Wednesday, May 30, 2012

HOWTO: Give Network Manager Sufficient Privileges

Nm-applet is easily one of the most flexible network connection tools available under modern Linux distributions today. Because of this it is my network manager of choice. The only issue is that under a good deal of modern window managers (such as E17) nm-applet doesn't let your normal user connect to new networks without a bit of additional configuration.

The following is how to get around the message:

Failed to add new connection: (32) Insufficient privileges.

From the 0.9.x revision of the network manager.

It is a fairly simple fix that simply involves creating a configuration file. Crack open your terminal emulator of choice and run:

sudo nano /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.pkla

For the contents of this file simply paste this and then save+close the file.

Note if your user will need to be part of the netdev group for that code to function (if you don't have a netdev group, any group your user is a part of will work). To check the groups your current user is in simply run groups myusername in terminal (replace myusername with the name of your user clearly).

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. great tip. Another nuisance problem solved.
    Thanks. Highway

  3. Ah, thank you - I've avoided using NM before because of this problem (if you can't use the GUI, why bother having one?).

  4. I was just thinking on coming back to the Wicd when I found this solution. Works perfectly and finally I can get all of the nm-applet on my E17 desktop.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  5. I just do it as you say.but I still can't start nm-applet in e17.

  6. Thanks for help :)

  7. Thanks Jeff!

    I'm running E17 via MintPPC on a 333mhz G3 iMac w/ 288MB RAM and had just gotten the above error/denial after adding the 'firmware-ralink' package and attempting to connect via a USB dongle.

    Your solution worked great 1st try, as is.

    Anyone considering doing a BodhiPPC? E17 blows away LXDE on this old beast. Replacing MintPPC's default LXDE w/ E17 took things from novelty to funcionality.

    Bodhi 1.4 turned me on to E17 originally. Thanks again.

    p.s. I've noticed that when running equivalent desktops (MATE/MATE, etc.) on iX86 LMDE is noticeably more 'spry' than 'buntu Mint. This makes me wonder if a 'Bodhi on Debian' (Bodhian?) gets tossed around as well. Ideas for the future as the community grows perhaps.


  8. Thank you very much. It works for me on Linux Mint Debian,
    now the message
    "failed to add/activate connection insufficient privileges" is gone. Thomas

  9. The fix did not work for me, running LDM/LXDE on linaro build for Raspberry Pi. However it did no harm. Since the thing will continue top re-connect once you have made the connection as root, I sudo this little script to allow me to connect the first time:
    pid=$(ps -ef | grep nm.applet$ | awk '{print $2}')
    echo $pid
    kill -kill $pid
    nm-applet > /dev/null 2>&1 &