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Thread: Global Permissions

  1. #1
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    Global Permissions

    I am rather new to this operating system (just a few days).
    Right now, I am attempting to create a new folder and extract files into it.

    Problem is; my system seems to think that I; the only account on the system, in turn an Administrator, does not have permissions to do so...

    I have found some posts online for adding permissions to existing directories, but only one directory at a time, and it will not allow me to make new ones to give myself permissions to.
    My question is; is there a command that gives me full access to read, write, change, and run anything anywhere at one time? A single command that does that, rather than having to go folder-by-folder, file-by-file, across the entire system...

  2. #2
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Okay, this is really becoming an issue now...
    I can't download any files from the web, I can't install anything via Terminal, I can't save any files from any program, and I can't open many programs...

  3. #3
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Quote Originally Posted by bobgrey1997 View Post
    …is there a command that gives me full access to read, write, change, and run anything anywhere at one time? A single command that does that, rather than having to go folder-by-folder, file-by-file, across the entire system...
    The short answer is "Yes". The responsible answer is: "Yes, but it's an absolutely terrible idea to do so.

    Changing permissions is admittedly somewhat convoluted and obscure. But it's that way for good reason. New users, and in particular those coming from Windows, tend to bring their bad Windows habits with them. Especially if they were Windows power users, those habits are almost guaranteed to get them into deep trouble. I'm sorry if this sounds like a lecture—I certainly don't intend it as such—but there's no delicate way to say it.

    Your post illustrates a number of Windows behaviours and assumptions that are problematic:

    1. Linux is designed as a multiuser system with much higher native security than Windows. Therefore, even though you may be the only user on your system, you are not the administrator. No one is, until they briefly elevate themselves into that role using sudo, and then, only for one command at a time. This is one of the measures that makes Linux more secure than Windows.
    2. Linux files have ownerships—the result of aforesaid multiuser design. Generally speaking, it will not allow one user access to files owned by another user. In a typical default install, there are at least two users: you and the root user. To prevent the possibility of foul play, neither should be permitted to fiddle with the files of the other unless special commands are used.
    3. Linux files also have permissions that are lacking in a typical Windows install—again the result of aforesaid multiuser capacity. This is to allow for fine-grained control so that users can share some files with other users while keeping sensitive files visible only to themselves.

    The way you phrased your question leads me to conclude that you wish to operate as root permanently. This so strongly discouraged and such poor computing practice that I am unwilling to show how it can be done. Instead, please provide some more context so that we can advise you on an appropriate way to do things that won't hose your entire system.

    1. Are you trying to make a new folder in your /home directory or some system directory?
    2. If a system directory, why?
    3. Are you the only user on your system?
    4. Why do you need to change permissions across multiple directories and files?

    The added info, context and background will allow us to better advise you.
    Last edited by DuckHook; September 8th, 2018 at 02:50 AM. Reason: Added quote

  4. #4
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Quote Originally Posted by bobgrey1997 View Post
    Okay, this is really becoming an issue now...
    I can't download any files from the web, I can't install anything via Terminal, I can't save any files from any program, and I can't open many programs...
    …likely the result of you tampering with permissions and unintentionally locking yourself out of certain directories.

    Please answer the questions in my previous post.

  5. #5
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Alright, I will start with 4, as that basically covers everything else.
    Why do I need to change permissions across multiple directories and files?
    I tend to edit and create new files almost constantly.
    For example; when I was on Windows, I spend the majority of my time breaking games apart to learn how they work, then rebuilding them into something different.
    Right now, I am trying to learn a new image-editor.

    At this very moment, I need access to ~/.local/share/fonts, which does not exist, so I need to create it, which I cannot do because of permissions.
    I need access to Downloads so I can, well, download.
    I need access to Pictures so I can save my edited images.
    I need access to Documents so I can create, edit, save, and remove any number of millions of files I mess with for any number of hundreds of programs that I like to tinker around with.
    I need access to ~/.steam so that I can create copies of such files to move them to Documents to edit them.
    Note, all of those directories that I mentioned, I will also need access to every sub-directory and file inside them.
    If I go about this one command at a time, I will be sitting here, quite literally, for the next 3 or 4 days typing command-after-command.

    As for question 3:
    I am going to go ahead and say yes, I am the only user on my system.
    Sure, the "root" is considered a "user", but it is only a program, not an actual user. There is not another person, or any other kind of living thing, that is ever interacting with my system.
    So, why do I want access to all of these files? Because those files are on MY hard drive.
    Also, I don't have a tendency to go about messing with system files as they are. The most I will ever do is add a new file to it, in the form of updates, installs, etc. (I don't usually have an interest messing with the system itself), or I will copy a file and paste it somewhere else to take a look inside, if I am that curious.
    That said, many programs will have files inside the "system directories" that I may be interested in taking a look at.
    Problem is, I can't even install such programs as it sees those directories as read-only!

    And, no, I have not done anything with permissions. I tried to set permissions to that fonts directory, only to get an error saying that such directory does not exist. Another time I tried to set permissions to Downloads, only to get an error that I don't have permission!

  6. #6
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Your post #5 suggests that many of the files/folders in your home folder are not owned by you which will cause many problems of the sort you have mentioned and is definitely not normal.

    To check this properly please show us the output of terminal command
    Code:
    ls -la
    Please use Code-Tags for terminal output. See my signature below for a How-to
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 18.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  7. #7
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Here is the output:
    Code:
    spencer@spencer-GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0:~/.local/share$ ls -la
    total 116
    drwx------ 25 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 17:01  .
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:50  ..
    drwxr-xr-x  8 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  5 03:31 'American Truck Simulator'
    drwxr-xr-x  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:54  app-info
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 22:17  applications
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 22:17  desktop-directories
    drwx------  7 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:52  evolution
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:52  gnome-settings-daemon
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 18:11  gnome-shell
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 21:01  gnome-software
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 16:24  gvfs-metadata
    drwxrwxr-x  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:52  ibus-table
    drwxrwxr-x  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:52  icc
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 22:12  icons
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 16:19  keyrings
    drwxrwxr-x 17 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  6 01:15  krita
    drwxr-xr-x  6 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 22:17  mime
    drwxrwxr-x  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:53  nautilus
    drwxr-xr-x  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 17:01 'Paradox Interactive'
    drwxrwxr-x  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  6 21:22  RecentDocuments
    -rw-------  1 spencer spencer 11958 Sep  6 21:48  recently-used.xbel
    -rw-rw-r--  1 spencer spencer   100 Sep  4 20:52  session_migration-ubuntu
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  4 20:52  sounds
    drwx------ 27 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 16:55  Steam
    drwxrwxr-x  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  5 01:25  vulkan
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  7 16:14  xorg
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  6 20:53  zeitgeist
    By the way, the code tag works the exact same here as it does on the forum I spend most my time on (SCS Software Forums), so that's nice! Thank you for pointing out a tutorial though. The more of those, the better, especially for someone like me (switching to an operating system only to find that it is all code-bases, while having no idea how to code in this way!)

    Also, I has no idea what any of that output is, but I see
    Code:
    drwxrwxr-x  3 spencer spencer  4096 Sep  5 01:25  vulkan
    and it's got me curious.

  8. #8
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Strange!
    You are obviously user spencer and everything in your home is owned by you.
    However in your previous post you say
    At this very moment, I need access to ~/.local/share/fonts, which does not exist, so I need to create it, which I cannot do because of permissions.
    I need access to Downloads so I can, well, download.
    I need access to Pictures so I can save my edited images.
    I need access to Documents so I can create, edit, save, and remove any number of millions of files I mess with for any number of hundreds of programs that I like to tinker around with.
    I need access to ~/.steam so that I can create copies of such files to move them to Documents to edit them.
    Note, all of those directories that I mentioned, I will also need access to every sub-directory and file inside them.
    If I go about this one command at a time, I will be sitting here, quite literally, for the next 3 or 4 days typing command-after-command.
    and you only showed us the listing of your ~/.local/share folder which is not what I wanted to see, though it shows that you do not have a .local/share/fonts folder (neither do I; it's not a default folder in anyone's home unless created). You can easily create it with command
    Code:
    mkdir .local/share/fonts
    but normally when running commands make sure that the working directory you're in is your user and the prompt shows justspencer@spencer:~$ and we can then check that you do have the folders Documents, Pictures etc etc that you say you have no access to, possibly because your current working directory when you tried was not your home folder but something else, as you used when running that ls -la command for me.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 18.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  9. #9
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    Re: Global Permissions

    So, I attempt to make the directory...
    Code:
    spencer@spencer-GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0:~/.local/share$ cd
    spencer@spencer-GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0:~$ mkdir .local/share/fonts
    mkdir: cannot create directory ‘.local/share/fonts’: Read-only file system
    spencer@spencer-GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0:~$
    I noticed the "GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0", what is that?

    I also assume "and you only showed us the listing of your ~/.local/share folder which is not what I wanted to see, though it shows that you do not have a .local/share/fonts folder (neither do I; it's not a default folder in anyone's home unless created). You can easily create it with command" you referring to that fact that I ran the command from "spencer@spencer-GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0:~/.local/share$"?
    I just noticed I was in there (from my yesterday attempts to add the directory from within the directory, after not being able to add it from home), so here is the command again from, what I assume to be, home:
    Code:
    spencer@spencer-GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0:~$ ls -la
    total 4564
    drwxr-xr-x 21 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  7 16:49 .
    drwxr-xr-x  3 root    root       4096 Sep  4 20:37 ..
    -rw-------  1 spencer spencer     370 Sep  4 22:36 .bash_history
    -rw-r--r--  1 spencer spencer     220 Sep  4 20:37 .bash_logout
    -rw-r--r--  1 spencer spencer    3771 Sep  4 20:37 .bashrc
    drwx------ 20 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  6 20:53 .cache
    drwx------ 21 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  7 16:28 .config
    drwxr-xr-x  3 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  6 20:53 Desktop
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 21:20 Documents
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  6 22:18 Downloads
    -rw-r--r--  1 spencer spencer    8980 Sep  4 20:37 examples.desktop
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  7 16:18 .gconf
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 22:12 .gnome
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 21:29 .gnupg
    -rw-------  1 spencer spencer    1560 Sep  7 16:14 .ICEauthority
    -rw-rw-r--  1 spencer spencer 1537911 Sep  7 16:41 .krita-8170-document_0-autosave.kra
    -rw-rw-r--  1 spencer spencer 1481056 Sep  7 16:41 .krita-8170-document_1-autosave.kra
    -rw-rw-r--  1 spencer spencer 1525589 Sep  7 16:41 .krita-8170-document_2-autosave.kra
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 20:50 .local
    drwx------  5 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 20:56 .mozilla
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 20:52 Music
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  7 16:24 Pictures
    drwx------  3 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 21:17 .pki
    -rw-r--r--  1 spencer spencer     807 Sep  4 20:37 .profile
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 20:52 Public
    -rw-r--r--  1 spencer spencer    3122 Mar 28  2017 Release.key
    drwxr-xr-x  5 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  7 17:05 snap
    drwx------  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 21:29 .ssh
    drwxrwxr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  7 16:54 .steam
    lrwxrwxrwx  1 spencer spencer      32 Sep  7 16:49 .steampath -> /home/spencer/.steam/sdk32/steam
    lrwxrwxrwx  1 spencer spencer      30 Sep  7 16:49 .steampid -> /home/spencer/.steam/steam.pid
    -rw-r--r--  1 spencer spencer       0 Sep  4 21:39 .sudo_as_admin_successful
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 20:52 Templates
    drwxr-xr-x  2 spencer spencer    4096 Sep  4 20:52 Videos

  10. #10
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    Re: Global Permissions

    Your home seems to be a read only filesystem which it should not be, and we need to try to figure out why that is.
    I also need to see the fstab file of the installed system, not that of the live system you may have to use to view it. You will be able to see it from the file manager of the live system, but looking in the appropriate volume or partition which will show in the left hand pane.

    As for that "GA-78LMT-USB3-6-0", it is just part of the hostname of your computer which it was given at installation and which I missed in my last post where I said incorrectly the prompt would show spencer@spencer, ie user@hostname; command
    Code:
    cat /etc/hostname
    will tell us what the hostname is.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 18.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

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