Are file permissions in files on external devices silly?

Dan Colish dcolish at
Fri Nov 21 17:39:03 UTC 2008

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. There are a number of ways
already available to have the functionality you seek. You will need to
leverage both the HAL fdi for the device you're trying to automount and a
script to fix the permissions on a that disk. This is what makes linux so
great, but also so frustrating to new users.

I don't think that allowing users to execute potentially harmful operations
without knowledge of what they are actually doing is a good idea. This is a
"feature" of many other consumer desktops, but I don't think it has been a
feature of linux nor should it be. The tools are there to make the os do
what you want it to.  I am sure if you create a script that does the proper
operations and share it no one will be upset.

On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 11:53 AM, tchomby <tchomby at> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 08:40:38AM -0700, Aaron Toponce wrote:
> > How would you propose to solve it? Change the permissions on files to
> > the person logged in? Add a user account with the matching UID to match
> > those found on the files, then log that user in? Change world
> > permissions on the file, so everyone can access it? I think you can see
> > the silly-ness behind these options.
> When the "You can't access these files because you don't have permission"
> error
> message pops up, it should have a button on it that the user can click that
> would recursively change the ownership of the files to the person logged
> in, or
> make the files world-readable, or make them readable by some group that the
> user is a member of ("removeable devices" group or something). Basically,
> the error dialog should present the user with the option to work-around
> these permissions, rather than leaving this option hidden in the file
> properties dialog where the user might not know it exists, or if they do
> know they have to go through a few unnecessary mouse clicks every time to
> get to it.
> Or alternatively, as someone suggested, maybe the system should not enforce
> file permissions on removeable devices, at least not if the person trying
> to
> access the files is a local sudo user.
> > What your brother doesn't realize, is that when you take files from
> > system to system, OS to OS, you're going to encounter these headaches.
> > It's just the way these things go.
> There's lots of things that were once headaches like this, until someone
> figured out how to make it user friendly.
> > What should be expected, is having your brother learn how Linux
> > operates. It's always bothered me that just because Windows dumbed down
> > the computing experience, means everyone else has to too. When Linux
> > starts asking its users to learn a little bit about their operating
> > system, such as files permissions, they throw their arms up in disgust,
> > saying that they aren't a programmer or advanced computer user. While
> > there may be a line to draw on what we should expect from theme, basic
> > file permissions, I think, is well behind that line.
> First of all, how did my brother get involved in this? Second, what does
> this
> have to do with Windows? I'm talking about making Ubuntu a bit more usable
> for
> non-technical users. It would also make it less irritating for people like
> me,
> who know what to do but would prefer to avoid the extra mouse-clicks.
> Ubuntu is
> a Gnome-based distribution and aims to be user friendly, this isn't Arch.
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