Call me paranoid but my everyday account has no privileges.

I have a 'administrator' account who is in wheel. When I want to perform administrative tasks, I open a terminal and do

su - administrator
sudo ...

This works fine in most situations, except with X11 applications.

sudo xeyes

fails with

Can't open display:

What I've tried:

  • start X11 with the everyday user
  • do xhost +localhost with everyday user
  • do export DISPLAY=:0 with administrator

How can I run a X11 application with the administrator account when my desktop runs with the everyday user?

  • Does xhost + work? Or are you too paranoid to try even that? Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 3:20

1 Answer 1


Perhaps ssh -X to localhost?

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