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Thread: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

  1. #1
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    Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    Here's a thing that's puzzled me for about a week now
    Every USB drive I connect to my PC is owned by root.
    Once all I had to do was run chown in a terminal and that would bring things back to normal. Now every time and on every drive I get
    chown: changing ownership of 'all-USB-Drives': Operation not permitted
    doesn't matter that I run it as SUDO
    I tried changing permissions on the drive to 777 but I cannot change the ownership of the drive(s)
    They're OK in other computers, just not in this Ubuntu 19.04
    (I want to delete a few backups, on this drive before I upgrade but 19.04 stays until I can take ownership of at least one USB drive

  2. #2
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    Ubuntu/Lubuntu 19.04 (or all 19.04 releases) are now EOL so I'd suggest release-upgrading to 19.10 asap.

    http://fridge.ubuntu.com/2020/01/23/...nuary-23-2020/

    Use a LTS or long-term-support release if you don't like release-upgrading every 6-9 months.

  3. #3
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    What filesystem is on those usb drives? Most use fat, exfat or ntfs for Windows compatibility and those filesystems don't support Unix permissions. Also, how do you mount your usb drives? Using default settings and a fat32 usb drive it should mount automatically at /media/your_username/some_label/ and be owned by you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    I'm trying to take a back-up of essential data via USB but can't take ownership of any external drive.

  5. #5
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Impavidus View Post
    What filesystem is on those usb drives? Most use fat, exfat or ntfs for Windows compatibility and those filesystems don't support Unix permissions. Also, how do you mount your usb drives? Using default settings and a fat32 usb drive it should mount automatically at /media/your_username/some_label/ and be owned by you.
    I'm not to sure how to describe how I mount a Usb drive but ..
    1. purchase USB drive
    2. insert it into a dedicated USB slot
    3. the drive auto-mounts and is visible in Nautilus
    4. it is mounted at /media/my_Name
    5. it is owned by root and I can't change properties because I'm not the owner

    the drive is as-purchased and is formatted as FAT32

    no amount of CHMOD or CHOWN gives me any control over the drive because as I've said the terminal returns an "operation not permitted" message

  6. #6
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    Quote Originally Posted by guiverc View Post
    Ubuntu/Lubuntu 19.04 (or all 19.04 releases) are now EOL so I'd suggest release-upgrading to 19.10 asap.

    http://fridge.ubuntu.com/2020/01/23/...nuary-23-2020/

    Use a LTS or long-term-support release if you don't like release-upgrading every 6-9 months.
    How does this help me to write files to a USB drive ?
    I'm sort of stuck now, I won't risk data loss by upgrading without a verified back up to a few devices
    But you're suggesting (I think) that the only way to gain access to an external drive is to upgrade - is that it ?

  7. #7
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    Xubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    It should work the way you described it (mostly; it shouldn't mount at /media/username but at /media/username/partitionlabel or something like that). Something must be wrong with the way your drive is mounted automatically – which for me would be enough reason not to upgrade to 19.10, but to make it a fresh install.

    After you inserted the usb drive and allowed it to mount, have a look at the mount options:
    Code:
    mount | grep /media

  8. #8
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    IO agree that something is wrong. For me (aind I think it has been this way for a long time), when I insert the drive it does not mount until I click the icon that appears. Then it mounts under my username, e.g. I just mounted one and it appeared as /media/steve/F4A2-5FD7. root owns /media/steve, but steve owns /media/steve/F4A2-5FD7. I tried chowning /media/steve and was successful. I gave it back to root straight away.

    But this confirms what Impavidus says : I don't know what is wrong with your system and would not know how to correct it. In your position, I would "sudo -i" to become root and then back up things that needed backing up. Then do a clean install of a later version. Incidentally, I always keep /home on a separate partition so I can install the system without reformatting all my data.

  9. #9
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cog View Post
    IO agree that something is wrong. For me (aind I think it has been this way for a long time), when I insert the drive it does not mount until I click the icon that appears.
    <snip>
    That is incorrect as well!
    When you insert a USB external drive the default action is normally for it to mount automatically at /media/username/label
    so I am surprised you say that external disks do not mount until you click the icon.
    Have you made any system file edits that might affect this automount behaviour?
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 18.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  10. #10
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    Re: Every Thumb Drive owned by ROOT

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    That is incorrect as well!
    Oh no it isn't!
    For me, it's been that way for a long time.
    It is possible that I changed a desktop setting to stop automount some time in the past.
    But anyway, the default mount path is the important thing here. It mounts under /media/username, not at /media/username.

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