I'm trying to move some files into /usr/bin in Nautilus but I'm getting permission errors. I know I can do it via the terminal using sudo but how can I do it in Nautilus? I would expect it to popup a box for me to enter my password like the admin screens in Ubuntu but it doesn't.

  • 1
    Moving files into /usr/bin is almost certainly wrong, if you need an application that is not packaged, and all users on the system should be able to use it, it should go into /usr/local/bin or in a directory under /opt. If you are the only user who needs this application, you can also keep it in your personal directory. Also see man hier.
    – JanC
    Commented Nov 6, 2010 at 21:15

3 Answers 3


You can do it like this:

press Alt+F2 to open the 'Run Application' box
type gksudo nautilus in to the text box and press 'Enter'. This will prompt a password dialog box. Enter your sudo password and it will open nautilus with root privilege. From there you can move/copy files without any permission error.

Note: Just make sure that you don't delete/replace any system files.


I do this all the time, because I'm way to lazy to type I assume you might just want to keep it visual like me.

Applications--> Accessories-->Terminal

$ sudo nautilus
[sudo] password for me: my_password

the gui file manager will pop up running like root

Be mighty careful :-)

  • 1
    Because 'nautilus' is a GUI (a Graphical User Interface), you should run it via 'gksu' (or 'gksudo'), and not via 'sudo'... 'gksu' sets up a specific environment for 'X' (X Window System) ... 'sudo' is for programs, which have no graphical window(s)... ie. their output is confined to the Terminal, eg 'sudo updatedb'.... see the "Graphical sudo" section at help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo where it says: "You should never use normal sudo to start graphical applications .........
    – Peter.O
    Commented Dec 28, 2010 at 6:19

Root Nautilus script. This script opens Nautilus as root in the directory you select. how to install here


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