GNOME: Starting Nautilus with administrator privileges

I just installed GNOME to see if I could like it. Some things I miss a lot though. When setting up my installation I have to do some things in the file manager with administrator rights (yes, this can be done with the console …). With Xfce I could start Thunar with pkexec thunar. But with pkexec nautilus this does not work (Wayland?). What are the possibilities?

Other things are: How can I put files (that I work with every day) on the desktop? The existing extensions already seem to stop working).

for nautilus:

  1. there is a package called nautilus-admin. That gives you a right click menu “open as administrator” (or similar) to open folders, or edit files as root

  2. in nautilus you can also just edit the adress bar. Hit Ctrl+L to switch in editing mode. then you can enter admin:// in the adress bar -> authentication prompt will ask for your password, and voila, you can browse as root.

Both methods work on wayland btw.

Don’t know about desktop folders. I know there used to be an extension for that, but i never used it personally.


glad i could help :smiley:

just in addition: the same way you enter admin:// can be used to use other protocols directly in the address bar. For example: Want to access a windows share? Use the smb:// prefix
-> nautilus address bar: smb://<servername>/<share>

i also like that you can use the keyboard to “browse” folders in nautilus. No mouse needed :laughing:
just open nautilus and start typing. Like type: / (then type ) usr (then type) share (if you want to browse to /usr/share) nautilus will suggest the foldername. Use TAB key to autocomplete - like you would in a terminal :wink:
Maybe that helps you to get to like gnome and nautilus, haha

1 Like

I am on the best way to this :wink:

1 Like

1.) can also be achieved via FileManager-Actions when creating a rule for 2.). No need for an (outdated?) AUR package. I did it for nautilus as well as gedit, so can either open whole directory or just a txt file as admin.

1 Like

How do I create this rule?

1 Like


1 Like

you can just “sudo nautilus” in the terminal when you need sudo for it

imo no need to do it any other way but if you want to the other answers are pretty good. You shouldnt need to use most user apps with root privledges most of the time anyway

1 Like

I decided to use the method from @T-Flips with admin://, I don’t need it that often.

1 Like

When was the last time you tried this?
If I do this, I get a lot of dconf warnings an errors and nautilus is not working properly.
The method with admin:// from @T-Flips is the recommended way.

1 Like

Never before, cause I doesn’t use Nautilus in the past :wink:

Yeah it gives those errors in terminal but its done that for years at least for me but always works fine. I generally dont use nautilus as root because its usually faster just to do w.e im trying to do in terminal so its mostly when im lazy but i did use it a few days ago,

It is not working fine.
Or did you see that hidden files are not shown and you can not change that, you can not save any preferences on nautilus, etc.

1 Like

Never had an issue with it, only hidden files i deal with are in home dir and you dont need root for that so havent noticed. I also dont edit the preferences when its root either, gedit has this issue also when you sudo gedit. My use of nautilus in sudo is rare these days, use to be more years ago.

Id question making frequent use of nautilus as a root user, what hidden files are you running into that you need root nautilus for? Id also say that messing in your home dir as a root user doesnt really have any merit and shouldnt really be a habit.

Nautilus as root, without errors or warnings, in X11:

sudo dbus-launch nautilus

I like to have the preferences similar to my normal user, e.g. folder before files.

All dot-files are hidden files. If you want to browse a directory of a CMS or other web site, you want to see all files. But in any other situation I want to see every content in a file browser. I do not want to think about if there might be files I do not see.
That is something I do not like about Windows where the Explorer.exe hides the real structure of the folders and files because M$ thinks they know better than the users.

Guess just a matter of different needs I suppose.

I very rarely use it as root or in the manner you do so not a problem for me.

To each their own, we have many good options posted here for it

1 Like