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Is there a way I can give a non sudoer the permissions necessary for them to update the system through Update Manager? I don't want the user to be able to apt-get install whatever like however, just updates.

EDIT: I think something like

%someUser ALL=(root)NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/apt-get update,/usr/bin/apt-get 

added to the sudoers file via visudo may work? I would be grateful if someone could confirm as I have no experience of editing this.

For the second part of my question I would like to know how to give the non-admin user privileges to join a WiFi network previously not joined, i.e. say at a hotel or cafe (This is distinct from just ticking the available for all box in edit connections for a previously established connection, I mean a genuinely new connection).

Finally I want to remove the privileges for the user to burn to DVD (or CD) but still be able to read DVDs if possible (is this done by restricting permissions to cdrecord or would the user still be able to right-click an ISO and write-to-disc?)

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There is no difference between updates or installing new packages. You need full access to / do both. The only way to allow regular users to update would effectively be to make the entire filesystem writeable by everyone, at which point you start wondering why don't you just set every user's id to 0.

I think you want something like sudo that, I think, lets you give users permissions to execute specific commands as root.

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OK, but if I find some way to give this user Update ability via sudo (I guess by editing the sudoers file with visudo somehow) I'll have allowed the user to also use this sudo privilege to install new packages too? – fpghost Jan 17 '13 at 12:01
I don't know sudo personally, I suppose that you can restrict what exactly is the user able to run. I just don't know if you can restrict it to updates (unless there's a specific command for updates, instead of just an argument to apt-get). – njsg Jan 17 '13 at 12:23
You can create a shell script executable as root for your users, which contains the "apt-get upgrade -y" command itself. Then you don't allow "apt-get install xxx" but just "apt-get upgrade -y", which does not need any other parameters. This comment is made without worring about security concern ;) – Arcadien Jan 17 '13 at 14:56
thanks, I think it may be possible with the command I now added to the OP (not 100% sure though as no experience myself, hopefully someone will be along to confirm). I also added two more parts to my question, that I'd also like to know and suspect may be doable along the same lines of solution. – fpghost Jan 17 '13 at 14:57

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