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How To Fix “Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans” in Focal Fossa

Ubuntu 16

If you’re using Focal Fossa (Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) and have encountered the “Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans” error, this article is for you. This error typically occurs when you manually install the xRDP package in Ubuntu. Don’t worry, though. We are going to walk you through the exact steps to resolve this issue.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans" error in Focal Fossa, you need to create a .pkla file with the appropriate permissions. This file authorizes WiFi scans and provides additional permissions for non-administrative users. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can resolve the issue and regain the ability to scan for WiFi networks.

Understanding the Issue

Before we dive into the solution, let’s understand the problem. The error message “Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans” is a result of system policies that prevent non-administrative users from scanning for WiFi networks. This is a common issue when using xRDP, a remote desktop protocol that allows you to control a remote system.

The Solution: Creating a .pkla File

The solution to this problem involves creating a .pkla (PolicyKit Local Authority) file. This file authorizes WiFi scans and provides additional permissions.

Here’s how you can create a .pkla file:

  1. Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Navigate to the /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d directory by typing:
    cd /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d
  3. Create a new .pkla file. You can name it as you wish, but for this guide, we’ll call it wifiScan.pkla. Type the following command:
    sudo nano wifiScan.pkla
  4. Now, copy and paste the following contents into the file:
    [Allow Wifi Scan]
    Identity=unix-user:*
    Action=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.wifi.scan;org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.enable-disable-wifi;org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.settings.modify.own;org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.settings.modify.system;org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.network-control
    ResultAny=yes
    ResultInactive=yes
    ResultActive=yes
    Here’s what each line does:
    • Identity=unix-user:* applies the rules to all Unix users.
    • Action=... specifies the actions that are allowed, including WiFi scanning, enabling/disabling WiFi, modifying own settings, modifying system settings, and network control.
    • ResultAny=yes, ResultInactive=yes, and ResultActive=yes set the policy for any user, inactive users, and active users, respectively.
  5. Save the file by pressing Ctrl + O, then exit by pressing Ctrl + X.
  6. Restart your system to apply the changes.

Important Note

Please note that changing your network settings while connected through xRDP is not recommended, as it may cause you to lose your xrdp connection. If you encounter any issues, you will need to log on locally to check your settings.

For more detailed instructions and information, you can refer to this guide.

Conclusion

This article has provided a detailed solution to the “Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans” error in Focal Fossa. By creating a .pkla file with the appropriate permissions, you can resolve this issue. Always remember to tread carefully when modifying system files and ensure you have a backup of your system. Happy computing!

Why am I seeing the “Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans” error?

This error occurs when system policies prevent non-administrative users from scanning for WiFi networks, often due to the use of xRDP, a remote desktop protocol.

How can I fix the “Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans” error?

The solution involves creating a .pkla (PolicyKit Local Authority) file to authorize WiFi scans and grant additional permissions. The steps for creating the file are provided in the article above.

Can I name the .pkla file anything I want?

Yes, you can name the .pkla file as you wish. In the guide, it is referred to as wifiScan.pkla, but you can choose a different name if desired.

Do I need to restart my system after creating the .pkla file?

Yes, it is recommended to restart your system after creating the .pkla file to apply the changes and ensure that the error is resolved.

Is it safe to change network settings while connected through xRDP?

It is not recommended to change network settings while connected through xRDP, as it may cause you to lose your xrdp connection. If you encounter any issues, it is advised to log on locally and check your settings.

Where can I find more detailed instructions and information about fixing this error?

You can refer to this guide for more detailed instructions and information on resolving the "Authentication Required. System Policy Prevents WiFi Scans" error in Focal Fossa.

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