Ubuntu: How can I elevate nautilus privileges to move or copy a folder as root?


Say I have a folder open in Nautilus that's in my /home/user/temp directory. I'd like to move a folder from there to my /opt directory (it's a program). Is there a way I can elevate the copy command up to a sudo so that I can copy the folder without having to start a new instance of Nautilus from the command line?


As far as I can say, based on what I know and have experienced:

sudo is used for command line applications/commands and gksudo is useful when you try to run a program using the Run Application dialog window by pressing Alt+F2.

I have read that gksudo is just the graphic version of sudo.

Anyway, you can both drop sudo nautilus and/or gksu nautilus in a terminal for the purpose to do what you wish, having the same effect both commands. But if you want to omit the terminal and you wish to run it directly with the "Run Application" dialog window, just press Alt+F2 and write gksu nautilus, after which you will be prompted to enter your password, then the nautilus file browser will open with root privileges.

Additionally, you can achieve to open files/folders as root with a single click by using the "Open as Administrator" option via right click. Which in any case will open a new nautilus instance for the given folder and will open files as root, this may also open/run applications as root but I haven't tested it yet.

enter image description here

You can get the "Open as Administration" option in your contextual menu by installing nautilus-gksu via command line: sudo apt-get install nautilus-gksu or by using synaptic as shown in the next image:

enter image description here

Good luck!


you need to run Nautilus as root

type this in the terminal

gksu nautilus  

now you can move using the GUI.

or use this command

sudo mv -r /home/user/temp/<foldername>/ /opt/  


Here's the nautilus-script I use to open an admin (root) Nautilus window:

#!/bin/bash  # This Nautilus script opens the current nautilus window in admin mode.  # Requires: perl, liburi-perl    ERROR_NEED_PERL="This script requires the liburi-perl package. Install it and try again."  GKSUDO_MESSAGE="Enter your password to open an admin window on: "  ERROR_BROKEN_LINK="Broken link."    ## Check for liburi-perl (and hence perl)  let PERLOK=$(dpkg-query -W --showformat='${Status}\n' liburi-perl|grep "install ok installed")  if [ "" == "$PERLOK" ]; then     zenity --error --text "$ERROR_NEED_PERL"     exit 1  fi    let LEN_NSSFP=${#NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS}-1  [ $LEN_NSSFP -lt 0 ] && let LEN_NSSFP=0  let LEN_NSSU=${#NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_URIS}-1  [ $LEN_NSSU -lt 0 ] && let LEN_NSSU=0    ## if clicking happens on the Desktop (or a file or folder on it),  ## $1 will be a path (i.e. with "/" in it); otherwise (in a folder  ## window) $1 will be just a file or folder name (without path).  ## Note that selecting the home desktop namespace extension yields  ## a $# of zero but NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS pointing to the  ## target (in the computer (computer:///) and trash (trash:///) desktop  ## namespace extension cases, ...PATHS is empty).    ## Initially, we stripped the file:// prefix from NAUTILUS...CURRENT_URI,  ## yielding the full path, and then retrofit spaces, like this:  #OBJECT="`echo -n $NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_CURRENT_URI | cut -d'/' -f3- | sed 's/%20/ /g'`"  ## However, this fails if any special characters other than spaces are in the path,  ## such as accented letters, etc. We need to convert not just spaces, but any  ## UTF-8 embedded in there...The URI<->path conversion requires perl (and liburi-perl):  OBJECT=$( echo "$NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_CURRENT_URI" | perl -MURI -le 'print URI->new(<>)->dir' )  ## ->file is to be used for file URIs instead of ->dir, which is for directory URIs    CONTEXT="$OBJECT"  ## Add the selection to the path, if defined and unique  if [ $# -eq 1 ] ; then     ## If a single Desktop object, override     if echo $1 | grep -q "/" ; then ## Desktop (or object on desktop)        OBJECT="$1"        CONTEXT=""     else ## $1 is a simple file or folder name, without a path        ## The container could be root (/)        OBJECT="${OBJECT%/}/$1"     fi  # elif [ $# -eq 0 -a -n "$NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS" ] ; then  elif [ $# -eq 0 ] ; then     ## desktop name space extension selected?     if [ -n "$NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS" ] ; then ## Home        OBJECT="${NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS:0:LEN_NSSFP}"     elif [ -n "$NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_URIS" ] ; then ## Computer, Trash        ## These typically map to root (/)  #     OBJECT="`echo ${NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_URIS:0:LEN_NSSU} | cut -d'/' -f3- | sed 's/%20/ /g'`"        OBJECT="${NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_URIS:0:LEN_NSSU}"        OBJECT=$( echo "$OBJECT" | perl -MURI -le 'print URI->new(<>)->dir' )     fi     CONTEXT=""  fi  ## Note that a desktop shortcut (.desktop file) does not trip -h  if [ -h "$OBJECT" ] ; then ## symbolic link     ## readlink has no "follow symlinks as far as they exist" option     OBJECT=`readlink -e "$OBJECT"`     if [ -z "$OBJECT" ] ; then        zenity --error --text "$ERROR_BROKEN_LINK"        exit 1     fi  fi    # zenity --info --text "\$OBJECT is « $OBJECT »"  if [ -f "$OBJECT" ] ; then     ## Regular file     DIR=`dirname "$OBJECT"`  else     ## Directory (or no object)     DIR="$OBJECT"  fi    ## If DIR is empty, gnome-open opens in the default (home) directory (i.e. "~") anyway  #if [ -z "$DIR" ] ; then  #   DIR=~  #fi    ## At this point, the test [ ! "$CONTEXT" = "$DIR" ] serves to indicate  ## that the target directory is not matched to the one the script was  ## invoked from (if any).    gksudo --message "$GKSUDO_MESSAGE$DIR" gnome-open "$DIR"    exit $?  


Another dandy solution is to launch another copy of Nautilus with root (sudo) privileges from a command line:

gksudo xdg-open <path> &  

The closing & means the command runs as a background job; hence the use of gksudo (using sudo would mean an invisible prompt that you can't respond to). xdg-open takes care of launching an explorer window (nautilus or other).

You may need to install the xdg-utils and gksu packages beforehand.

You may get a bunch of warnings and Gtk-CRITICAL and Glib-GObject-CRITICAL messages upon closing the elevated Nautilus window, but these are harmless as far as I can tell. I'd love to get rid of them, if anyone knows how.


sudo mv /home/user/temp/[Filename] /opt  

Instead of [Filename], type the name of your file without brackets [].


Another easy way is

sudo gnome-open foldername  

Or I would recommend installing nemo file manager. It has 'open as root' in its right click context menu

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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