Can't edit file as root? Help?

I received an error after installing Eset NOD32 Antivirus Home Edition. It won’t update virus database definitions. Saying incorrect username and password… Straight after, I was experiencing an issue during ‘Anonymous Start’ in Backbox Linux with ‘network-manager service’ See below error -

’ * Stopping network-manager service
ERROR: object ‘’ from /etc/ cannot be preloaded (cannot open shared object file): ignored. ’

I read the post

Which said -

’ Edit /etc/ as super user and change:



Save the file and the library will be preloaded for new processes. You should restart the system to make it active for all processes. ’

However, even after I changed user to root I could not save the file. It said permission denied permission denied

I’m a beginner linux user so any help would be greatly appreciated! This issue is really slowing down/affecting my internet!

Thank you :slight_smile:

which distribution are you using? how did you edit the file?

edit: which version of backbox are you using?


Can you elaborate precisely what exactly you tried to do in which way and how it did not work? We need to understand your problem, first.


I have not used Backbox Linux but according to their homepage,

The software packaging process, the configuration and the tweaking of the system follows up the Ubuntu/Debian standard guide lines.

so, you should not try to edit files as user root but rather do it with the sudo command, providing your proper user password when asked. E.g.:

your_username@your_computer:~$ sudo nano /etc/

However, if I were a Linux beginner, I’d personally go for a more mainstream distribution with a bigger community.

On the other hand: I don’t really see why you should use this antivirus software unless you’re planning to do something out of the ordinary.


VERSION=“18.04.5 LTS (Bionic Beaver)”
PRETTY_NAME=“Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS”

I used the command sudo -i and sudo - s. Navigated to /etc//etc/ and edited with mousepad.

navigated in the terminal with cd or navigated in the gui? it might be helpful if you could share the commands you used.


Did you try exactly as I suggested?

Thanks for your response.

I tried that. I was able to open the file using the commands you suggested but was presented with the same error -

'Failed to save terminal contents

Error opening file “/etc/”. Permission denied

I went with Backbox for the pentesting tools and for privacy and security in mind. I want to learn how to pentest but also want a semi user friendly O/S.

Regarding anti virus. I was under the impression you didn’t require an anti virus with Linux but from what I read, it’s recommended. Which actually seemed to be correct as on my fist scan I found 290 of malware. (Although I don’t know whether all of these have been flagged as false positives?)

Do you have any other anti virus programs in mind? What are your thoughts on AV for Linux?

Thanks in advance!

Linux does not really need AV software, if you take the normal precautions.
You could use some apps that are in the Ubuntu software library.
I do use:

  • a firewall, GUFW, its in Ubuntu software
  • Clamtk, an AV app that scans manually your selected files/folders.
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When I installed the fresh copy of BB Linux and run the scan with ClamAV, it also found hundreds of malware like that. Most likely, those are false positives since it is a fresh installation. I didn’t install any software yet. Based on your screenshot, most of them are the hacking tools included with the BB Linux package.

MetaSploit Framework is a common tool used for hacking. Details here
SE Toolkit stands for social engineer toolkit. Details here and here.

If you have doubt, you can enter the name of each “malware” in that screenshot on Google, search and see what you can find.
Or, you can post that screenshot to BB Linux forum, which is located at:
BB Linux has its own software repository/source code. You can view the source codes here: BackBox Linux in Launchpad

If you are new, start with Xubuntu or Mint.

The next time you want to edit a file outside from the home folder, use the sudo command. I don’t recommend that you edit the file because that won’t be necessary in this case. But, I use it as examples below.

If you prefer mousepad, use this one:

I personally prefer gedit: