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Old 03-27-2008, 12:18 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2007
Distribution: Ubuntu, Slackware
Posts: 50

Rep: Reputation: 15
really screwy permissions error involving chmod, chgrp, chown

Okay so I was root, mounted a flash drive, and then accidentally copied a file to the flash drive so it inherited the root group's permissions. No big deal I thought, I'll just chmod and chown it to my normal log in. WRONG! Anyways here's the commands/their output I tried after copying that file as root and their output. I ran them as verbose when I could. All these commands were entered by root. The file in question is /media/usb/vimnotes

At the top are the permissions before I try to mess with them, displayed by ls -l. I think you can tell the other commands I ran, if not I'll clarify.

Any ideas what happened? I'm extremely perplexed that chmod 777 as root did not set the permissions correctly.

mount -w /dev/sda1 /media/usb/ #usb is a symbolic link to usb0
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 1969-12-31 14:00 /media/usb/
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 1969-12-31 14:00 /media/usb0/
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-03-26 02:58 /media/usb1/
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 305 2008-03-26 15:35 /media/usb/vimnotes
chown: changing ownership of `/media/usb/vimnotes': Operation not permitted
failed to change ownership of `/media/usb/vimnotes' to jlang:users
mode of `/media/usb/vimnotes' changed to 0777 (rwxrwxrwx) #tried chmod 777 here, no luck
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 305 2008-03-26 15:35 /media/usb/vimnotes
failed to change group of `/media/usb/vimnotes' to users
/media/usb/vimnotes: ASCII English text

/dev/hda1 / ext3 rw 0 0
proc /proc proc rw 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs rw 0 0
usbfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs rw 0 0
/dev/sda1 /media/usb0 vfat rw 0 0
/dev/hda1 / ext3 rw 0 0
proc /proc proc rw 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs rw 0 0
usbfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs rw 0 0
/dev/sda1 /media/usb0 vfat rw 0 0
/dev/hda5        swap             swap        defaults         0   0
/dev/hda1        /                ext3        defaults         1   1
#/dev/cdrom      /mnt/cdrom       auto        noauto,owner,ro  0   0
/dev/fd0         /mnt/floppy      auto        noauto,owner     0   0
devpts           /dev/pts         devpts      gid=5,mode=620   0   0
proc             /proc            proc        defaults         0   0
Old 03-27-2008, 12:36 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Slackware64 14.0
Posts: 4,138

Rep: Reputation: 168Reputation: 168
Since the file system is vfat it doesn't support Linux file system attributes. You can mount it to belong to a particular user/group or with a umask that allows anyone to write to it. For example:
/dev/sda1  /mnt/usb  vfat  defaults,umask=0000
Have a look at the man page for mount and search for "mount options for vfat" for more info.


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