updates with no administrator

I don’t know where to put this. A question or a rant or what this is something that has been bothering me for some time. I just have never gotten around to mentioning or asking about it.

I have noticed for some time that fresh after an installation and without any altering of the settings by me my system will prompt me for and if I accept will install updates without requiring any root password.

When and how and why did this happen. Was it really intentional?

This has been this was back for a number of openSUSE versions. I don’t know many.


You’re probably referencing an update setting (Apper?) that is set to download but not install updates immediately.
Yes, in that case you will be required to authorize installation.

you can instead

  1. Authorize automatic installation of updates. In that case, installs will be silent and not require your authorization.
  2. Instead of using an automatic update app (like Apper), you can manually install updates. Personally, I like to know exactly when updates are installed, and this gives you control. To do this, you need to have already set up elevated permissions before you even download the updates… Whether you use “su” or “sudo.”


Assuming you use KDE, this is the updater applet.
It uses Packagekit and it will indeed update without asking for the root password.
Many here see this as unwanted behaviour.

It is configured as such somewhere in Polkit.

Personally I have deinstalled (in fact never installed it during system installation) Packagekit. As openSUSE user, I am perfect satisfied with YaST > Software Management and zypper. The updater applet, now being useless and an annoyance to the end-user I have also not installed.


What’s it called in YAST software management so I can remove it?

I think it is plasm5-pk-updates. There was another one named apper in earlier openSUSE versions (tsu2 referred to it), but that is replaced by this one.

Maybe you have to block it for installing also, or it will be reinstalled on your first installation/update as a “recommended”.

Humm. I assume you meant plasma5-pk-updates. (You left off the a in plasma.) I wonder if there is a way to disable it.

Thanks. Now that I know the name hopefully I can handle it from here.

Yes, you can disable it in the “System Tray Settings”.

It’s just a frontend to PackageKit, and yes that is allowed to install updates (and only updates) without asking for a root password.
It is possible to change that too via the polkit settings.

That’s nothing new btw, this is the default since years.

And note that it doesn’t install nor download any updates automatically. It only notifies of available updates, you have to explicitly tell it to install them.

Of course if you don’t intend to use it, you can just uninstall it too.

Sorry for the typo.