Originally Posted by PC_Head
Hi. Im very new with Ubuntu 9.04 as i HATE windows. My questions are
1. How do i format a HDD?
To format a disk, you can just use mkfs, no need for gparted. You can use gparted if you prefer graphical programs. But there's not much point in doing so, other than aesthetics. To create a filesystem for example using vfat (so you can read it from windows as well) you can do
sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/<whatever>
Change <whatever> by whatever disk you want to format. This command can be used to see the available disks and partitions.
Make sure you don't format the wrong one by error. If you still want to use gparted instead, you need to install it. In Linux, you don't usually go fishing programs around the net to install them. You can use the package manager of your distribution to install anything you need, as someone else pointed out above.
2. How can i change the permissions when trying to hide a folder?
There's no such thing as a 'hidden' attribute in Linux. By convention (and only by convention) a file is considered hidden when its name starts with a dot. That way ls and most file managers will not show it unless you instruct them to do so (ls -a, or whatever menu option there's in your file manager to show hidden files).
Describe exactly what do you want to do. By default, no use should be able to see your files unless you grant them permissions to do so. You can use this command over any file or directory to make sure that no other user (but you) is able to read your files or enter your directories:
chmod go-rwx <whatever file or dir>
In graphical file managers there's usually some kind of dialog (try right click and look at the menu) to set the permissions of a file or group of files and directories. Sometimes after opening such dialog you need to press some kind of "Advanced" tab or button so you can see all the permissions. Just disable all of them for 'group' and 'others', and set whatever you want for 'user'.
The reason i wish to format 1 of my HDD is so it has Linux format on it and not Windows. When i try to hide a folder, i get the message 'you are not the owner, so you can not change these permissions'. I am the owner and its not 'root'.
What files are you trying to change the permissions on? If they are not yours you can't change the permissions. That's the intended way, otherwise, permissions would have absolutely no sense, would they?
Root of course can change the ownership and permissions of any file. You should only be changed permissions in the files on your home directory, the rest of the files of your system (i.e. in /etc or /usr or whatever that's not /home) do have a given ownership and permissions for a reason, and changing them could greatly damage your installation to the point of rendering it useless.
Try do describe what exactly do you want to do.
About the password thing, you can't password protect a directory. You could however take another approach, like use a password protected archive on an encripted partition (that you could in turn mount in whatever directory you want).