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More specifically the


folder. I need to delete some files and replace


with a newer version.

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up vote 22 down vote accepted

To open the folder as root in the grapical file manager, run the following command:

gksu nautilus /etc/apt/

If you wish to do your operations from the command line, the following command enters the intended directory and makes you root. However, you would be better off using the first method above.

cd /etc/apt; sudo -i
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Thanks! That worked fine! I used the GUI version and deleted the two (very old) backup files. – Klikini Apr 21 '12 at 19:13
sudo -i is less typing and cleaner environmental variables – bodhi.zazen Apr 22 '12 at 4:54
I disagree with SirCharlo that first method is better than using command line. Command line is way more powerfull. – OrangeTux Apr 22 '12 at 12:50

Nah ! do a simple thing first. Create a custom file manager. Its easy.

Here how you can do it:

First open gedit and paste all these:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Browse the filesystem with administrator rights
Exec=gksudo nautilus

Now save the file as Nautilus.desktop on your desktop.

(desktop is the file extension).

Now Open:

   /home/your user name/.local/share/applications

and cut/paste Nautilus.desktop file into there.

Now open dash and search for "Nautilus". It will open up the default file manager with root permission. Now you can navigate to any directory and delete anything you want.

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To install Open-as-Administrator in Ubuntu open Terminal (Press Ctrl+Alt+T) and copy the following commands in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/apps

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install open-as-administrator

After installation type this command to restart Nautilus:

nautilus -q


enter image description here

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E: Unable to locate package open-as-administrator – Hooli Jun 23 at 10:19

Just use

gksudo nautilus --or -- gksu nautilus

or any other file explorer of your choice.

See Also What is the difference between “gksudo nautilus” and “sudo nautilus”?

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1's better to launch graphical application, with root privilege, using gksu that sudo... – precise Jan 27 '14 at 9:57

in terminal you can use:

sudo -e /etc/apt/sources.list

for example:
sudo -e /etc/apt/sources.list

Note if you prefer to use graphical software you should use gksudo in Gnome:

gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

or kdesudo in KDE:

kdesudo kate /etc/apt/sources.list

Enter your user password (not root) and you will edit file as root

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or just sudo -e sudo -e /etc/apt/sources.list – bodhi.zazen Apr 22 '12 at 4:55
@bodhi.zazen thank you, smart option ... you are free to edit my answer for creating difference sudo -e <YourTextEditor> /etc/apt/sources.list – swift Apr 22 '12 at 9:42

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