How does prompting to install missing software work?

I wanted to use a software not installed in my system in the command line and when I put in the command the system said command not found, do you want to install it?

How does this work?

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It uses a tool called PackageKit-command-not-found. That package installs a profile.d script that defines the shell function command_not_found_handle(), which bash calls automatically when a command isn’t found.


Thanks! How does this work without sudo? Is PackageKit part of Wheel or something?

PackageKit is a system daemon. The client (in this case /usr/libexec/pk-command-not-found) talks to PackageKit over D-Bus, with permission mediated by polkit. PackageKit ships the following polkit rule:

polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if (( == "org.freedesktop.packagekit.package-install" || == "org.freedesktop.packagekit.package-remove") && == true && subject.local == true &&
        subject.isInGroup("wheel")) {
            return polkit.Result.YES;

This allows admins (in the ‘wheel’ group) logged in directly (not over SSH) to install packages without root. The same policy applies to GNOME Software and to the pkcon command.