Impossible for non-administrator users to connect to new wireless networks

Bug #1102354 reported by Jerker Nordh on 2013-01-21
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
network-manager-applet (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I have configured a laptop for a non tech-savvy member of my familiy, and therefore not given his user any administrative rights.

It is impossible for him to connect to a new wireless networks, since that requires administrative priviledges. This makes the laptop more or less useless for him.

I believe the root cause is that it by default tries to save the network connection and make it avaiable for all users, which requires administrative priviledges. Since it is a non-administrator user that is trying to connec to the network it should not try to add it for all users.

Problem has been reproduced on several machines running Ubuntu 12.10, it can easily be triggered:
1. ( Create a user with a standard account )
2. Log in as a normal users
3. Try to connect to a wireless network - you will now be asked for the password of the administrator account, which the user of course doesn't have.

Note, the bug in step 3 will only trigger if another user hasn't previously connected to that network, because then it would already be stored in the system global network settings

:~$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 12.10
Release: 12.10

:~$ apt-cache policy network-manager
  Version table:
 *** 0
        500 quantal/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Jerker Nordh (ajn) wrote :

Related to:

In 964705 it has been decided that the reported problem shouldn't be fixed since it was by design., which leaves the problem described in this thread as unsolved aswell (which I'm sure is not by design, since it would be silly to have a computer were the default policy is for the users to not be able to connect to networks)

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Jerker Nordh (ajn) wrote :

If this bug is a duplicate of #964705 that means that is an "opinion" whether or not a normal user should be able to connect to a wireless network!

I'm removing duplicate here, I can't see how this can be a duplicate as long as the #964705 is marked as opinion, since that bug is discussion a lot of other problems aswell. I do believe they have a common root cause, but for the other use cases there seems to be some disagreement about what should be the policy.

Justin Luth (jluth) wrote :

Still a problem in Bionic Beaver development. In the past you could work around it by going into network properties, and manually adding a network, being careful to uncheck the "make it available for all users" option. I couldn't work around it in Bionic.

But the point is that you shouldn't have to "work around" anything. A normal user should be able to follow the simple process of selecting the wireless and being prompted to connect and save the password just for himself.

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