I'm using Ubuntu 10.10 and using a usb drive but I'm finding that I can't chmod any programs on the drive to +x. It is being auto-mounted by Gnome (using udev, I think?) so I imagine the problem is a mount option but I can't seem to find a way to modify the default mount options any where. There are no entries in fstab. Anybody encounter this problem?
I guess your usb drive is formatted with VFAT/FAT32. This file format does not support execute permissions which is why chmod +x fails.
[Edit] Ok, had a bit of a play and search on the net. Lots of 'solutions' suggest that you should change /etc/fstab. This just seems clunky to me, what do you do? change fstab every time you encounter a new usb flash drive???
$ sudo vi /etc/udev/rules.d/90-usb-disks.rules
Add the lines:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/udev restart
Then try inserting a usb drive. There is probably an attribute that you can check for to ensure it's a FAT formatted drive if you wanted to be more specific.