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Old 05-21-2004, 02:48 PM   #1
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Root user unable to rm, mv or chmod


I have a directory of mp3s I'm organizing as root. I can move files into this directory and delete them, but I can't move files already present out, delete them, or change their modes.

These are the commands I've tried, and the results:
rm gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3

rm: remove write-protected regular file `gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3'? y

rm: cannot remove `gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3': Operation not permitted.
(rm -f <filename> produces the same results.)

mv gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3 /mp3/

mv:: cannot move `gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3': to /mp3/gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3' Operation not permitted

chmod go-r gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3

chmod: changing permissions of `gordon_lightfoot-wreck_of_the_edmond_fitzgerald.mp3': Operation not permitted.

/mp3/80s/ directory permissions: drwxr-xr-x
The file's permissions are -rw-r--r-- and the owner is root--yet root can do nothing to any files in the directory!

It sounds like the directory and all its files are sticky, but I have no idea how to check, or how to fix it.

Last edited by Zoar; 05-21-2004 at 03:05 PM.
Old 05-21-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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run fsck on the partition. It might be pooched.
Old 06-16-2004, 10:23 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
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It sounds like the files in question may have some limiting attributes. To take a look at the attributes for files in a given file:

lsattr <filename>

if the result is:


Then you have no attributes assigned to this file, and the problem is likely somethng else, if, instead you have one or more letters, such as:


Then you have some form of restrictive attribute, that is likely preventing you from modifying the file as you would like to. To get a discription of the specific attributes that are assigned to a file, I would suggest 'man chattr', which will discribe the attributes and give you the format to modify them with the 'chattr' command, such as to remove the 'append-only' attribute in my previous sample, the command would be:

chattr -a <filename>

I hope that this helps


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