I've just started looking at Elementary OS. I like its simplicity (even if it drives me crazy at times) but I just don't understand WHY there is no Connect Server option in the File manager when you open Files as administrator. [Edit: Inspired by Jeremy's comment, let me add that I KNOW why I want to attach while administrator, and leave it at that. I'll trust you understand that I know I won't be able to attach to the remote as administrator, and have to log in as an ordinary user.]

In fact, I could live with this - I'm happy enough to type sftp://user@destination/ in the location bar - but when I do that I get a message that Files is "Unable to Mount Folder" etc. Why? I have to resort to using the command line - hardly in keeping of what I THOUGHT the "keep it simple" Elementary OS philosophy was. Anyway, if someone could tell me the rationale for

  1. Not having the Connect Server option in the File manager when you open Files as administrator (is it because it doesn't work?)
  2. Why do I get the "Unable to Mount Folder" message?
  3. Or tell me I'm missing something fundamental.

I'd be very grateful.

I've included the screendump below to show that the CLI version works perfectly well, while the GUI option fails, even when the URI is entered correctly. BTW - the GUI option works perfectly well when NOT logged in as as administrator.

enter image description here

  • Firstly, is there a use case for connecting to a server when running as root? It is not generally recommended to run GUI apps as root any more than you have to. The privileges you have on the server should only depend on what credentials you used to connect to the server so running Files an ordinary user should make no difference. Sep 24, 2021 at 14:13
  • Hi Jeremy, Firstly, thanks for taking the time to answer, but you've either misread my question, or answered a different question. I have to admit that I was tempted to write a whole explanation of why I want to attach as root, but then (like your comment) I realised that it had NOTHING to do with the question, and would only distract from the question. Give me the credit of knowing WHY I want to attach as root, and that leaves the three points I mentioned above still to be addressed.
    – rednectar
    Sep 25, 2021 at 21:14
  • The reason I asked was in case someone could suggest a work around for your use case. It was not intended as an answer hence it was put in the comments section. Sep 27, 2021 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


After a quick look at the code and trying out a hacked version of Files that enabled the Connect Server dialog for root I am pretty sure that the restriction is imposed by the underlying gvfs system - network operations fail when run as root. Launching the Connect Server dialog when running as root caused Files to crash with the (unhelpful) message "Error with GVFS".

My knowledge of the underlying system is not deep enough to be sure whether the restrictions are necessary for technical reasons or imposed for security.

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