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Thread: making read only files writable

  1. #1
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    making read only files writable

    I have a portible hard drive and I'm trying to copy a folder from the hard drive onto a computer. However, the file is "read only" and I can't change it to read and write. Is there any work around so I can copy the folder?

  2. #2
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    Re: making read only files writable

    Are you the owner? when it happen to me is because I'm not the owner, so I can change the options, try with chown.

    I hope I'll help you.

    Regards

  3. #3
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    Re: making read only files writable

    Read only is not going to prevent you from copying a file. It will prevent you from changing the file or deleting it. You can use "chmod u+w filename" to make it writeable but you need to have ownership or root rights on the file to do that.

  4. #4
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    Re: making read only files writable

    Thanks for the responses. It looks like I'm not able to even make a folder in my own portable hard drive, or for that matter copy a folder. What could be causing this and how would I change it?

  5. #5
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    Re: making read only files writable

    it's probably owned by root. if you open a window to the drive and rightclick -> Properties -> Permissions, who is shown as the owner?
    Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

  6. #6
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    Re: making read only files writable

    Welcome to Linux. File permissions might seem daunting, but once you learn how it works, it will make a lot of sense. This site does a good job of explaining it all.

    Basically, your problem seems to be you don't own the directory. That can be taken care of with the chown command. After that you might have to make it writable with the chmod command.

  7. #7
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    Re: making read only files writable

    It depends on what the file system is. If it is FAT* or NTFS changing permissions won't do anything since those file systems do not understand Linux permissions. If it's a Linux file system, Ext*, XFS, etc etc, then you probably just need to change the permissions.
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  8. #8
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    Re: making read only files writable

    The ownership and the read only attribute are irrelevant, since the original file is not modified by copying. I don't think the OP has explained the problem very well.

  9. #9
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    Re: making read only files writable

    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhatever View Post
    The ownership and the read only attribute are irrelevant, since the original file is not modified by copying. I don't think the OP has explained the problem very well.
    umm, I don't think that the problem is reading from the source, but in writing to the destination.
    Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

  10. #10
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    Re: making read only files writable

    It's still unclear what the OP is trying to do : copy from, or copy to the external drive:

    Quote Originally Posted by gamer4lyf3 View Post
    I have a portible hard drive and I'm trying to copy a folder from the hard drive
    Quote Originally Posted by gamer4lyf3 View Post
    It looks like I'm not able to even make a folder in my own portable hard drive, or for that matter copy a folder.

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