I just upgraded to Fedora 22. The biggest change from the previous version is that the yum package manager is now replaced with dnf. One change I've noticed is that if you try to execute a command that comes from a common package which is not yet installed, the terminal will prompt you to install that package. For example:

[wbarlow@wbarlow-thinkpad src]$ ar
bash: ar: command not found...
Install package 'binutils' to provide command 'ar'? [N/y] y

 * Waiting in queue... 
 * Waiting in queue... 
 * Waiting for authentication... 
 * Waiting in queue... 
 * Downloading packages... 
 * Requesting data... 
 * Testing changes... 
 * Installing packages... 
Usage: ar [emulation options] [-]{dmpqrstx}[abcDfilMNoPsSTuvV] [--plugin <name>] [member-name] [count] archive-file file...
       ar -M [<mri-script]
  d            - delete file(s) from the archive
  m[ab]        - move file(s) in the archive
  p            - print file(s) found in the archive
  q[f]         - quick append file(s) to the archive
  r[ab][f][u]  - replace existing or insert new file(s) into the archive
  s            - act as ranlib
  t            - display contents of archive
  x[o]         - extract file(s) from the archive
 command specific modifiers:
  [a]          - put file(s) after [member-name]
  [b]          - put file(s) before [member-name] (same as [i])
  [D]          - use zero for timestamps and uids/gids (default)
  [U]          - use actual timestamps and uids/gids
  [N]          - use instance [count] of name
  [f]          - truncate inserted file names
  [P]          - use full path names when matching
  [o]          - preserve original dates
  [u]          - only replace files that are newer than current archive contents
 generic modifiers:
  [c]          - do not warn if the library had to be created
  [s]          - create an archive index (cf. ranlib)
  [S]          - do not build a symbol table
  [T]          - make a thin archive
  [v]          - be verbose
  [V]          - display the version number
  @<file>      - read options from <file>
  --target=BFDNAME - specify the target object format as BFDNAME
  --plugin <p> - load the specified plugin
 emulation options: 
  No emulation specific options
ar: supported targets: elf64-x86-64 elf32-i386 elf32-x86-64 a.out-i386-linux pei-i386 pei-x86-64 elf64-l1om elf64-k1om elf64-little elf64-big elf32-little elf32-big plugin srec symbolsrec verilog tekhex binary ihex

In this entire process, I was never asked for a password, and yet I would have had to use an elevated account in order to run dnf install binutils. What is the difference between the installation above and a dnf install installation? Why does one require an elevated permission and the other does not? Is this a security hole?


I would suggest that you try to reproduce this. Most likely, you already had an authenticated session and your system remembered it due to the keyring. A great way to test would be immediately after a reboot.

aditya@20:54:20:~$ nano
bash: nano: command not found...
Install package 'nano' to provide command 'nano'? [N/y] y

 * Waiting in queue... 
 * Loading list of packages.... 
 * Downloading details about the software sources.... 
 * Loading list of packages.... 
 * Waiting in queue... 
 * Waiting for authentication... Failed to install packages: Failed to obtain authentication.

Disclaimer: I am a Fedora user and contributor.

  • here's what i just did: sudo dnf remove nano reboot nano, and i was presented with the "install package 'nano' [...]" message. i typed 'y' and it installed without my password. Jun 18 '15 at 16:53
  • are you using the new dnf package manager? Jun 18 '15 at 16:54
  • yes. I am using dnf on fedora 22 Jun 19 '15 at 10:56
  • well, if you're not experiencing it, i guess i have a local configuration issue. :/ Jun 19 '15 at 13:54
  • @WoodrowBarlow: any changes to your sudoers file from default?
    – Jeff Ferland
    Jun 19 '15 at 21:59

when creating the first user (Fedora installation), you can choose to set a special checkbox ("admin" or similar). If set, the created user is given some special authorizations by some polkit-rules (man polkit).

I think this is done by simply adding the user to the "wheel"-group. So if you want to change that behaviour, try "system-config-users" and add/remove the group "wheel".


This question continues to receive occasional visits and upvotes, and I see that a few of the answers contain parts of the true answer, so I am creating a wiki answer that stitches it all together. A similar question has since been asked and answered at Unix.SE.

According to RH# 1225788, this is intended behavior:

It's by design that admin users (in the wheel group) can install software without having to enter a password. See https://pagure.io/fesco/issue/1115#comment-27002 and the discussion in the ticket for background information.

This behavior can be changed by commenting out the following lines in /usr/share/polkit-1/rules.d/org.freedesktop.packagekit.rules:

polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if (action.id == "org.freedesktop.packagekit.package-install" &&
        subject.active == true && subject.local == true &&
        subject.isInGroup("wheel")) {
            return polkit.Result.YES;

I had the same problem and looked for a solution for a long time. Finally I solved it; the solution is the answer to this question: Unauthorized Installations in dnf after entering a command that's not found

I had to comment out some lines in


Once I did that, bash was forced to show a dialog box during the authentication phase.

  • 3
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – S.L. Barth
    Nov 25 '16 at 11:16
  • That link contains my question with my answer. If I update anything, it'll be a better answer Nov 25 '16 at 11:17
  • 3
    I see. For the record, that comment is an automated comment. Your answer is currently in the "Low Quality" queue, and in danger of being deleted. The best thing to do is to edit the answer so that it is still useful if the link dies. People here like to have answers that stand on themselves, and don't require them to follow a link. (Might be why your answer got downvoted, as it seems to be technically relevant).
    – S.L. Barth
    Nov 25 '16 at 11:23

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