Gnomesu – Running Applications as Root on Linux

Sometimes (just sometimes) a Linux Desktop user needs to run a program eg: Nautilus as the root user which you can easily do with the commandline $sudo nautilus.  If you have the command line shell open why not do you file management throught it? Well it’s nice to have more options like a Desktop launcher (Shortcut) that will open an application as root and prompt for the root password (all as a GUI).

This can be achieved using gnomesu or kdesu, depending on the Desktop Manager. Installing is very easy, can be done via the CLI (Command Line Inteface) or usign your package manager by searching for libgnomesu0 and libgnomesu-common (for Gnome users), the kdesu comes installed as part of the base installation of  KDE.

The CLI installation route on Gnome

Debian based distros (eg.: Ubuntu)

 $ sudo apt-get install libgnomesu0 libgnomesu-common

Suse Linux

$ sudo zypper in libgnomesu0 libgnomesu-common

Note that on Ubuntu you have to activate the root user account and give it a password:

1 – Go to Main Menu>>System>>Administration>>Users & Groups
2 – Unlock the Application (requires user password)
3 – Select Root account, activate it and under properties change password


1 – Testing: press ALT+F2 and at the prompt type gnomesu Nautilus, a password prompt should appear, so type the root user password and Nautilus should open with root previledges.

2 – Desktop Launcher (Shortcut): (CTRL+ALT+D to show Desktop)

  • right-click on your Desktop
  • Select “Create Launcher”
  • Add Name: (Can be anything eg.: Nautilus as Root)
  • Command: gnomesu nautilus (nautilus is the application I want to use, you could use any othereg.: gimp, gedit, etc)

That’s all


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