I'm not sure what happened. A few days ago I installed some updates and now i get an error whenever I try to run sudo nautilus. If I run gksudo nautilus it hangs for a few seconds then does nothing.

enter image description here

Anyone else had the same issue, or know how to fix it? A similar thing happens when trying to run sudo gedit as well...

attempts to sudo other apps: enter image description here

Sudoers as requested: enter image description here

$DISPLAY and sudo sudo -V as requested: enter image description here enter image description here

  • Can you use sudo for other GUI programs? Command-line programs?
    – Kevin
    May 11, 2012 at 1:33
  • added attempts to sudo something else..
    – jacobian
    May 11, 2012 at 2:50
  • Share your /etc/sudoers please
    – daisy
    May 11, 2012 at 3:05
  • 1
    It looks like $DISPLAY is being unset by sudo, or not set properly to begin with. Try echo $DISPLAY and post what that prints, and sudo sudo -V (yes, two sudos) and see which section DISPLAY is under (check/remove/preserve).
    – Kevin
    May 11, 2012 at 13:41
  • 1
    Added results of $DISPLAY and sudo sudo -V as requested.
    – jacobian
    May 13, 2012 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


OK, unchanged output of sudo sudo -V shows this:

Environment variables to preserve:

But your output says to preserve ftp_proxy, http_proxy, and https_proxy (note that all the others are gone).

Note also that your sudoers file says

Defaults env_keep="http_proxy https_proxy ftp_proxy"

That's not there by default, so either you or someone else with access to the system added it. You could try commenting it out (sudo visudo, then add # in front of that line and save the file). Sudo should work fine after that.

If you're sure you need those variables, you can append (instead of clobbering and overwriting) env_keep by using += instead of =:

Defaults env_keep+="http_proxy https_proxy ftp_proxy"

Read man sudoers for a lot of detail on all this :)

  • I put the proxy stuff there myself. (this is my work computer and we are behind a proxy) *edit by there I dont mean in that file.. I set it up in my .bashrc file and environment variables. should I still comment it out in this file?
    – jacobian
    May 16, 2012 at 22:03
  • The Defaults line in /etc/sudoers is what keeps it from working. If you want sudo to work but also need those variables, use the last line I suggest with Defaults env_keep+=, that should allow you to use your additional variables and have sudo working correctly.
    – roadmr
    May 17, 2012 at 16:22

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