Is there any way to open root file browser in raspbian (like gksudo nautilus in ubuntu)?

  • 1
    What are you trying to do with a root file browser? It may be easier and potentially safer from the command line. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:21
  • You can always install gksudo on Raspbian: sudo apt-get install gksu should work.
    – Huygens
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:23
  • I need to modify some system file. @SteveRobillard
    – opu 웃
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:33
  • I tried the command gksu but it is saying 'Xlib: extension "RANDR" missing on display ":1.0".'
    – opu 웃
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:42
  • 2
    try this from the command line sudo nano filenametobemodified obviously using the file you need to modify Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:49

5 Answers 5


Typing gksudo in Terminal and then hitting enter. A window named Run program will pop up.

Then typing pcmanfm on the Run text field. Pressing ok.

That worked for me.

img 1

  • Excellent. Good for file renaming and such. However, when you click to open a file in vi or leafpad it still won't save back to it.
    – SDsolar
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 1:30
  1. Open the Terminal
  2. Type sudo pcmanfm

The root file manager opens.


You will find that 'mc' ( midnight commander ) is the fastest for browsing and file operations - CTRL+o will give you a root shell prompt to view output of commands. On a Pi, it's lightweight. You don't want to swap to your microSD. Invoke `apt-get -y install mc' . A number of common operations are 'hit-one-key-and-presto!' on the Function keys .


Just start your file manager as root.

Let's say your file manager is pcmanfm, then you should run these commands

pi@mypi:~$ sudo su
[sudo] password for pi: 

root@mypi:/home/pi# pcmanfm 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null &
  • 2
    why not simply sudo pcmanfm? Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 10:20
  • In the case of accessing Environment Variables of root, user space should be changed. We can not know which variables are needed by the running process (i.e. pcmanfm).
    – vaha
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 10:24
  • Actually we can know that if we check man pcmanfm. Your approach will replace desktop and menu entries with the ones from root user, if corresponding variables are configured in /root/.bashrc. I don't really see the benefit. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 10:48
  • I don't mean that we can not know variables specifically required by pcmanfm. I mean that to forget about this kind of concerns for ANY process we want to run, we should run it after sudo su in a generic/nonspecific manner.
    – vaha
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 10:58

Running sudo file-manager should be enough to start whatever file manager you have configured. Depending on your setup, you may need to run xhost + as the user who owns the desktop, to allow root processes to connect to it.

Finally, if your X configuration is really bizarre, you might need to tell the file manager which display it should use, i.e. sudo DISPLAY=:0 file-manager. Note that this should not be necessary in a normal setup.

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