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Old 04-27-2004, 10:34 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: USA (Pacific coast)
Distribution: Vector 5.8-SOHO, FreeBSD 6.2
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KDE users - Having root file manager while still logged in as normal user

I'm sure this has been thought of by someone already, but I haven't come across it anywhere......................a revelation I came up with to allow you to have root access when needed without having to logout as current user and login as root.

This involves the use of the app 'kdesu', which take the format of:

kdesu command [command args]

Using kdesu still requires you to login with the root passwd when the popup window appears, but is much quicker than logging out and logging in again to a different session, and is still secure since the root passwd is required.

Anyway, the idea I came up with is to add entries to the KDE menu for the file manager and Control Center as a superuser. These two should be adequate for most configuration purposes.

The file manager is for moving copying, editing, changing permissions, etc, all the files and folders as root using Konq as a file manager. The Control Center is for configuration which may require root access. I know some of the applets in Control Center have a button at the bottom that may let you login as root, but when you switch to another applet then come back, you will need to login as root again. (NOTE: If you make changes in the Appearance or Desktop applets, these changes will apply to the root's appearance and behavior, not the current user's session. You will still need to open up the Control Center as the normal user to change the user's looks and behavior in KDE.)

The procedure is simple. Right-click on the menu button (the big K) in the task bar and choose Menu Editor. In the popup window, highlight Home and then hit Ctrl-C (copy) and Ctrl-V (paste). A new "Home" will appears called "Home-2" which will have the identical configuration as 'Home". Now, in the Command: box of "Home-2", type kdesu followed by a space. It should look something like this:
kdesu kfmclient openProfile filemanagement
Then you can rename the copy to your liking. I've renamed it as Home - Root. Also, I changed the icon to make it easier to identify at a glance. Click on the icon button to the right of the Name: box at the top, and in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the popup window choose "Filesystems". Now you can choose from the different icons for a new home folder icon.

Do the same thing for the Control Center (which should be in Settings). Although here I didn't bother to choose a different icon. I just renamed the copy as "Control Center - Root".

NOTE: Instead of using 'kdesu' in the command line box, you can accomplish the same thing by simply adding a check in the box at the bottom of the menu editor, where it says Run as a different user, then type in root in the Username box below as it appears.........................I like to use the command line option, just a personal preference.


I must add this footnote to this tip...

When you open up the file manager in superuser mode - make the necessary changes and then CLOSE THE FILE MANAGER IMMEDIATELY when you're done to avoid fubar'ing your system. Do the same for any other app you've configured for superuser mode............................If you leave it open and do other tasks, then come back much later, you might forget you're in superuser mode and make an accidental deletion, or something similar, that can have catastrophic consequences. (Something I might easily do )....................File permissions are in place for a very good reason..........You have been warned...

Hope you find this as useful as I have.
Old 04-27-2004, 10:47 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2002
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OooooooooHhhhhh! Sounds excitingly dangerous. Since I've found about 17 different ways to totally foobar my system, and about as many ways to recover or otherwise protect myself from myself, why not play the 18th hole?


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