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kdesu - Man Page

Runs a program with elevated privileges


kdesu [-c command] [-d] [-f file] [-i icon name] [-n] [-p priority] [-r] [-s] [-t] [-u user] [--noignorebutton] [--attach winid]

kdesu [KDE Generic Options] [Qt(TM) Generic Options]


KDE su is a graphical front end for the UNIX™ su command for the K Desktop Environment. It allows you to run a program as different user by supplying the password for that user. KDE su is an unprivileged program; it uses the system's su.

KDE su has one additional feature: it can optionally remember passwords for you. If you are using this feature, you only need to enter the password once for each command.

This program is meant to be started from the command line or from .desktop files.

Since kdesu is no longer installed in $(kf5-config --prefix)/bin but in kf5-config --path libexec and therefore not in your Path, you have to use $(kf5-config --path libexec)kdesu to launch kdesu.


-c command

This specifies the command to run as root. It has to be passed in one argument. So if, for example, you want to start a new file manager, you would enter at the prompt: $(kf5-config --path libexec)kdesu -c Dolphin


Show debug information.

-f file

This option allow efficient use of KDE su in .desktop files. It tells KDE su to examine the file specified by file. If this file is writable by the current user, KDE su will execute the command as the current user. If it is not writable, the command is executed as user user (defaults to root).

file is evaluated like this: if file starts with a /, it is taken as an absolute filename. Otherwise, it is taken as the name of a global KDE configuration file.

-i icon name

Specify icon to use in the password dialog. You may specify just the name, without any extension.


Do not keep the password. This disables the keep password checkbox in the password dialog.

-p priority

Set priority value. The priority is an arbitrary number between 0 and 100, where 100 means highest priority, and 0 means lowest. The default is 50.


Use realtime scheduling.


Stop the kdesu daemon. This is the daemon that caches successful passwords in the background. This feature may also be disabled with -n when KDE su is initially run.


Enable terminal output. This disables password keeping. This is largely for debugging purposes; if you want to run a console mode app, use the standard su instead.

-u user

While the most common use for KDE su is to run a command as the superuser, you can supply any user name and the appropriate password.


Do not display an ignore button.

--attach winid

Makes the dialog transient for an X app specified by winid.

See Also


More detailed user documentation is available from help:/kdesu (either enter this URL into Konqueror, or run khelpcenter help:/kdesu).


Run kfmclient as user jim, and show the Konqueror icon in the password dialog:

$(kf5-config --path libexec)kdesu -u jim -i konqueror kfmclient


KDE su was written by Geert Jansen <g.t.jansen@stud.tue.nl> and Pietro Iglio <iglio@fub.it>.


Lauri Watts <lauri@kde.org>



2010-09-18 K Desktop Environment KDE User's Manual