Graphical superuser without password on Linux Mint

24 July, 2020

Today I got tired of typing my password into a dialog in Linux Mint every time I want to take an action that requires elevated privileges. Windows seems to make passwordless privilege escalation possible with an OS-level dialog, and I don’t see why the same would not apply to Linux.

For now, since I am the only user on my laptop, I have disabled the prompts for passwords by editing the policy kit config. I created a new file:

1
sudo vim /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/99-sudonopassword.pkla

I added the following to the new file:

1
2
3
4
5
[No password prompt]
Identity=unix-group:sudo
Action=*
ResultActive=yes
ResultInactive=yes

The title in square brackets is arbitrary. This config grants passwordless superuser access to anyone in the sudo user group, which seems pretty safe to me. I’d be grateful to hear any arguments for why this is a bad idea, but I haven’t found a convincing one yet.