Unlock button in Services is greyed out

If you are running Ubuntu and want to modify the services running on the OS using the GUI, the way to do this is via System → Administration → Services. This is all very good, but in my case on one machine the Unlock button on the Services window was greyed out. Sure, I could use the shell to modify this, but when this is something I use quite rarely I need to go and look up the exact command and it can get a pain. Plus, that is the whole point of running the GUI? 😉

One easy way to solve this is to to modify the /etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf file and add the following in the end:

<return result="yes"/>

You might not have privileges to edit the file and might need to do it as root; you can use the following command for that:

sudo gedit /etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf

Here is the output from my file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!-- -*- XML -*- -->

<!DOCTYPE pkconfig PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD PolicyKit Configuration 1.0//EN"


<!-- See the manual page PolicyKit.conf(5) for file format -->

<config version="0.1">
    <match user="root">
        <return result="yes"/>
    <define_admin_auth group="admin"/>
    <return result="yes"/>

One word of caution, this will by pass some of the built-in security and allow any logged on user to get access to the services. If you are the only one using your computer in an environment where someone else won’t be able to get their hands on it (e.g. at home and not at work or school or college) then you should be OK. But if you are not the sole user of the computer or will be in an environment where others can get their hands on it, then I won’t recommend you do this.

Published by

Amit Bahree

This blog is my personal blog and while it does reflect my experiences in my professional life, this is just my thoughts. Most of the entries are technical though sometimes they can vary from the wacky to even political – however that is quite rare. Quite often, I have been asked what’s up with the “gibberish” and the funny title of the blog? Some people even going the extra step to say that, this is a virus that infected their system (ahem) well. [:D] It actually is quite simple, and if you have still not figured out then check out this link – whats in a name?

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