Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an assignment to write PHP code, and upload the data to our school student's account. To make sure my script is working, I need to change the permissions on the files.

I am not a root because I am a student. How can I fix that problem?

chown: changing permissions of `nyccrash.txt': Operation not permitted

Those files has permission labeled as apache

The owner and user are apache, according to ls -ls


share|improve this question
@surgemcgee Thanks for the input... we don't need to hear another version of Windows 7 vs Ubuntu vs MacOS. Every OS has its pros and cons. So is programming languages. Python has its own pros and cons. Pyramid (formerly Pylon) has its advantages and concerns when comparing with Django. I program Django on a daily basis. This is a system permission question. – CppLearner Apr 4 '12 at 5:54
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You should not be able to fix this yourself and need help from the admin.

Renaming or copying the file should not be possible since your username is more than likely to be part of others (and not part of user or group).

Either your user has to be in the same group as the apache user or you need more permissions on only that file or you need to be a sudoer.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.