Integrate high privileges in KIO and GHNS

Dario Freddi drf54321 at
Fri Aug 21 00:17:36 BST 2009

Hello list,

As you might or might not know, GSoC is over, just like my student's project. 
Nicola has worked on a framework to elevate privileges in a secure, user 
friendly way in KDE applications, OS and backend agnostic (it uses policykit 
on linux, to be clear).

Nicola, as part of his project, already ported kcmodule and systemsettings to 
support this new framework, and ported the date/time kcmodule to it. You can 
see everything waiting to be merged in branches/work/{kdelibs-kauth,kdebase-

Now, we should be all happy to have working kcmodules as root again, and this 
time with a secure and elegant solution, but it doesn't stop here. My plan is 
now to make other pillars of KDE use this framework. In this mail, I'm talking 
about KIO and GHNS.

By now, when KIO, trying to read or write on a file, finds out that it has no 
permission to do so, it simply quits the job. I would like to integrate KAuth 
into KIO. In this case, when trying to read a file on which the user has no 
read permission, it would check if the user is authorized to do so, eventually 
ask for password, and eventually perform the job.

Once done that, I would like to offer the possibility to GHNS to perform 
"single-user" installations, or "system-wide" installations using KAuth. This 
would also allow a full port of the KDM module to the new KAuth system, 
something I would really like to have done by 4.4.

So, by now I wanted to know if there are any strong objections or advices on 
this. But most of all, I would like to hear from KIO/GHNS maintainers, and 
eventually having some pointers on the amount of work required, if somebody is 
willing to help, and whatever.

Small P.S.: Remember that this framework is completely flexible, hence users 
might also be not authorized at all to perform these kind of actions, making 
KIO act just like it does now. Everything about security and per-user or per-
group policies are already being taken care of by KAuth (and of course by the 
system administrator).


Dario Freddi
KDE Developer
GPG Key Signature: 511A9A3B

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