View Full Version : [SOLVED] Home folder permissions issue

August 9th, 2012, 12:58 PM

I'm very very new at Linux.

I've installed 12.04 Precise Pangolin on my microsover by following this guide: http://www.havetheknowhow.com/Install-Ubuntu.html

My first attempt at installing 12.04 went perfect - I could follow every step to completion and the environment worked fine. I'd installed openssh for putty access, installed VNC for remote GUI work and installed samba/webmin for administration of shares etc.

Everything worked fine.

Then I stupidly managed to delete some things I shouldn't have but wasn't too concerned - I'd just do it all over again.

However, I've hit a snag. I've followed the guides steps word for word but suddenly I can no longer create or even access the /home/chris folder within putty.

I am trying to create a folder in /home/chris so I can store cron scripts there.

When I type
cd /home/chris I get:

chris@ubuntu:~$ cd /home/chris

When I type
cd /home I get:


From there if I type
cd /chris I get:

chris@ubuntu:/home$ cd /chris
-bash: cd: /chris: No such file or directory

If I type
ls I get:

chris@ubuntu:/home$ ls

Note: chris in the second line above is in blue.

Weirdly if I try to make a directory called chris I get:

chris@ubuntu:/home$ mkdir chris
mkdir: cannot create directory `chris': File exists

When I try to view permissions of "chris" by typing
ls -l /home/chris I get:

chris@ubuntu:~$ ls -l /home/chris
total 0

If I type
sudo -i and log into root I am able to traverse the home folder fine.

chris@ubuntu:~$ sudo -i
[sudo] password for chris:
root@ubuntu:~# cd /home/chris

I am sure I didn't have to log into root on putty to create folders in my first successful install.

Note: I have not encrypted my home folder. I've tried starting from scratch three times now and each time I have the same issue.

I'm sorry if I'm not providing sufficient or the right type of info. I've tried troubleshooting this myself and I suspect I have really cocked up the permissions by trying various chmod/chown commands.

I just can't figure out whether if the problem is with chris@ubuntu OR the /home/chris folder itself.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

August 9th, 2012, 01:05 PM
Just a guess, and this is probably not the problem atall.

By try 'cd chris' instead of 'cd /chris'

August 9th, 2012, 02:28 PM
When you execute a command like

cd /folder_name

then folder_name is expected to be at the highest level. If folder_name is a subfolder of the folder you are currently in, then just type

cd folder_name

without a preceeding "/".

You could also type

cd ./folder_name

to change into the subfolder.

August 9th, 2012, 04:48 PM
That's the thing - when I type
ls there are no directories showing.

So I typed
mkdir test and then
ls which showed I'd created a directory called test.

I typed
find . to get the following:

chris@ubuntu:~$ find .

cd /home and then
find . to get:


I'm confused - how come there is a test folder within chris? I've clearly just created it yet I can't navigate to it?

I type
cd / then
ls and get:

chris@ubuntu:/$ ls
bin home lib64 opt sbin tmp vmlinuz.old
boot initrd.img lost+found proc selinux usr webmin-setup.out
dev initrd.img.old media root srv var
etc lib mnt run sys vmlinuz

August 9th, 2012, 04:53 PM
It doesn't look like you've tried to navigate to the test directory at all based on your above example. After you typed

mkdir test

That created the directory. Next type

cd test

And you will be inside the test directory.
Usually I don't recommend books, but I think you might benefit from a textbook like "The Linux Command Line" (http://nostarch.com/tlcl). It's a good resource for starting you out and dealing with these sorts of operations.

August 9th, 2012, 04:55 PM
^^ I'll give that a try. Like I said, I have very very basic knowledge. At the moment I'm going to install VNC. It may help me understand things if I can physically see the directories etc.

August 9th, 2012, 05:35 PM
The penny has finally dropped. I can't cd into chris because chris@ubuntu is already there.

Installing VNC made it all so very clear to me.