sudo vs. gksu

Tony Arnold tony.arnold at
Sat Apr 5 13:11:44 UTC 2008

Nils Kassube wrote:
> Markus Schönhaber wrote:
>> Mario Vukelic wrote:
>>> No, gksu _is the right tool to use. sudo should never be used to
>>> start graphical applications, as this could cause problems:
>>> (in the "Notes" section)
>> Since the above page only says "don't do it!" but doesn't explain what
>> might happen otherwise: what problems are to be expected if one starts
>> a graphical application with sudo?
> With sudo some applications access / modify the user's config files as 
> root. From then on they are owned by root and the user can no longer 
> access / modify them. That leads to unusual error messages which only 
> long time users can trace back to the permission problem. With gksu (or 
> kdesu if you use kde) this problem is avoided.

Can you explain how this problem is avoided with gksu, or gksudo? So far
as I can see using one of these causes the application to run with UID
of 0, i.e., root. The app has no knowledge of how it was invoked, so any
files is creates will be owned by root.

Your explanation applies to running any app, not just graphical ones.


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