How to put gksu gedit shortcut on the launcher in unity

Colin Law clanlaw at
Fri Nov 16 09:21:10 UTC 2012

On 16 November 2012 01:54, Jim Byrnes <jf_byrnes at> wrote:
> I have 12.04 on my laptop and am trying to get comfortable with Unity.
> I can't figure out how to open gedit from the launcher and have it ask for
> my password so I can edit read only files.
> This link seemed to be what I wanted:
> They are talking about Synaptic but I thought it may also apply to gedit.
> The last post offers this solution.
> After installing Synaptic, type "syn" into the Dash and drag the Synaptic
> shortcut onto the desktop.
> Open a gedit window and drop the shortcut into it, then change the Exec line
> from "synaptic-pkexec" to "gksu synaptic", save and exit.
> Get rid of any previously placed Synaptic shortcut in the launcher, then
> drag the new, edited one from the desktop and position in the launcher as
> desired.
> Check that clicking it brings up the authentication dialog, as it should.
> Back to normal.
> The problem is when I open the Dash it covers the entire desktop and the is
> no way to drop the shortcut on it.
> Is there another way to do what I need?

I think this is a much better way.
In at terminal copy the gedit .desktop file (not to be confused with
files on the Desktop) to .local/share/applications and rename it
ggedit.desktop (or whatever).
cp /usr/share/applications/gedit.desktop
edit that file
gedit .local/share/applications/ggedit.desktop
and change the Exec line to
Exec=gksu gksu gedit %U
and the Name and generic name lines to something like
Name=gksu gedit
GenericName=Root Text Editor
or whatever you fancy, these are the displayed names.
I will explain why there there are two gksu commands in the Exec line
in a moment.
Save the file and close gedit (to avoid confusion below).

Open nautilus hit ctrl+h to show hidden files and browse to
Right click ggedit.desktop and on the permissions tab select Allow
Executing ... and close the dialog.
The file should now show as whatever you put for the Name in the
desktop file.  Double click it and it should ask for your password and
open gedit as root.
Right click the gedit icon on the launcher and select Lock to Launcher.

The reason for including gksu twice in the exec command is to that it
works around the bug that causes an extra new file tab to be opened
when gedit is opened as root.  There is a bug for this but I can't
immediately see it at the moment.


> Thanks,  JIm
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