Opening folder with nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to root one

Bug #494400 reported by PomCompot on 2009-12-09
This bug affects 11 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gksu (Debian)
Fix Released
gksu (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Maverick by summerb0y

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gksu

In Nautilus, when you open a folder as admin through the nautilus-gksu script, it changes the background of the desktop to the root one.

I suspect the nautilus-gksu script doesn't invoke the nautilus command with the --no-desktop option.

Additionnal information :

$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 9.04
Release: 9.04

$ apt-cache policy nautilus-gksu
  Installé : 2.0.2-1ubuntu2
  Candidat : 2.0.2-1ubuntu2
 Table de version :
 *** 2.0.2-1ubuntu2 0
        900 jaunty/main Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

description: updated
summary: - nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper
+ nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to root one
summary: - nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to root one
+ opening folder as root with nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to
+ root
summary: opening folder as root with nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to
- root
+ root one
summary: - opening folder as root with nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to
- root one
+ Opening folder with nautilus-gksu change desktop wallpaper to root one
Changed in gksu (Debian):
status: Unknown → New
Kamus (kamus) wrote :

Please could you try to reproduce this in latest version included in Karmic, because I tried in Karmic and Lucid but I am unable to reproduce this problem, Thanks in advance.

Changed in gksu (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
jay armstrong (jayarmstrong) wrote :

I experience the same issue in Lucid when using "gksu nautilus". Also, when I right-click on the desktop and go to "change desktop background", it seems to be looking at the root user settings as the custom wallpapers I've added are gone.

jay armstrong (jayarmstrong) wrote :

I'll also mention that I have to log off and back on to get my wallpaper back. Changing it any other way (that I've found) does not affect it and the root wallpaper remains visible or at least on top.

xatiya (xatiya) wrote :

Reproduce the bug:

1 - Open "gconf-editor"
2 - Go to "apps > nautilus > preferences"
3 - Mark "false" show_desktop
4 - Open nautilus
5 - Right-click a folder
6 - Cick to "open as administrator"

The background wallpaper changes to the root one.
The bug occurs whenever show_desktop in gconf-editor is unchecked or set to false.

Changed in gksu:
importance: Unknown → Low

gksudo nautilus produces same bug. desktop changes after some time...

It's normal. When you launch Nautilus as root without the option --no-desktop, this new nautilus instance begins to manage the desktop. You just have to launch gksudo nautilus --no-desktop.

jay armstrong (jayarmstrong) wrote :

I'll confirm this is still present in maverick.

Xatiya's walkthrough in #4 demonstrates it.

Also, the root desktop remains, and only displays folders, shortcuts, from /root/Desktop. If one re-enables the user desktop by checking "show desktop" in gconf-editor, it has no effect.

Using the --no-desktop option reported "gksudo: unrecognized option '--no-desktop'" when using gksu or gksudo.

I cannot reproduce the bug in Lucid. I haven't migrated to Maverick yet, but this bug does no more affect me.

@jay armstrong
Try $gksu 'nautilus --no-desktop' with single quotes instead of $gksu nautilus --no-desktop to prevent the unrecognized option message.

jay armstrong (jayarmstrong) wrote :

This persists in 11.04

Would adding the --no-desktop option (in some way) to the "open as administrator" script fix this?

Changed in gksu (Debian):
status: New → Fix Released

This problem is in 11.10. I hope this issue can be fixed, since it is annoying.

As you can see here (, nautilus-gksu is discontinued : a good way to fix a bug concerning a feature is to remove the feature.

Jonathan Almeida (jonalmeida) wrote :

This issue still exists in 12.04 as well.

Nicolas Krzywinski (nsk7even) wrote :

No the issue does not still exist in 12.04 - it reappeared when using "gksu" command, but this does not relate to this bug as this bug is related to nautilus-gksu ... I will search further to find a possibly existing correct bug report...

Nicolas Krzywinski (nsk7even) wrote :

Did not found anything, but found out that root processes are further running in the background even after nautilus is closed a long time meanwhile.
Additionally one can right-click on the desktop and call the wallpaper settings dialog with root rights!

This is a severe security issue.

So, what to do now: alter this bug report or create a new one?

Nicolas Krzywinski (nsk7even) wrote :

Just to clarify the facts:
- This behaviour occurs when calling "gksu nautilus" in Ubuntu 12.04 with latest updates installed
- Until now, I did not managed to manually remove the root wallpaper after it was loaded
- The dialog for changing the wallpaper is run in root context after reproducing the situation when called via right click on the desktop
- Several (additional, gui related) root processes stays in background even after closing nautilus a long time ago
- Killing some of them prevents right clicks on the desktop, so the dialog for changing the wallpaper with root rights is not accessible anymore
- Also files/starter from the root desktop folder are shown on the desktop
- This also works with another account than root

I could not reproduce it on all machines though!
Machine 1 (affected): fresh install of 12.04
Machine 2 (affected): 12.04 upgraded from several prior versions
Machine 3 (not affected): fresh install of 12.04

I have no clue what 1+2 could have in common, despite the fact that those are the main working machines and 3 is not used that heavy .... what I wanna tell you is that on 1+2 far more experimenting/configurations is done while 3 receives clean configuration solutions after they work on 2 - confused? me too! :D

Hope anything of the above is of at least little help!

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