How do I run my application as superuser from Eclipse?

I'm running in to an error when I try to run my server application from Eclipse. The error is Permission denied. I think this is because I am using port 443 to set up an SSL connection. I can get around this problem if I run my code on the command line using java and sudo. Is there a way to set up Eclipse so that when I hit the run button, my application is executed with sudo?


You can follow these steps to compile/debug applications as superuser.

  1. Rename your java-application

    sudo mv /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/bin/java /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/bin/java.ori

  2. Create following script and store it as /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/bin/java

    # file:  /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/bin/java
    # descr: Starter for jdk. Runs jdk as root when 
    #        cmd-line-arg "--run-as-root" is specified.
    # Filter command-line argument
    for arg in "$@"
      case "$arg" in
      --run-as-root)  run_as_root=true
      *)              args="$args $arg"
    # Remove leading whitespaces
    args=$(echo $args | sed -e 's/^[ \t]*//')
    if $run_as_root
      echo "WARNING: Running as root!"
      gksu "$jre $args"
      $jre $args
  3. Change the permissions to make it executable

    sudo chmod 0755 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/bin/java

  4. Startup eclipse

  5. Go to Window->Preferences->Java->Installed JREs
  6. Duplicate java-6-openjdk to java-6-openjdk-root
  7. Edit JRE and add "--run-as-root" as Default VM Argument

To run projects as root you need to follow these steps:

  1. Go to Project->Properties->Java Build Path
  2. Double-Click the JRE System Library and choose in Alternate JRE "java-6-openjdk-root"

Note: The idea is from

Assuming you are on Linux (*nix), How about starting your eclipse session via a sudo command?

Such as

sudo ~/eclipse/eclipse

Now whatever you do from eclipse will have the sudo context?

As mentioned in this thread:

In order to open a port below 1024 on Unix/Linux systems you need to be "root".

I also used the argument -Dorg.eclipse.equinox.http.jetty.port=8080 to change the listen port, but this seems to be ignored (according to the stacktrace)

Please use "-Dorg.osgi.service.http.port=8080".

As mentioned in HTTP Service:

  • org.osgi.service.http.port - specifies the port number to use for the http serving. The default value for this property is 80 (which requires root permission), as per the OSGi specification.

  • - specifies the port number to use for secure http serving. The default value for this property is 443 (which requires root permission), as per the OSGi specification.

Maybe if you try to modify that last property to a value above 1024 it could work without requiring any special privilege.

Another option would be to use iptables or ipfilter to forward port 80 to a port above 1024.

(Can someone contribute a link to a practical and easy-to-understand explanation ?)

A better answer, perhaps, if this serves your needs AND is possible, could be simple port redirection on your router.

Instead of trying to force your linux/unix to open a reserved port, when you are only developing this now (not installing) and you want to run it in a debugger, set your router to redirect incoming (external) port 443 to a port that is more convenient for your current needs (say 4443).

I think most routers support this, and if yours doesn't it gives your mum a good christmas or birthday present idea!

I am writing C not Java but this should work in either case. I use remote debug - define a "remote" connection to LOCALHOST which allows you to specify the user you will connect with, specify ROOT. Then define a Remote Application in debug configuration connection: LOCALHOST. Be sure to check "skip download to target path" at the bottom of the main tab as well as under the connection properties window.

If you use External tools (Run menu/External tools or an icon next to the Run/Debug icons on the toolbar), you can use any scripts or whatever you like. The scripts may give you elevated rights, or whatever.

On the other hand, this way debugging the application can become very hard, as neither the Run nor Debug commands get associated with this External tool configuration. Maybe it is possible to connect the Eclipse debugger of the application, but I don't know, how that is possible.

You may go this way

  1. create a Makefile with javac calls
  2. add the following line:
setcap 'cap_net_admin=+ep' Server
  1. configure sudo to allow your Eclipse user to run setcap.

So you will have a transparent debugging (no sudo wrapper - gdb ok). Cons: it is a local security breach.


put this to /opt/my-stupid-eclipse


setcap 'cap_net_admin=+ep cap_net_raw=+ep' $1

chmod +x this script and whitelist it on sudo config.

username ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /opt/my-stupid-eclipse

Add it to your makefile, specify path to your Server binary.

Now you have pretty strange but secure script, that cannot be changed by other users... and still a little breach for replacing Server binary with any malicious code, that will gain caps, so no filename check/stricts will help.. can $1 be contaminated with bash commands, no? Guess, no.

You can use Remote Java Application mechanism for this.

  1. Create Debug configuration for Remote Java Application section in Run -> Debug configurations...
  2. Set your project name
  3. Choose Connection type as Standard (Socket Attach)
  4. Configure Connection properties parameters for your binding (for you it will be localhost and 443).
  5. Set breakpoint in your app (e.g. at the beginning of the main method)
  6. Run your app from terminal as superuser with following params: -java Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,server=y,address=443 MyApp
  7. Hit debug button in Eclipse for early created Remote Java Application
  8. You code should be stopped on breakpoint in Eclipse!

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