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  1. #1

    Changing file/folder permissions when Ubuntu says you are not root but you really are

    So, I'm trying to do a task which in WINDOWS is really frick'n simple: I'm trying to change the file permissions on a folder which I happen to own since I own the computer and the copy of ubuntu and all the files which are written on the computer's hard drive. However, some funny person who wrote Ubuntu 9.04 seems to think that I am not the owner and won't let me change the permission. I do not know how to use the terminal and in fact know nothing that isn't explicitly spelled out with regards to using linux. Is there anybody out there who could give me a walk through, preferably describing exactly what I should see and click on throughout the process? It would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Just Joined! Drunk_Mexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    When you use Ubuntu, or really any Linux system you are not logged in as root. You are logged in as a user for security reasons. It is one of the problems that Windows has built into itself.

    If you want to change file permissions by clicking on them and editing them yourself it only takes an extra step which I can understand be frustrating if you do not know that step.

    open up a terminal by going to

    Applications -> Accessories-> Terminal

    In the terminal type

    gksu nautilus
    It will ask for your password. After you provide it, it will open a root file manager where you can navigate to the folder you want to edit permissions on. Then you can change the permissions.

  3. #3
    If root is the owner of the file, you are not the owner of the file. You can also change them if you read about this for a minute and use chmod - for example:
    chmod 0700 file- permissions: read/write/execute for you, nothing for group, nothing for others.
    chmod 0766 file- permissions: read/write/execute for you, read/write for group, read/write for others. The group being the group you belong to - the numbers being a combination. 4 = read, 2 = write, 1 = execute.
    If root is the owner of the file, you can use sudo chown:
    sudo chown you:yourgroup file
    It only takes a second, and if you can't chmod the file it isn't technically yours. It could belong to root. You as a user are not the owner. You have to use sudo or sudo chown to make it yours. If you do, you won't have to worry about it again.
    It's really not a hassle.
    ls -l will show you the current ownership and permissions.

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