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GNOME-based front-end, as seen in Ubuntu
Developer(s)David Zeuthen, Red Hat
Written inC
Operating systemLinux, Unix-like
TypePrivilege authorization
LicenseLGPL (free software)
KDE-based front-end.

Polkit (formerly PolicyKit) is a component for controlling system-wide privileges in Unix-like operating systems. It provides an organized way for non-privileged processes to communicate with privileged ones. Polkit allows a level of control of centralized system policy. It is developed and maintained by David Zeuthen from Red Hat and hosted by the freedesktop.org project. It is published as free software under the terms of version 2 of the GNU Lesser General Public License.[1]

Since version 0.105, released in April 2012,[2][3] the name of the project was changed[by whom?] from PolicyKit to polkit to emphasize that the system component was rewritten[4] and that the API had changed, breaking backward compatibility.[5][dubious ]

Fedora became the first distribution to include PolicyKit, and it has since been used in other distributions, including Ubuntu since version 8.04 and openSUSE since version 10.3. Some distributions, like Fedora,[6] have already switched to the rewritten polkit.

It is also possible to use polkit to execute commands with elevated privileges using the command pkexec followed by the command intended to be executed (with root permission).[7] However, it may be preferable to use sudo, as this command provides more flexibility and security, in addition to being easier to configure.[8]


in May 2021 a 7-year-old bug[9] was discovered by GitHub staff member Kevin Backhouse[10] it was reported to the Polkit maintainers and Red Hat’s security team, a fix was released on 3 June 2021, and it was assigned CVE-2021-3560.[11]


The polkitd daemon implements Polkit functionality.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "polkit Git COPYING". David Zeuthen. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  2. ^ "polkit Git NEWS". David Zeuthen. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Polkit releases". Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Chapter 9. PolicyKit". openSUSE Security Guide. Novell, Inc. and contributors. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Polkit and KDE: let's make the point of the situation". Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Features/PolicyKitOne". Fedora Project Wiki. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  7. ^ "pkexec". polkit Reference Manual. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  8. ^ "When to use pkexec vs. gksu/gksudo?". Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Privilege escalation with polkit: How to get root on Linux with a seven-year-old bug". Archived from the original on 15 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Kevin Backhouse". Archived from the original on 12 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  11. ^ "CVE-2021-3560". Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  12. ^ Команда разработчиков BLFS (5 September 2017). "4: Bezopasnost'". За пределами проекта "Linux® с нуля". Версия 7.4 [Beyond Linux from scratch] (in Russian). 1. Moscow: Litres (published 2017). p. 169. ISBN 9785457831186. Retrieved 5 September 2017.

External links[edit]