As of polkit 0.106 the .pkla format is no more, and these configuration files must be written in Javascript.

See Authorization rules in polkit for more info, and [1] for an example.


Contents

Configuring management access via PolicyKit

Several Linux distributions now use PolicyKit to manage access to the libvirt virtualisation layer:


Advantages of PolicyKit

PolicyKit allows for more flexible, fine grained access control than just granting access to a named unix group.

Organisations with complex requirements can extend PolicyKit to meet their needs. For example, to give access to certain users between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Extending PolicyKit in this way is beyond the scope of this page. For that, you'll need to consult the PolicyKit documentation.

This page will cover common configurations:


openSUSE note

openSUSE versions prior to 11.4 are affected by a bug that stops group access (through PolicyKit) from working.

If you only need individual user access, the bug won't affect you. The instructions on this page work.

If you do need group access, and you're using a version of openSUSE prior to 11.4, then you'll need to change the openSUSE specific file:

 /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/10-vendor.d/org.libvirt.unix.manage.pkla

The contents of this need to be removed, leaving the file in place, but empty. With that done, you can configure group access using the instructions on this page. It has been tested, and is known to work.

Configuration for group access

The information in this section is obsolete; see the top of this page for more information.

To give management access to members of a unix group, we only need to create a PolicyKit Local Authority file.

This is a plain text file, generally placed in this directory:

 /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/

The name of the file is up to you, but needs to start with a two digit number and end with .pkla. For example:

 /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/50-org.example-libvirt-remote-access.pkla

It's contents should be:

 [Remote libvirt SSH access]
 Identity=unix-group:group_name
 Action=org.libvirt.unix.manage
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultInactive=yes
 ResultActive=yes

Replace the group_name value above with the name of the unix group needing management access. The Remote libvirt SSH access heading is free form text, and can be anything you want.

For example:

 $ sudo cat /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/50-org.example-libvirt-remote-access.pkla
 [libvirt Management Access]
 Identity=unix-group:libvirt
 Action=org.libvirt.unix.manage
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultInactive=yes
 ResultActive=yes

This will allow any member of the unix group libvirt to manage the virtualisation layer, including remotely through SSH.


Connection example

We have two users in the libvirt group, named someuser and anotheruser. Using the PolicyKit Local Authority file above, they should now both have access:

 (on a server named host1)
 $ groups someuser anotheruser
 someuser : someuser tty libvirt
 anotheruser : anotheruser libvirt
 (from a computer other than host1)
 $ virsh -c qemu+ssh://someuser@host1/system
 Welcome to virsh, the virtualization interactive terminal.
 
 Type:  'help' for help with commands
        'quit' to quit
 
 virsh # hostname
 host1.libvirt.org
 (from a computer other than host1)
 $ virsh -c qemu+ssh://anotheruser@host1/system
 Welcome to virsh, the virtualization interactive terminal.
 
 Type:  'help' for help with commands
        'quit' to quit
 
 virsh # hostname
 host1.libvirt.org


Multiple groups

Multiple entries can be given on the Identity line. They need to be separated by a semi-colon ";".

For example:

 [Remote libvirt SSH access]
 Identity=unix-group:group_name1;unix-group:group_name2;unix-group:group_name3
 Action=org.libvirt.unix.manage
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultInactive=yes
 ResultActive=yes


Configuration for individual users

Configuring PolicyKit for individual user access is almost identical to the group approach above. The difference is the Identity line in the PolicyKit Local Authority file.

"unix-user" is used instead of "unix-group".

 [Remote libvirt SSH access]
 Identity=unix-user:user_name
 Action=org.libvirt.unix.manage
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultInactive=yes
 ResultActive=yes

Multiple user names can be given. They need to be separated by a semi-colon ";".

 [Remote libvirt SSH access]
 Identity=unix-user:user_name1;unix-user:user_name2;unix-user:user_name3
 Action=org.libvirt.unix.manage
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultInactive=yes
 ResultActive=yes


Configuration for both group and user access

Access can be granted to both groups and individual users at the same time. This is done by using multiple entries on the Identity line of the PolicyKit Local Authority file:

 [Remote libvirt SSH access]
 Identity=unix-group:group_name1;unix-user:user_name1;unix-user:user_name2;unix-group:group_name2
 Action=org.libvirt.unix.manage
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultInactive=yes
 ResultActive=yes


Further Reading

These pages may also provide useful further information: