Open a password dialog if the user wants to copy files to a folder he has no permission for

Registered by Matthias Bohnen on 2007-03-02

If user A wants to copy a file from his home directory to, let's say, the /usr directory (or any other directory he has no permissions for), the file manager displays an error message:

"Error while copying to <pathname>"
You do not have permissions to write to this folder.

Now, in the terminal, using command "cp", he would get the same error (permission denied). Simple solution: add "sudo" in front of the command.

In the file manager, there is no equivalent to "sudo". It is simply impossible to copy a file to any directory he has no permissions for. Even if he knows the password, there is no possibility to enter the password.

When displaying the error message, allow the user to enter the password to get temporary root rights.

Blueprint information

Not started
Needs approval
Series goal:
Proposed for hardy
Not started
Milestone target:
milestone icon hardy-alpha-1

Related branches



Work on this is currently ongoing in upstream Nautilus, as part of the work on gio/gvfs: --Michael Plump

similar to

There should be a more fundamental solution to this problem. As I understand it, Ubuntu has the root account disabled by default, meaning it's meant more for 1 user home desktop systems than top-down 1 administrator -> 100 regular user systems. Getting this in Nautilus would be good, but it would also be good in, for instance, gedit, or file-roller, or whatever. In the current system, you'd have to quit out of gedit and run gksudo gedit in order to modify the files you wanted to modify.


I'm sure there would be other administrative tasks that cannot be done using the GUI method because they require a terminal password. A password box for these kind of tasks should be a system-wide design principle in Hardy to aid the adoption of Ubuntu by less technically knowledgeable users. -AC

I don't know if this helps, but maybe this can be implemented in a similar way as command-not-found-magic was implemented in gutsy, at least for the terminal...
For graphical software I think that this is not enough


Work Items