Changing ownership on floppy

David Tomaschik david at
Thu Oct 2 21:31:06 BST 2008

I won't go into the single-user vs. multi-user issues here, at least not

What I meant was something like this: 'sudo mount -o user=eric /dev/fd0

Also, if I recall correctly (no floppy drive on my laptop to test with),
the gnome and KDE automounters should be able to mount a floppy without
ANY line in fstab, just by clicking on the icon.  (This is via pmount,
if I recall)


Eric Weir wrote:
> Thanks for the explanation, David. I've posted the fstab entry in my 
> response to Kevin. I'm not sure you mean by "mount it as root but pass 
> '-o user=YOURUSERNAME' as an option to mount," i.e., what the command 
> and syntax are. [I'll be checking while waiting for a 
> response.]
> Yes, I understand that there are reasons why things are the way they 
> are, and that, as you say, often, maybe usually, the reasons are good 
> ones. Still -- keep in mind here that I'm only a mildly sophisticated 
> user, not a techie, let alone a software engineer -- I wonder if there 
> isn't a lot of stuff that's been legacied from UNIX from when it was 
> strictly a mainframe multiuser operating system that is problematic in 
> the PC environment, especially the home user PC environment. As I say, I 
> just wonder. I definitely don't know.
> Sincerely,
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Eric Weir
> Decatur, GA  USA
> eeweir at
> David Tomaschik wrote:
>> Sudo does give you root privileges.  Most likely, in this case, even
>> root can't change the ownership on the files on the floppy drive.  And
>> here's why:  they're probably formatted as FAT-12 or some other FAT
>> variant.  FAT does not support POSIX ownership of files, so for POSIX
>> purposes, it inherits a default owner for the entire filesystem.  By
>> default, that owner is root.  If you have an entry in fstab for your
>> floppy drive with the 'users' option, any user should be able to mount
>> it.  If you don't, mount it as root but pass '-o user=YOURUSERNAME' as
>> an option to mount.  This causes the drive to be mounted as the user you
>> specify.
>> I know some things in Linux seem different -- frustrating, even.  But
>> they're generally done in a way for a reason (even if it's a historical
>> reason) and in many cases, the reason is good.  :)
>> --David
>> Eric Weir wrote:
>>> I have some old files on floppies that I want to copy to my hard disk. I 
>>> am able to mount the drive only with sudo on the terminal. After it's 
>>> mounted, ownership is root. When I try to change that by sudoing chown, 
>>> I am told "Operation not permitted." I thought sudo gave you root 
>>> privileges. Is there a way around this Catch-22?
>>> At the risk of ticking off people who otherwise might be inclined to 
>>> help, I have to say that this is one of the things that's really 
>>> irritating about Linux, and that is driving me away from it. I have been 
>>> patiently -- well, honestly, sometimes pretty *impatiently* -- trying to 
>>> understand it, assuming that eventually things that used to mystify 
>>> would become intuitive.
>>> I guess some have. Probably many have, given where I started. But over a 
>>> year into this and I can't even use my own frigging floppy drive without 
>>> asking for help? [I checked a couple books I have. I went to 
>>> for help with the commands. I posted on another forum. 
>>> Two hours have passed. Now I'm trying you guys.] I'm *tired* of this.
>>> If you can forgive the rant, I'd appreciate any suggestions.
>>> Sincerely,
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Eric Weir
>>> Decatur, GA  USA
>>> eeweir at

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