PolicyKit is an application-level toolkit for defining and handling the policy that allows unprivileged processes to speak to privileged processes, in order to grant some user the right to perform some tasks in some situation (using ConsoleKit).
- Let the user Hibernate and shutdown the computer.
- Let the user manage (Wireless) connections.
- Let the user mount/eject a removable media (CD/DVD, USB keys...)
- Let the user access devices, like audio, scanner, etc.
As opposed to previous mechanisms used in GUI, PolicyKit, is a centralized place to define and enforce that policy.
For a general introduction, read http://lwn.net/Articles/258592/
ToDo: explain how it works.
freedesktop.org project page for PolicyKit
PolicyKit Library Reference Manual