How to Add “Edit as Administrator” to the Ubuntu Right-Click Menu

by Ross McKillop on December 14, 2015

This tip will show you how to add an “Edit as Administrator” item to the “right-click” menu in Ubuntu’s file manager.

Edit as Administrator highlighted in the right-click menu of the Ubuntu File Manager

Rather than having to open a terminal and type out a command just to edit a file, why not create a quick shortcut to skip those steps? Here’s how!

  1. Start out by launching the Ubuntu Software Centre from your Dock.
  2. Search for the phrase nautilus-admin
  3. In the search results section locate the “Extension for Nautilus to do administrative operations” item and click the Install button.
  4. Enter your password then click the Authenticate button.
  5. The nautilus-admin utility will now install. Once completed, you’ll be prompted to restart your File Manager. Click the Restart File Manager button to do just that.
  6. Now open your File Manager. Locate a text file that would typically require administrative privileges to edit (your hosts file, a server config file). “Right-click” that file and in the ‘options’ list now you’ll see a new item, Edit as Administrator. Select it.
  7. Edit as Administrator highlighted in the right-click menu of the Ubuntu File Manager

  8. A stern warning screen will pop up. Remember: be very careful when editing a file that requires administrative privileges to do so. That file requires those privileges for a reason: if it’s incorrectly altered, something is going to break. Always be careful when editing these files. Click OK
  9. Now enter your password and click the Authenticate button.
  10. Ta-da! gedit will open and you can now edit/make changes to the file and be able to save it (overwriting the previous ‘version’, which again, can be dangerous if there are any ‘mistakes’ in that file).