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Title: I need an equivalent of gksu in 18.04
ID: /2018/12/12/I-need-an-equivalent-of-gksu-in-18.04
Created: December 12, 2018    Edited:  June 12, 2020
Upload: November 24, 2022    Layout:  post
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I use a script called sgedit which inherits user preferences for font, tabs, and extensions. It uses sudo -H gedit instead of gksu gedit for stability in GUI environment. It prompts for a password.

Have sudo inherit your user account gedit settings

sgedit 80 column right slider.gif

In this example the user settings for font name, font size, tab stops, convert tabs to spaces, 80 column highlight, and right side thumbnail slider bar have been inherited by sudo.

With regular sudo -H gedit you cannot make nor save these configuration settings. With the script below sgedit the settings are inherited from your user account.

This script also addresses the β€œgksu is bad and not installed by default” and β€œpkexec is hard to setup” problems.


I’ve been nagged by the same issue for years. This weekend’s project was to write the sgedit script:

Bash script sgedit


# NAME: sgedit
# PATH: /mnt/e/bin
# DESC: Run gedit as sudo using $USER preferences
# DATE: June 17, 2018.

# Must not prefix with sudo when calling script
if [[ $(id -u) == 0 ]]; then
    zenity --error --text "You cannot call this script using sudo. Aborting."
    exit 99

# Get user preferences before elevating to sudo
gsettings list-recursively | grep -i gedit | grep -v history |
    grep -v docinfo |
    grep -v virtual-root | grep -v state.window > /tmp/gedit.gsettings

sudoFunc () {
    # Must be running as sudo
    if [[ $(id -u) != 0 ]]; then
        zenity --error --text "Sudo password authentication failed. Aborting."
        exit 99

    # Get sudo's gedit preferences
    gsettings list-recursively | grep -i gedit | grep -v history |
        grep -v docinfo |
        grep -v virtual-root | grep -v state.window > /tmp/gedit.gsettings.root
    diff /tmp/gedit.gsettings.root /tmp/gedit.gsettings | grep '>' > /tmp/gedit.gsettings.diff
    sed -i 's/>/gsettings set/g; s/uint32 //g' /tmp/gedit.gsettings.diff
    chmod +x /tmp/gedit.gsettings.diff
    bash -x /tmp/gedit.gsettings.diff  # Display override setting to terminal
    nohup gedit $@ &>/dev/null &

FUNC=$(declare -f sudoFunc)
sudo -H bash -c "$FUNC; sudoFunc $*;"


Copy the bash script above to a new file called sgedit. I recommend placing it in your $HOME/bin directory, i.e. /home/YOURNAME/bin. You may have to create the directory first.

Mark the file as executable using:

chmod a+x ~/sgedit

Note ~ is a shortcut for /home/YOURNAME.

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