Workaround sudo GUI for Wayland-X11 apps

less than 1 minute read

Related: SSH Agent on WSL/Ubuntu 17.10

Ubuntu 17.10 defaults to Wayland and Gnome-based Desktop, with the abandonment of Mir and Unity Desktop. Ubuntu 18.04 defaults to X11. The reasons for defaulting to X11 on Ubuntu 18.04 include:

  • Screen sharing
  • Remote Desktop (RDP / VNC)
  • Better stability/recovery from Shell crashes

Select X11 or Wayland at Ubuntu login screen.

This is a workaround for the GUI sudo permissions issue with Wayland in Ubuntu. sudo synaptic or other GUI programs on Wayland results in error:

No protocol specified. Unable to init server **: cannot open display: :0.


Add to ~/.bashrc

xhost +si:localuser:root > /dev/null

Note, this defeats non-root security advantages of Wayland over X11.


Leave a Comment