How do I start the "Disk Utility" program as sudo user, in the Unity gui? If I want to start the application from a CLI, what is the application name?

(There is no reference to the actual program name in the "About" box, and typing "Disk Utility" or "disk utility" or "gnome-disk-utility" does not start the application!)

  • 1
    Not sure why you'd want to run this as root, but if you do use gksudo for GUI apps instead of sudo. Apr 15, 2012 at 18:49

3 Answers 3


You want palimpsest.

How did I find this out? I went to the folder /usr/share/applications and right clicked on Disk Utility, selecting Properties.

enter image description here


just adding to the previous answer, if you prefix 'gksu' before 'palimpsest' in the Command field, it will automatically open as root, requiring your password. ( this can only be edited as root, so from the CLI you could 'gksu nautilus' to change this file. )

it took me awhile to figure that out, i was trying to add a 'gksu' option in the desktop file itself. this was much easier. i prefer the security of this method, to avoid borking a disk accidentally.

  • Could you instead of "add" to the other answer, make your answer self-contained? Or edit the other answer and add corrections.
    – Braiam
    Sep 12, 2013 at 2:05

Check that the gnome-disk-utility package is installed and just run

sudo gnome-disks in your terminal

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