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Old 08-20-2006, 07:57 PM   #1
Jim Yadon
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Location: In a state of disarray.
Distribution: FC2
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dark side convert with permissions troubles...


Hi.

I am very new to Linux but not new to PC's. I've been working with PC's since... well let's just say I could boot my Apple IIe without much trouble. All these years though, I never took the time to learn about Linux. I was just too comfortable with my MS stuff to look away. So please bare with me as I shake off the mud and get used to this system.

Anway, I cannot seem to get a handle on the whole permissions scheme (at least I think this is a permissions problem) in Fedora Core 2. I can install it, set up a user and get Firefox/Thunderbird & various other things set up. I even have my wife's user account set up. however, I recently updated the kernel and various packages and when it was complete, all of the permissions that were working just fine for user access to things like wallpaper, themes & various files that were created prior to the update are now no longer accesable by users. I can only write or execute via root. when I view the permissions in the properties for any of the offending files, it says that my user is the owner but I cannot change the permission because my user is not the owner!!! does this make sense? Is this indicative of another issue I am not aware of?

Please help a Linux rookie out.
Thanks.
J
 
Old 08-21-2006, 07:39 AM   #2
pixellany
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Registered: Nov 2005
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Could you post some specific examples?
Go into a directory---eg /home/username---and type "ls -l"
Here is an example:
-rwxr-xr-x 1 mherring mherring 10941 Aug 14 19:24 135_invite.odt
This says that the owner (mherring) has full privileges. The owner and root should be able the change the privilges (chmod), but noone else.
If you are logged in as the owner of a file (or directory), and you cannot do a chmod, then something is very wrong.
 
Old 08-21-2006, 12:17 PM   #3
tnandy
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Edit /etc/fstab and add umask=000 to the offending partition's fourth column in that file. See if that helps.
 
Old 08-21-2006, 07:48 PM   #4
Jim Yadon
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Registered: Aug 2006
Location: In a state of disarray.
Distribution: FC2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
Could you post some specific examples?
Go into a directory---eg /home/username---and type "ls -l"
Here is an example:
-rwxr-xr-x 1 mherring mherring 10941 Aug 14 19:24 135_invite.odt
This says that the owner (mherring) has full privileges. The owner and root should be able the change the privilges (chmod), but noone else.
If you are logged in as the owner of a file (or directory), and you cannot do a chmod, then something is very wrong.
I did as you suggested and the result was
Code:
drwx------  31 myuser myuser 4096 Aug 21 19:23 myuser
According to the documentation that I have in front of me the drwx------ means that my user should be able to read [i]w[/w]rite & execute while everyone else cannot do any of the above. I think the d is a desktop designation but I am unsure. As I said, I'm still learning this. I did notice after I finished updating the tertiary libraries (for gnome, etc.) that most of the issues went away with the exception of still having a no write emblem associated with the computer, home and trash icons. I assume that this is an indicator that I am not able to write to these locations. Here's a screen shot of my results when I look at the Home folder properties. (I am not eligible to post a link yet.)
wwwDOTtheswampDOTorg/screens/jim/Screenshot.png

you can see at the bottom where it states I am not the owner of the file.
 
Old 08-21-2006, 07:50 PM   #5
Jim Yadon
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Location: In a state of disarray.
Distribution: FC2
Posts: 3

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnandy
Edit /etc/fstab and add umask=000 to the offending partition's fourth column in that file. See if that helps.
Just what exactly will that or does that do? Please forgive my hesitance, I sign nothing before reading it and do my best not to modify code unless I understand what I am doing.
 
Old 08-21-2006, 09:12 PM   #6
osor
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Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: (H)LFS, Gentoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Yadon
I did as you suggested and the result was
Code:
drwx------  31 myuser myuser 4096 Aug 21 19:23 myuser
According to the documentation that I have in front of me the drwx------ means that my user should be able to read [i]w[/w]rite & execute while everyone else cannot do any of the above. I think the d is a desktop designation but I am unsure.
d means directory. If it is not a directory, something is wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Yadon
As I said, I'm still learning this. I did notice after I finished updating the tertiary libraries (for gnome, etc.) that most of the issues went away with the exception of still having a no write emblem associated with the computer, home and trash icons. I assume that this is an indicator that I am not able to write to these locations. Here's a screen shot of my results when I look at the Home folder properties. (I am not eligible to post a link yet.)
wwwDOTtheswampDOTorg/screens/jim/Screenshot.png

you can see at the bottom where it states I am not the owner of the file.
It seems that somehow (maybe a careless typo during aforementioned upgrades?) the user-database has become corrupted. You see, at the low level, filesystem drivers assign permissions to UID (user-id) or GID (group-id) values (each of which is between 0 and 65535). In order to translate UID and GID values from numbers to names, the system maintains a database, usually in /etc/passwd and /etc/group (it also contains other information such as a comment field, the user's home directory, and the user's shell). One common problem used to be untarring tarballs (in a tar archive, the user's identity is kept only as a UID and GID. Since different numbers usually mean different users on different machines, a careless untar would make an unexpected outcome) but has been cleaned up for awhile. Something similar probably happened during your upgrade.

To examine the situation more closely, you can look at the output of `cat /etc/passwd' and `cat /etc/group' to the numerical user/group owner of some files (shown by the output of `ls -n'). Compare the actual results with the expected outcome, and see if we can narrow down the problem any more.


PS
for more info consult the following:
man 5 passwd
man group
man umask
man ls
man 5 fstab
man 8 mount

PPS
If you post your passwd or group files, make sure the second field is either empty or has an `x' for each entry (so you are not making your passwords publically available for the whole world to decrypt).
 
  


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