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Old 07-12-2020, 05:37 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 39

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Question Can’t change ownership/user/group “Operation not permitted”


I’m starting to think I’m never going to get my OpenSUSE Tumbleweed install setup and working. I’m so frustrated that I’m hitting one roadblock after another.

I’ve had no end of difficulty getting my data properly mounted and accessible with the right permissions. No matter what I tried, when the system automatically mounted the drives (at /run/user/media) I couldn’t get the system to allow me to change owner and group - even as root. So I edited fstab and added the lines there to permanently mount each drive when booting up. That worked. And it allowed me to change the user/owner and group.

However, I made some changes to a drive and had to add it to fstab. I made the edits and checked my work via the sudo mount -a to be sure there were no errors. Everything was fine so I rebooted and the new drive showed up as expected. Great. Now, I went to the terminal, made sure it opened to the directory where my data was mounted and did the chown command - running as sudo. No matter what I do, it’s not letting me change the ownership or group - even as root. I’ve gone into the folder I wanted changed and run:
sudo chown -R 1000:1002 *
This should change the ownership and group of all files/folders recursively, while leaving the folder I’m in alone. All I get is “Operation not permitted”
I went up a folder and specified the actual folder/mount point using sudo and I got the same thing. I tried also using:
sudo chown -R 1000:1002 .
Which should change the folder I’m in and all other files/folders recursively and that gets the same error. This all worked the other day, now it isn’t. I’ve also tried it with the actual username:group rather than the numerical IDs with no luck on that either.

To make it even more strange, several - but not all - of the folders/drives that I setup and successfully changed the ownership/group two days ago, some are now owned by root:root again, and I also can’t change the ownership of these either. I’m getting the same error “Operation not permitted”.

Why did this work the other day but not today? I’ve not made any changes to the drives/folder/data. I’m really discouraged. It’s taking forever and I just keep running into one problem after another. Please understand I’m not blaming the distro or anything else on this, it is what it is. But it doesn’t make it any less discouraging or frustrating. I’ve read so many different sites searching for an answer but cannot sus it out. Please, any help would be so appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Old 07-12-2020, 11:52 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2020
Location: Japan/RJCC
Distribution: debian, lfs, whatever else i need in qemu
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And what's the filesystem of the drive in question? NTFS and other filesystems may not simply not support that, which may explain this. In order to write to the NTFS as user for example, you'd need to mount it with
Old 07-13-2020, 12:01 AM   #3
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You say you made some changes to the drive. What changes? Did you format it as FAT, by chance?

Note that FAT filesystems including exFAT don't have file ownership; all files and directories are owned by the sane user/group, which you specify when mounting.


chown -r

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