In school I use ubuntu in my programmers class and we use BlueJ. This IDE is set to german language but I want to have an english IDE because I´m also programming in english. But to achieve this I have to modify a specific textfile. This file only can be accessed when you have root permissions. Is there any "inofficial" way to change this file without root permissions?

  • 1
    Just ask the sysadmin to change it. – niallhaslam Oct 17 '12 at 21:30
  • If he would agree I wouldn´t ask here -.- – Paedow Oct 17 '12 at 21:30

I haven't used BlueJ but most applications have their default, system-wide config files, which should not be modified by users (and if that's what your sysadmin refuses to modify, he might be right in doing so) but also a user-specific config files in $HOME/. Looking at its documentation p.30, BlueJ can be invoked like this:

java -jar bluej.jar -Dbluej.language=german

and it also has a user-specific configuration file in:


You could try installing a version of BlueJ onto your home directory (see this question or try the jar) and using this instead of the one supplied by your college. Or use an alternative IDE like eclipse - again installed on your home dir.

However, to actually answer the question if the file you need to edit


Has specific permissions that your user account does not have access to then there isn't much you can do. Can you ls -l the file? This will tell you what permissions the file has and who is allowed to edit it. I'd be surprised if the preferences file was only editable by the root user.

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