As continuation of this question (How can I send a notification with polkit 0.106?), I've discovered that I have to execute notify-send as the user who I want to send notification.

But, with my current config, I can't do this, because polkit execute the script as polkitd user, and I can't do su $user without known user password.

By this reason, I need to create a new polkit action, to allow execute notify-send as other user from polkitd.

My polkit rule is this:

polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
     if (action.id == "org.freedesktop.consolekit.system.stop" ||
        action.id == "org.freedesktop.login1.power-off" ||
        action.id == "org.freedesktop.login1.power-off-multiple-sessions" || 
        action.id == "org.xfce.session.xfsm-shutdown-helper")  

            polkit.spawn(["/usr/bin/pendrive-reminder/check_pendrive.sh", subject.user]);        
            return polkit.Result.YES;

            polkit.spawn(["/usr/bin/pendrive-reminder/send_notify.sh", subject.user]);
           return polkit.Result.NO;

This polkit rule must lock shutdown option in shutdown menu, and shows a notification with notify-send, with send_notify.sh script, which execute this:


export DISPLAY=":0"

pkexec --user $user notify-send  "Pendrive Reminder" "Shutdown lock enabled. Disconnect pendrive to enable shutdown" -u critical

exit 0

I tried to add this polkit policy file:

    <action id="org.freedesktop.notify-send">
    <description>Launch notify-send command</description>
   <annotate key="org.freedesktop.policykit.exec.path">/usr/bin/notify-send</annotate>
   <annotate key="org.freedesktop.policykit.exec.allow_gui">true</annotate>

I put this file in /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.policykit.notify-send.policy

But, after put policy file in /usr/share/polkit-1/rules.d/ and press shutdown button, the shutdown menu took a long time to be showed, and notification didn't appeared. The shutdown option is locked correctly

How can I get that polkit can call notify-send from my script?

  • Don't use su $user -c, try to allow pkexec --user $user notify-send.
    – mviereck
    Feb 25, 2018 at 20:08
  • Ok, I'll try it
    – AlmuHS
    Feb 25, 2018 at 20:08
  • After change this, the problem continues. Shutdown menu takes around 10 seconds in be showed, and notification isn't showed
    – AlmuHS
    Feb 25, 2018 at 20:15
  • Add this in your bash script: LOG_FILE=/tmp/script.log ; exec > >(tee -a ${LOG_FILE} ) ; exec 2> >(tee -a ${LOG_FILE} >&2). Check the log file afterwards to see possible error messages. Btw.: use @mviereck if you adress me, than I get a notification.
    – mviereck
    Feb 25, 2018 at 20:56
  • @mviereck after add this in my script and press shutdown button, the log file is empty
    – AlmuHS
    Feb 25, 2018 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


After doing a few test, I got this results:

  • polkitd is a nologin user
  • If I execute this command, to execute my script with polkitd user, shows an error:

    sudo su polkitd -s /bin/bash -c aux_scripts/send_notify.sh almu

    Error executing command as another user: Not authorized

    This incident has been reported.

So, I think that polkitd user is a limited account, who it can't execute commands as other user

As a conclusion, I determine that this action isn't possible to do without modify system internal. I can't allow this in my application, so I can't launch commands as another user from polkit

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