Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to install Matlab R20112a on Ubuntu.

My problem is: I get access to the installation gui running ./install from a terminal, but the installer fails when it tries to write on the folder /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a (even though I created this folder before running the installation).

I assume the problem is I need root privileges, but "root" is disabled in ubuntu.

I can install the program in my home folder, but this is not a good solution because I want access to the program for all users.

share|improve this question

As explained here, you do not need to enable root logins to run commands as root. That's what sudo and its graphical frontends (like gksu/gksudo and kdesudo) are for.

Since install runs a graphical installer, and you can run it (but not as root) like ./install, you can run it as root with:

gksu ./install
share|improve this answer
This worked. Thanks. – Guillermo Jul 9 '12 at 23:00
Also, you can disable root login via /etc/ssh/sshd_config and prevent remote login through your root user. – earthmeLon Jan 13 '14 at 22:36
@earthmeLon It should be disabled in /etc/ssh/sshd_config by default already (even when the root account is permitted to log in locally or via su with a password), as that is the default in Ubuntu and, I think, every other OS with sshd. Of course, anyone who does choose to enable the root account would still be well-advised to check /etc/ssh/sshd_config to make sure it remains disabled there. – Eliah Kagan Jan 15 '14 at 6:16
My experience is different, @EliahKagan. I just recommend being 100% sure root isn't exposed to sshd. – earthmeLon Jan 15 '14 at 16:32

Try running gksudo ./install from the terminal. This will run the install as root.

share|improve this answer
IIRC it's a CLI start followed by fall-forward to GUI by JRE if an X server is detected... – izx Jul 9 '12 at 22:39
@izx Sounds like gksu is the way to go, then (as the X server will still be detected even if it's run with straight sudo). – Eliah Kagan Jul 9 '12 at 22:55
Right-o, edited answer. – izx Jul 9 '12 at 23:00

I tried the gksudo method but nothing happened.

Here's what worked for me: Download and install furius.iso, then mount the ISO. Open the mounted image, and copy the installer's filename into the terminal. Then, type "./install" and when it asks you where to install, change it to /home/your_user, ~/ or so. Tested on 15.04.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.