Changing ownership on floppy

Eric Weir eeweir at
Thu Oct 2 21:46:52 BST 2008

I don't think this makes any difference, but I'm running Linux Mint, 
which is an adaptation of Ubuntu. The version I have is built on Ubuntu 
8.04. I right-clicked on the icon, thinking I'd get the option to mount 
from the context menu, but didn't. So I went the command line route 
using sudo.

Is it clear to you now -- what happened, and why I got the result I did?

Thanks very much, to you and to Kevin.

Eric Weir
Decatur, GA  USA
eeweir at

David Tomaschik wrote:
> I won't go into the single-user vs. multi-user issues here, at least not
> now.
> What I meant was something like this: 'sudo mount -o user=eric /dev/fd0
> /mount/floppy'.
> 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)
> David
> 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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