Desktop Entry Specification - ExecuteAs proposition

David Faure faure at
Tue Mar 9 16:38:34 PST 2010

On Wednesday 10 March 2010, Patryk Zawadzki wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 11:22 PM, David Faure <faure at> wrote:
> > But this forces a particular gui program (gksudo or kdesu etc.)
> > whereas ExecuteAs=root is more generic (you get your desktop's usual
> > gui-su-program rather than a hardcoded one).
> What if there isn't one?
> If a particular user is needed and that information is available at
> "make install" time, why not chown + suid the binary (or use a tiny
> helper in case of scripts).

I'm thinking of "run a root filemanager" and "run a root text editor"
use cases, where the program is generic and needs more infrastructure than 
just being suid (iirc kdesu starts the necessary stuff that a kde program 
needs), and the .desktop file could even be made by the user or distribution.
But okay, saying that makes me realize that "Exec=kdesu konqueror"
will give a better user experience than konqueror being started by gtksu
via ExecuteAs; simply because kdesu can initialize the right environment
that a kde app needs. So maybe this solution is better indeed.

> Also, would you trust a .desktop file that is owned by a regular user
> and includes Name=cherry.jpg and ExecuteAs=root?

This just comes back to the +x permission bit.

David Faure, faure at,
Sponsored by Nokia to work on KDE, incl. Konqueror (

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