New installation Jaunty constant permissions problems

John L Vifian jongleur at
Tue May 19 17:12:20 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 19 May 2009 9:25:50 am steven vollom wrote:

> > Never use "sudo dolphin", use "kdesudo dolphin" instead.
> Does this apply for all applications that are viewed and used while in the
> GUI and not just graphical applications like gimp, digikam, etc.  Or are
> all the office applications, browser, email, etc. considered graphical too.

NO!  You should only rarely need to use sudo or  kdesudo in the first place.  
Most programs that you run are designed to be run as a normal user, in your 
case as "steven" and running them as the superuser (root) will cause problems.  
Use the regular Kmenu to start your applications.

> > If you want to change all your config files and all the other stuff in
> > your home directory to be owned by you again, you can run the command
> Nils, a friend who prefers anonymity wrote off-list that my problem was
> when I set the mount point for my /home partition as /home/steven, I
> created the permissions problem.  If that is the case, would it be better
> and less likely create future problems, if I reinstalled and set the 'home'
> partition as /home instead of /home/steven?
> > sudo chown -R $USER: $HOME

This should fix your permissions problem, however it doesn't tell us anything 
about why you are having the problem or what the scope of the problem is.  
Changing where you mount a partition shouldn't have anything to do with 
permissions, although mounting it like your friend suggests might solve other 

> I really need to learn this stuff, Nils, if I write it down, I may never
> remember that it is recorded or where I put it.  Still, I definitely will
> write it down.  I will make a file called Ownership/Permissions because
> both those words may trigger the memory.  Thanks friend.

Steven one thing you might try is understanding what you are doing and why 
rather than approaching this as magic bits of code you paste into a terminal 
that fixes things.

In this case you probably already know that sudo runs the command following it 
as the superuser, so what does chown do and why would you want to do it?  What 
is the effect of the -R that follows it?  What is this $USER thing?  Why does 
it have a colon after it?  And what is $HOME.  You can find out and understand 
what you are doing by typing "info chown" into your terminal.. Use PageUp and 
pageDown to navigate and "q" to quit.  You could also use man <command> 
instead of info, or just google chown or whatever command you want to 
understand.  You should really do this before you run a command.  People are 
trying to help you here, but it is easy not to fully understand your problem 
and to suggest solutions that will make matters worse.

To help you a bit $HOME & $USER are environment variables and hold the path to 
the home directory, and the user's ID.  you can see what they hold by typing 
echo $HOME and echo $USER into your terminal  .  Now what does echo do?

John Vifian
If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's 
life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if 
there are men on base.
Dave Berry

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