Kubuntu kcontrol application is b0rked

I found it the hard way that kcontrol in Kubuntu does not work properly. This is due to the fucked up way Ubuntu deals with root. I wish they just be normal about this… But by default root account is disabled in this distro. Of course you can easily enable root by changing it’s password using:

sudo passwd root

Which works for the most part. You can su and become root as normal after doing this. Unfortunately the messed up system restrictions stay in place and affect the system at a deeper level. KDE was never designed to run in a rootles configuration. The control panel screen for example requires you to provide root password to edit stuff like network config, wireless and etc..

But, in Ubuntu root is account is crippled in a way which prevents KDE from acknowledging it within the kcontrol dialogs. When you try to go into “Administrative Mode” from kcontrol you will be prompted for “Administrator Password”. The dialog will not accept neither root or your user password. You can try all you want – it is broken.

There is a workaround though – if you run kcontrol as a root you will be fine. Try the following:

kdesu kcontrol

Kdesu will accept the root password, and will allow you to edit root only sections in the control panel. Which suggests that the only GUI based, temporary user privilege elevation scripts in KDE are b0rked.

I hope they will fix this issue in the following releases because it is annoying…

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