I'm very new to Linux environment, I came from Windows.

I've installed Ubuntu 16.04 on my machine (an XPS 15 9550 with a dual boot - Win10), a plank and a theme (macbuntu, don't blame me :p).

I'm used to code with WebStorm & PhpStorm, so I've installed both of them and I've created a shortcut using Tools -> Create Desktop Entry... via the soft.

Now my shortcuts are inside the plank and I would like to start those applications as root automatically.

I've tried to edit /usr/share/applications/jetbrains-xxxx.desktop to modify Exec command to :

Exec: gksudo -k -u root <DEFAULT_COMMAND>

But it doesn't seems to work. The software never asks me a password and I can't edit my files because of permission denied on the folder I am working on (I think).

I want to edit files inside /var/www/html/* (fresh LAMP installation). Those folders belong to root:plugdev. I've tried to change this to www-data:www-data and to add my user to this group but it fails. My user also belongs to plugdev.

I don't know what I should do :

  • try to change the UGO rights to 775 (current is 755)
  • continue to search a way to start my softs as root. I like this idea because I can do this just once and it's good forever.

Thanks for your help :).

  • These software applications are not designed to be run as root , they can handle the privilege changes themselves. If you insist on running them as root ensure you are fully patched up to date and aware of blog.jetbrains.com/blog/2016/05/11/…
    – Amias
    Jun 4, 2016 at 9:23
  • Have you logged out and in again since making the group changes
    – Amias
    Jun 4, 2016 at 9:26
  • Thanks for your answer. No I haven't. I'll try this. So I sould use www-data ? Or is it better to keep root:plugdev with 775 instead of 755 ? (I don't know if changing the default user:group matters to LAMP) Jun 4, 2016 at 9:45
  • its better not to change the permissions of a webroot, there are security implications
    – Amias
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:34

1 Answer 1


Jetbrains IDE's have a deployment module that will handle the permissions changes for you so you don't have to weaken security, there is a specific option for "in-place server" that handles your scenario.


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