Fix error VLC is not supposed to be run as root in Linux

Fix error VLC is not supposed to be run as root in Linux

VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player

Downloading VLC media player

To download VLC, go to the  VLC media player official website.


Installing VLC media player

To install VLC in Linux and UNIX-based operating systems, there are defined commands that vary with the OS at hand. In our case, we will be using Kali Linux. To install VLC in Kali, you can use the ‘apt‘ or ‘apt-get‘ command:

apt install vlc

apt install vlc


apt-get install vlc

apt-get install vlc


Verifying VLC is installed properly

To check if VLC was installed correctly use the ‘apt show‘ function:

apt show vlc

apt show vlc

This should list VLC package details, plugins && dependencies.


Exception while running VLC as root

Trying to run VLC as root under ‘Applications‘ may not output an error, but will also not run, so try to run VLC on Terminal. Running VLC as root on Terminal will throw an exception:

"VLC is not supposed to be run as root. Sorry. If you need to use real-time priorities and/or privileged TCP ports you can use vlc-wrapper (make sure it is Set-UID root and cannot be run by non-trusted users first)."

vlc run as root error


Fixing the error “VLC is not supposed to be run as root

To fix this irritating error on Linux distros, follow the following step-by-step guideline!

NOTE:// This guideline should work 100% on Debian and Debian-based OS, but is not guaranteed to work smoothly on other non-Debian OS. This is because the error fix in this tutorial is only tested fully on Kali Linux!

NOTE:// In this tutorial, the text editor of preference is VIMVi IMproved enhanced editor. You can use the same editor on Terminal to follow through smoothly, but you are not limited to only vim and can thus use any text editor of your choice!

[Step 1: Change the current working directory of Terminal to: root:/usr/bin#]

cd /usr/bin/

cd change-directory


[Step 2: List contents of the ‘/usr/bin/’ directory && GREP for “vlc“]

ls | grep "vlc"

ls list-files


[Step 3: Run the Hexadecimal Editor on Terminal]



The above command highlights all the files inside the directory ‘/usr/bin/‘. You need to select a file to begin editing it. Use ‘j‘ or ‘Down arrow-key‘ to move down, ‘k’ or ‘Up arrow-key‘ to move up. You can navigate to the “vlc” file using “Fn+PgDn“. Use ‘Ctrl + M‘ or ‘Return key‘ to select a file of interest (in this case “vlc“)!

Alternatively, use the command with terminal’s current working directory as “/usr/bin“:

hexeditor vlc

The above command directly selects and edit our file of interest, “vlc“. The file opens in a hexadecimal format.

The output of this step is:

hexeditor . hexeditor vlc . landing-page


[Step 4: Switch to ‘Text Mode‘ for easier editing]

Ctrl + E

text mode


[Step 5: Open the ‘Search‘ function in the hexeditor && use the ‘Down arrow-key‘ to select the text search option, ‘search for text string‘]

Ctrl + W

[Step 8: Switch back to the hexadecimal format]

search for text string


[Step 6: Search for the root definition code]




[Step 7: View the Search Results in ‘Text Mode‘]

A successful search in Step 6 will take you to the first letter of the text “geteuid” in Text Mode!



[Step 8: Switch back to the hexadecimal format]

Ctrl + E


This step is necessary because you cannot edit the file in ‘Text Mode‘!


[Step 9: Change the cursor position to the text column]

Use the ‘Tab key‘ to change the cursor’s position from the hexadecimal column on the left to the text column on the right. The cursor  should now be positioned again at the beginning of the text “geteuid“!



[Step 10: Modify root restrictions]

Change the text “geteuid” to “getppid“!





After this step, the changed characters will take a different color if you are on VIM!


[Step 11: Switch back to ‘Text Mode’ for better viewing of the changes]

Ctrl + E

changes-view text-mode

If the text now reads “getppid“, probably still with the different color as the step above, you are good to go! However, if the text reads different from the expected “getppid“, iterate at Steps 10 and 11 respectively and then proceed to the last step!


[Step 12: Save the file and exit using ‘Exit and Save’ command]

Ctrl + X

After the save prompt appears, hit ‘Enter’/’Return’ key to save.



[Step 13: Run VLC as root!]

Run VLC directly in the root account from either ‘Applications/Usual Applications/Sound & Video/VLC media player‘ or alternatively run it from any location on Terminal!


VLC run as root success

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Fix error VLC is not supposed to be run as root
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