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I recently installed Ubuntu 12.10. I am the only user, and would like to be able to drag files from directory to directory.

1) How can I open up permission to do this? Do I do this from root?

2) Is there a command that I can enter into the terminal? If so, what would an example command be?

I am thinking it must be something like grant user r-w-x ability from the the closest file to root as possible (so that I have cascading capability throughout the rest of the files).

If I need to do this directory by directory I will, mainly I am used to being able to do pretty much whatever I wanted within a Windows environment. As time goes by, I realize doing this from the command line will be something that I will want to do. However, I did not realize the bit of time it is taking me to do some simple things. I am just wanting to get up to speed quickly.

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Sorry, but no. Forget about Windows. You can drag drop within your home directory and that is -more- -than- -enough-. System files and anything system related you do NOT want to mess with. There are directories on your system that will break your system when you change permissions (since they are expected and checked on being owned by root and/or have specific permissions set). Learn the Ubuntu way... there is a reason why Windows has virusses and the lack of permissions plays a BIG part in it. – Rinzwind Apr 21 '13 at 18:22
It would be possible to run Ubuntu as root with permissions to do anything but please take the time and read this Q&A to learn why we believe this is a bad idea. – Takkat Apr 21 '13 at 19:05
up vote -2 down vote accepted

What you are going to do is really stupid because it tears down basic security measures in the system. But it's your choice...

1) You could log into GUI as a root (but ubuntu doesn't have normal root user you can switch into), so i guess this is out.

2) You can add your user into root/admin/whatever group thus granting him most of the privileges you need. Command is usermod with some parameters...

3) You can set privileges on each file to rwx for everybody (which is really dangerous). The commad for this is something like chmod -R 777 run in the /.

But my opinion is that if you want to use linux system the "windows way", you'll be pretty disappointed. The thing here is linux is actually pretty comfortable to use, you just have to understand and obey few basic concepts which are different from what you are used to.

More reading on the file permissions:

EDIT: I know what this can do with the OS. I know running any of these commands almost sure result in nonfunctional system. I warned the reader. I've written in because this is answer to his question, which he deserves. For me, writing just "stupid idea" is not an answer. :)

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Actually, running sudo passwd root let's you change the root PW – StackExchange User Apr 21 '13 at 18:30
Point 3 will really f*** up your system. /etc with 777 will make your system crash instantly. – Rinzwind Apr 21 '13 at 18:30
Yes, I know what those things can do. He'd been warned but the choice is up to him. – Fiisch Apr 21 '13 at 18:33
Thank you to all for the instruction. I will learn about best practices. Bottom line is I will learn, but am somewhat ignorant at this point. I respect Linux and have the desire to learn things the right way, and appreciate the strengths of this OS. – David Apr 21 '13 at 18:47
attempts to chmod 777 everything on VM – StackExchange User Apr 21 '13 at 19:03

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