It is normal that users (non-root users, that is) are not allowed to write in the root directory -- and they should not be allowed to do so.
Users work in their home directory, usually /home/username
. They own that directory (not /home
, which is owned by root, but their own directory) and they can create directories and files in their home directory.
If you're coming from, say, Windows (where you can read, write and destroy things anywhere your little heart desires), you've just experienced the difference: users can't willy-nilly create, alter or remove system files (those in the root file system directories). This is a Good Thing. And, this Good Thing should not be circumvented for any reason.
Default permissions for users (all users, including root) are usually 022; that's an octal number that sets permissions for the owner, group and public access to directories and files. The owner is the user account that owns the file or directory (generally the user that created it), the group is the group the user belongs to (users) and public is anybody else that has access to the system.
If you open a terminal window and do this:
ls -l junk
-rw-r--r-- 1 trona users 0 Jun 26 06:30 junk
utility "touches" a file; if the file doesn't exist, it is created. The ls
utility displays information about a file or directory; ls -l
display shows (the -rw-r--r--) show that the owner (-rw-) has read-write premission, the group (-r--) has read permission and public (the last r--) has read permission. The rest of the stuff, my user name, my group name, the created date and the file name.
If this were a directory, it's slighty different:
ls -al test
drwxr-xr-x 2 trona users 4096 Jan 13 2010 ./
drwxr-xr-x 102 trona users 20480 Jun 26 06:30 ../
The permissions mask is the same as a file but there is a d
that identifies test
as a directory. There are two lines listed for the directory, the first is the directory itself and the second is the parent of my home directory (which happens to be /home
You can do some reading in the manual pages for ls
and the "SEE ALSO" manual pages for each of those (they're at the bottom of the individual manual pages).
Just don't try to override the system defaults until you really understand what you're doing (and the consequences of doing it); users are not allowed to write in the root tree for a lot of really good reasons, leave it be.
Hope this helps some.