I'm running Kubuntu 12.04 with KDE 4.11.1 and the rootactions service menu in Dolphin.

I opened Dolphin as root then clicked on a text file. I got a "Sorry" dialog with the message:

KDEInit could not launch /usr/bin/kate

So I opened a terminal and issued this command as root:

# /usr/bin/kate

That worked and Kate opened as expected.

Why is Dolphin giving this error and how can I fix it? Thanks.

  • If you have the rootactions service menu then you could launch the text editor with the root rights from the normal Dolphin window. An older Kubuntu forums topic: kubuntuforums.net/…
    – user26687
    Sep 22, 2013 at 16:55
  • I cannot access the directory containing the file from the normal Dolphin window due to directory permissions, so that won't work. Thanks
    – MountainX
    Sep 22, 2013 at 17:00

3 Answers 3


I have the same option after upgrading to Kubuntu 15.04.

Fixed by opening the file


And changing the line: X-DBUS-StartupType=Multi to X-DBUS-StartupType=none

Which fixed the error for me. Got the idea from this post and it seems to be working


This issue is resolved by the latest update to Root Actions Servicemenu (version 2.8).

KDE Service Menu - Root Actions Servicemenu

  • This seems to be a bit of a red herring to me, as the problem is not strictly related to root actions. It can happen also with when opening kate as a user.
    – Auspex
    Dec 26, 2015 at 20:41

I have encountered this issue with newly released Kubuntu 15.04 (Vivid). I resolved it by replacing the command in the link kate -u %U with kate -b %U.

According to kate's docs, the option -u, --use tells kate to

Use an already running Kate instance; default, only for compatibility.

Kate in this release says the option is unknown. Option -b, --block tells kate to

If using an already running Kate instance, block until it exits, if URLs given to open.

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