There are a few icons on my (xfce4) desktop that use gksu, for example a root terminal. They used to work fine in debian stretch. Now, gksu asks for the root password (once, it manages to save it for the session), but then fails to start the terminal (there is a flash of a window being created and closed immediately, but I cannot make out what it would contain).

When running in a terminal, the output is the following:

:~$ gksu /usr/bin/x-terminal-emulator
# posix_spawn avoided (fd close requested) 
# Failed to use specified server: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name :1.67 was not provided by any .service files
# Falling back to default server.
# posix_spawn avoided (fd close requested) 
# watch_fast: "/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/" (establishing: 0, active: 0)
# unwatch_fast: "/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/" (active: 0, establishing: 1)
# watch_established: "/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/" (establishing: 0)

gksudo does work, although it erroneously prompts for the root password, but expects the user password.

Google did not find me relevant hits about "gksu" debian buster error "Failed to use specified server: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name" :1.67 was not provided by any .service files and some variants.

Can anyone suggest a fix for this?


gksu was removed from debian buster. It is only available for debian jessie, stretch and sid.


  • 1
    Thanks, meanwhile I discovered that. bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=867236 They suggest to use pkexec instead, but I could not yet figure out how that works (it says Unable to init server). I may post another question on that.
    – P.Péter
    Oct 7 '19 at 9:37
  • Actually, your answer is not a fix per say, just a reason. :)
    – P.Péter
    Oct 7 '19 at 9:38
  • 1
    @P.Péter this answer explain how to : unix.stackexchange.com/a/203149/153195
    – GAD3R
    Oct 7 '19 at 9:56
  • @P.Péter gksu isn't removed cleanly after upgrading your distro.
    – GAD3R
    Oct 7 '19 at 9:58

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