27

johnywhy
Member
Registered: 2011-10-09
Posts: 151

Re: Will `pkexec thunar` Break the Local User Environment?

ToZ wrote:

environment variables are passed...variables will be retained

language confuses me. Makes it sound like yes, i have to pass the env variables with pkexec either way, but they may be ignored depending on polkit config. If ignore, then even if you pass them, you could still break the app for the local user.

Correct?


Mint 19 xfce, 4.15.0-29-generic #31-Ubuntu SMP, x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

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#4 2018-08-27 23:33:12

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 4,846

Re: Will `pkexec thunar` Break the Local User Environment?

These variables already exist in your session. "allow_gui=true" will pass them over to the elevated session. This is how gksudo kind of worked. In this case all will be good. Nothing will be broken. This is the "new" way of elevating privileges.

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#5 2018-08-28 00:50:46

johnywhy
Member
Registered: 2011-10-09
Posts: 151

Re: Will `pkexec thunar` Break the Local User Environment?

ok, so
env DISPLAY=$DISPLAY XAUTHORITY=$XAUTHORITY

is only needed for GUI apps which don't already have "allow_gui=true" in their polkit policy.
Correct?


Mint 19 xfce, 4.15.0-29-generic #31-Ubuntu SMP, x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

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#6 2018-08-28 01:28:51

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 4,846

Re: Will `pkexec thunar` Break the Local User Environment?

This is my understanding, yes. But a test will let you know for sure.

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