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By default, "Log File Viewer" is not launched from Unity as root in Ubuntu 11.04. This is pretty useless, as most of the log files are only readable by root.

How can I change this behavior so that it launches as root?

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Can you give some examples of files you can't view? I'm on 11.04, on the console and logged in as a sudoer, and I can view all log files. –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Sep 16 '11 at 8:48
    
@Jo-Erlend When I launch 'log file viewer', I get a message about not having permission to open "/var/log/btmp". Not surprising as that file does not belong to the "adm" group and neither do I. Other log files are accessible. It's strange, it's a few days ago now, but I thought I'd tried other log files before and failed.. Perhaps it's to do with an update that required a re-boot? I had a number of pending updates and have re-booted between now and then. –  drevicko Sep 19 '11 at 4:25
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Backup and modify /usr/share/applications/gnome-system-log.desktop; change line:

Exec=gnome-system-log

to:

Exec=gksu --description /usr/share/applications/gnome-system-log.desktop /usr/bin/gnome-system-log

Downside is that it will now always ask for a password.

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You could also install a similar utility called glogg - It would make it easier to run as sudo

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