Run as root

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What does "run as root" mean?

Running a program as root means to run the program with the root (administrator) credentials. Usually Linux users prefer to use a normal user for normal activities and use root (administrator) account only when they need to perform system wide changes. Running as root all the time is not recommended.

In Console

To run a program or command as root, start the Konsole, type su -c and then your command enclosed by either double or single quotation marks, example:

su -c 'apt-get update'
su -c "apt-get update"

To run issue commands as root, type su, input the root password when prompted. You are now root and can enter commands. To exit root and return to a user, type exit. Read this if you get XHost errors.

GUI program

To run a GUI program as root use kdesu. Kwrite (a text editor) is used as an example below:

  • Right-click on the desktop and choose "Run Command" (you can access "Run Command" from KDE Menu too). Type "kdesu kwrite" and type root password when prompted.
  • Right-click on the desktop and choose "Run Command" and enter kwrite. Click "Options". Select "Run as a different user". Type in "root" for username if necessary, and enter the password. Click "Run" To do this in 8.5.x use Alt+F2 or the Run Command on the main menu entry
  • In Konsole type "kdesu kwrite" and input root password when prompted.
  • In the latest version of KDE (depending on customization) when you right-click on a file and go to Action you might have Run as root or Edit as root options available.
  • For programs frequently run as root, you could create a new KMenu entry and add "kdesu" in front of the program command.
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