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I am using 13.04 trying to edit or drag and drop files but since all the folders are owned by root and assigned to the group "root" I am not allow to do this.

I added my current username to the "root" group and still I am not able to edit.

I don't want to have to login as root to do this, or change all the folders group to something else.

What are my options.

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marked as duplicate by user68186, Jorge Castro, Thomas Ward, bcbc, Eric Carvalho May 15 '13 at 9:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

not really a duplicate since I didn't know what "sudo nautilus" till now. – MCHam May 14 '13 at 19:59
Please be very careful about running nautilus with 'sudo', and the fact that you're being warned that 'all the folders are owned by root' I +1d Takkat's answer below, because he's providing you with a LOT of better considerations as to why you should NOT be doing this. It sounds like you're getting close to the "danger zone," of making your OS break. ;) – gravity May 14 '13 at 21:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

We are able to run Nautilus with root privileges with

sudo -i nautilus

but we need to be extra careful with what we do then.

Root is powerful and most measures to protect our system from accidents will not work any more. Nobody will stop Root from doing stupid things. There will be no warnings.

So here is my advice to people who need to run Nautilus as root:

  • Only do so for this one single task. Quit Nautilus after you are done to not accidentally do unwanted things as root which are meant to be done as a user.
  • Do not drag and drop. Only a slightly misplaced movement of the mouse may result in a broken system. In the worst case you will not be able to boot any more.
  • Do not bulk delete files or folders. You may have included an important system file by accident.
  • Do not copy files to the wrong place. Ubuntu has a very strict file system layout. It expects files to be in the place they are meant to and it does not expect other files to be there. All files we need to modify should be in our HOME directory.
  • Do not execute applications. All applications you run by clicking on a launcher, a binary, or a script will also be run as root. This rarely will be a good idea.
  • Never run Nautilus as root when you are a beginner. Only when understanding the file hierarchy and permissions you hopefully will be able to realize what is a good idea and what not. Before that you should for the sake of your system stability refrain from running Nautilus (or any other graphical application) with root privileges.

Nevertheless it will be fine to occasionally run Nautilus as root. I do so too, and command line typos may equally lead to severe system damages, especially when run recursively as root.

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+1, and this should be the answer. Take note of the OPs comment on his original post above. It sounds like he needed to see/mark this as the answer, in reality. – gravity May 14 '13 at 21:21

Try using the


command before your command.

This gives you root permission. For more information see Root Sudo

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This only works in terminal. – SimplySimon May 14 '13 at 19:41
Yes, but I am a drag and drop guy. – MCHam May 14 '13 at 19:50

sudo nautilus in the terminal will open a "root" nautilus, which will allow you to drag-and-drop folders, edit files, and do pretty-much anything with your files.

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Using sudo for graphical applications is not recommended. – Seth May 21 '13 at 18:46

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