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Thread: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Hi All,

    I have a brand new install of Ubuntu 10.10.

    I am now setting up a data store that will, eventually, be used by multiple users.

    I have two physical 500 GB drives in the machine, one of which has the OS partition, a swap partition (virtual memory?), and a data partition (Data1), and the other is purely for data (Data2).

    I had copied some files and dorectories into Data1, but when I set it up, I used NTFS since I will be needing some Windows clients to access that partition and I figured they would not be able to read Ext4.

    I then discovered that Ubuntu can't apply permissions to NTFS partitions, and my other users wouldn't be able to access it, so I used GParted to change it to Ext4, as upon reflection, I figured the data store would be 'shared' and not read directly from client machines, so the format of the partition shouldn't matter to the clients.

    Now I am able to access the permissions options (right click - properties - permissions), but when I changed the ownership of Data1 from Root to Alan, it only changed the partition itself (Data1), and all the files and directories underneath are still owned by Root (ie it didn't apply recursively despite me clicking on the 'Apply permissions to enclosed files' button).

    I searched here and it looks like this can be done using the command line using CHMOD -R, but if possible I would like to learn how to do this by using the GUI (I will need to train other users, and the command line is not likely to go down well with users!)

    So, question:
    How do I recursively change the ownership of all the files and directories in Data1 from Root to Alan using the GUI?
    Thanks,

    Alan.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Training other users to change permissions is asking for trouble, especially those of the root user.
    Why did you assume that other uses wouldn't be able to access files on NTFS?

  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for replying.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhatever View Post
    Training other users to change permissions is asking for trouble, especially those of the root user.
    I want the users to learn how to use the system fully - locking them out of things will restrict their learning opportunities and as long as I have overall admin access, the worst they can do is come to me to ask to fix a problem.

    It has worked well on Windows for some time (e.g. my nine year old daughter knows about 'security' settings on her personal 'drive' in Windows (actually her 'My Docs' folder mapped onto an old Windows Server 2003), so now wanting to migrate to Ubuntu too and keep the learning going.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhatever View Post
    Why did you assume that other uses wouldn't be able to access files on NTFS?
    Any number of posts here state that Ubuntu is unable to set permissions on NTFS volumes, and I had no reason to figure they would be wrong, but to be honest the NTFS thing is a moot point as the partition is now Ext4 and unless absolutely necessary, I'd rather stick with that as being Ubuntu's native format.



    Any idea on how to recursively apply permission changes to all files and directories using the GUI?


    Thanks,

    Alan.

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    I don't know of any other GUI way other then the 'Apply permissions to enclosed files' button. It's either broken, or you've done something wrong. Did you launch Nautilus as root when modifying permissions?

  5. #5
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    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    you may find this to be an indirect solution, but an alternative file manager to the default 'nautilus' is called 'pcmanfm'. installing it will have no effect on nautilus.

    when you change a folder's permissions in pcmanfm, it asks you;

    Do you want to recursively apply these changes to all files and sub-folders?
    and, it works.

    nautilus is a bit easier to use, but i prefer pcmanfm for certain 'heavy lifting' stuff. my 'music' folder, for example has over 3,000 files and is over 15gb, but opens instantly in pcmanfm. that same task takes several minutes with nautilus.
    Semper Fi

    My Non-Ubuntu Blog.
    All posts by me are Public Domain.

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Hi Mike,

    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhatever View Post
    I don't know of any other GUI way other then the 'Apply permissions to enclosed files' button. It's either broken, or you've done something wrong. Did you launch Nautilus as root when modifying permissions?
    Just tried that (command prompt - sudo nautilus), but it still doesn't recurse.

    Is there another way to run a command as root?

    Thanks,

    Alan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Hi EarthPigg,

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    you may find this to be an indirect solution, but an alternative file manager to the default 'nautilus' is called 'pcmanfm'. installing it will have no effect on nautilus.

    when you change a folder's permissions in pcmanfm, it asks you;


    and, it works.

    nautilus is a bit easier to use, but i prefer pcmanfm for certain 'heavy lifting' stuff. my 'music' folder, for example has over 3,000 files and is over 15gb, but opens instantly in pcmanfm. that same task takes several minutes with nautilus.

    Just tried installing PCManFM, but it says the install failed with the following error stream:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubuntu 10.10 Intaller

    installArchives() failed: Selecting previously deselected package pcmanfm.
    (Reading database ... (Reading database ... 5% (Reading database ... 10% (Reading database ... 15% (Reading database ... 20% (Reading database ... 25% (Reading database ... 30% (Reading database ... 35% (Reading database ... 40% (Reading database ... 45% (Reading database ... 50% (Reading database ... 55% (Reading database ... 60% (Reading database ... 65% (Reading database ... 70% (Reading database ... 75% (Reading database ... 80% (Reading database ... 85% (Reading database ... 90% (Reading database ... 95% (Reading database ... 100% (Reading database ... 159206 files and directories currently installed.)
    Unpacking pcmanfm (from .../pcmanfm_0.9.7-1ubuntu1_i386.deb) ...
    Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils ...
    Processing triggers for python-gmenu ...
    Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/desktop.en_NZ.UTF8.cache...
    Processing triggers for man-db ...
    Processing triggers for python-support ...
    Setting up language-selector-common (0.6.7) ...
    dpkg: error processing language-selector-common (--configure):
    subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
    No apport report written because MaxReports is reached already
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of language-selector:
    language-selector depends on language-selector-common (= 0.6.7); however:
    Package language-selector-common is not configured yet.
    dpkg: error processing language-selector (--configure):
    dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
    Setting up pcmanfm (0.9.7-1ubuntu1) ...
    No apport report written because MaxReports is reached already
    Processing triggers for python-central ...
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    language-selector-common
    language-selector
    Setting up language-selector-common (0.6.7) ...
    dpkg: error processing language-selector-common (--configure):
    subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of language-selector:
    language-selector depends on language-selector-common (= 0.6.7); however:
    Package language-selector-common is not configured yet.
    dpkg: error processing language-selector (--configure):
    dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
    Processing triggers for python-central ...
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    language-selector-common
    language-selector

    Gets better and better

    Alan.

  8. #8
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    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    yes, that is a problem. has your new zealand language selection ever been a problem, before (from "esktop.en_NZ.UTF8.cache...")?

    anything you may have done that could have influenced this, by chance?

    my first reaction would be to try typing this:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg --configure language-selector-common
    based mostly on reading this:

    Code:
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of language-selector:
    language-selector depends on language-selector-common (= 0.6.7); however:
    Package language-selector-common is not configured yet.
    or you could give this a shot:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure language-selector-common

    if that doesn't do it, i'd probably open a thread specifically with that error message, and link back to this thread.

    (to ensure people really good at fixing dpkg problems see it and can help you. i am very mediocre at that.)
    Semper Fi

    My Non-Ubuntu Blog.
    All posts by me are Public Domain.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Hi EarthPigg,

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    yes, that is a problem. has your new zealand language selection ever been a problem, before (from "esktop.en_NZ.UTF8.cache...")?

    anything you may have done that could have influenced this, by chance?
    Not in the two days since I first decided to try Linux

    I can't think of anything that I could have done to cause the error. Perhaps the regionalisation is not very well developed either within the OS or more likely within that specific application, and the author(s) didn't think about it?

    It is the second ever application I have installed into Linux (VirtualBox being the first).


    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post

    my first reaction would be to try typing this:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg --configure language-selector-common
    based mostly on reading this:

    Code:
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of language-selector:
    language-selector depends on language-selector-common (= 0.6.7); however:
    Package language-selector-common is not configured yet.
    Before I do that, please could you explain what it does?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post

    or you could give this a shot:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure language-selector-common
    and that too ....

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post


    if that doesn't do it, i'd probably open a thread specifically with that error message, and link back to this thread.

    (to ensure people really good at fixing dpkg problems see it and can help you. i am very mediocre at that.)
    Okay - let's stick with it here first, but noted.

    Thanks,

    Alan.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2008
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Change permissions on folder and sub-folders recursively using GUI

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan5127 View Post

    I want the users to learn how to use the system fully - locking them out of things will restrict their learning opportunities and as long as I have overall admin access, the worst they can do is come to me to ask to fix a problem.
    The worst they can do is completely hose the system. And loose all your data. If you are going to give your 9 year old daughter an admin account, make sure you have backups of everything.

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