I feel kinda silly asking this question. I'm using CentOS 5.4 and KDE. I downloaded an archive and I want to drag/drop the contents into a folder that I need root access to write to.

I can obviously go into terminal and sudo blah blah. But how do I get sudo access for desktop procedures? Like for simple dragging and dropping of files? KDE just tells me that I don't have permission to do that, but doesn't give me the option of entering the root password or sudo.


Create a shortcut to your favourite file manager (Konqueror, Dolphin or whatever) on your desktop. Right click on it, and click "Properties". On the "Application" tab, click "Special settings", and check the "Run as different user" check box (the exact phrases may be different, because I'm not using English KDE). At least it is how it is done in KDE 4, but on KDE 3 it is very similar. Or you can simply write "kdesu" before the command name.

Open the file manager with this shortcut, and do the copying from here. Be warned, though, that any application you run from this file manager will be run as root.

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    wow.... I really wasn't expecting the answer to require so many hoops to jump through. No offence to the die-hard Linux nuts out there, but its reasons like this why Linux will never be mainstream desktop software. I can't imagine explaining stuff like this to my mom over the phone. It's amazing there isn't a simple "Enable sudo for all actions" button in KDE/Gnome where you type in your sudo password lets you do stuff. Just as if you were at a bash prompt. – Jake Wilson Apr 27 '10 at 21:33
  • Of course there is also such a possibility: just allow login as root, and then autologin as root. With that you don't have the explain to your mama how to "sudo" anything, but anyone in your family could drag and drop your /boot in the trash and then empty the trash... – dag729 Apr 27 '10 at 22:49
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    @Jakobud: if you think that's difficult, try doing the same thing in Windows ;-) You do have a point, though: allowing privilege escalation for file copy/move operations could be a useful feature that KDE does not currently have, probably because nobody's felt the need strongly enough to implement it. – David Z Apr 28 '10 at 1:17
  • @Jakobud: You can do it in simpler ways. For example: Start -> Run command -> "sudo dolphin". But then you have to do this every time. And if someone can't do that seemingly complicated, but quite straightforward action, they better not try this in the first place. Running things as root is dangerous. If you are a beginner, everything you need to do as root is available through the menu (like installing programs, changing login screen etc.). – petersohn Apr 28 '10 at 16:55
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    @dag729: Not every distribution allows you to login as root. Ubuntu, for example, don't. SUSE, on the other hand, does. I don't have experience with other distributions. @David: On Windows Vista+, it is surprisingly easy. If a program wants to do something that requires root privileges, it will simply ask the user if they want it or not (provided that you have root privileges in the first place). – petersohn Apr 28 '10 at 17:00

gksu, kdesu or gksudo, kdesudo

See more: Ubuntu Forums – HOWTO: Easily open any file as root via drag & drop

Create a launcher with the following command:

gksudo "gnome-open %u"
  • Of these choices only kdesu is actually available under CentOS. None of these methods is available. – slm Dec 4 '13 at 2:31

You'll have to use kdesu <appname>

Example: Launch Konsole, and type kdesu dolphin or kdesu konqueror


Follow these directions, but replace nautilus with dolphin or whatnot.


In Cent OS You can go to "System> Add/Remove Software"

search for "beesu" and install it

then from the desktop right click >Create Launcher and set the command as beesu [filename]

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