Questions dealing with Ubuntu's layout of files, permissions, and files that reside in special locations on disk.

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14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is moving directories to /dev/null dangerous?

When trying to move a test_dir directory to /dev/null, I get the message mv: cannot overwrite non-directory ‘/dev/null’ with directory ‘test_dir/’ Then why do people say "Don't run the command sudo ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

How to create a bookmark under “computer” in the Sidebar of the nautilus file manager in 12.04?

Somehow, I removed the Downloads bookmark in the Sidebar under "Computer". Is there any way I can make a new one? Possibly with the same icon? I still have my Downloads directory. I just don't have ...
14
votes
5answers
92k views

How to fix “sudo: unable to open … Read-only file system”?

The title might not be as descriptive as I would like it to be but couldn't come up with a better one. My server's file system went into Read-only. And I don't understand why it does so and how to ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

Broken sudo: can't open /etc/sudoers: No such file or directory

I have a live USB persistent version of Ubuntu 11.04 installed with Unetbootin. After some time I experienced some bugs while upgrading the kernel and trying to use my second screen on my laptop. ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Btrfs in 10.10 considered stable?

I'm upgrading my laptop to Maverick (10.10) and I noticed btrfs is an option for the filesystem. I read a while ago that the Ubuntu team weren't sure if it was going to be stable for Maverick. Does ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I stop this constant loss of free space?

I was running Ubuntu, as normal, when suddenly I got a dialog box that said I only had 1.2 GB of free space left. An hour before, I had 30 GB of free space. I deleted some stuff and brought the free ...
13
votes
3answers
20k views

Convert filesystem NTFS -> EXT4?

I have 2 TB of data on an NTFS drive which I would like to convert to EXT4 filesystem. My OS runs on a (comparatively) small 60GB SSD. Is there any way to convert the filesystem, apart from backing ...
13
votes
2answers
564 views

How to see the contents of a file with blank filename?

drwxrwxr-x 2 ubuntu ubuntu 4096 Mar 19 07:30 xxxxx -rw-rw-r-- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 580 Mar 20 07:24 -rw-rw-r-- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 27137 Mar 20 09:10 xxx.js Here there is a file on the second line but ...
13
votes
3answers
36k views

Read Only usb stick that won't let me do anything to it

Somehow I messed up and accidentally made my usb stick into a read only file system. I have tried a bunch of things to delete the files, including the basic (rm -f myfile) and attempting to allow ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Web Server Best Practices: Directory Structure & Security

I would like to utilize Ubuntu server as web server, but I want to make sure I follow best practices for setting things up. I want to ensure I set the directory up in the best location and understand ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why Ubuntu will no longer measure file size unit as byte, megabyte, gigabyte, etc?

I read on somewhere that Ubuntu will no longer use the familiar file size units we all know by now (kB, MB, GB, TB) and switch to a different IEC standard (KiB, MiB, GiB, TiB). If this is true, I ...
12
votes
5answers
571 views

Using cd command to navigate directories in Ubuntu which have special characters [duplicate]

When I want to navigate into directories having special characters in their names I get an error message. For example: aman@desktop:~/Aman$ cd !)e$!gn&(reate bash: !: event not found ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views
12
votes
1answer
14k views

Mount unknown filesystem exfat [closed]

Error mounting /dev/sda6 at /media/gkp/Backup: Command-line `mount -t "exfat" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid" "/dev/sda6" "/media/gkp/Backup"' exited with non-zero exit status 32: mount: unknown ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to delete files when another filesystem is mounted on the path?

Having just written an answer about moving /usr to a new partition I was wondering about deleting files once a new partition has been mounted. To use the example from the question, is it possible to ...
12
votes
2answers
17k views

Too many open files - how to find the culprit

When running tail -f filename, I got the following message: tail: inotify cannot be used, reverting to polling: Too many open files Is that a potential problem? How do I diagnose what's ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

btrfs partition won't mount after upgrading 64bit Ubuntu 11.10 laptop

I have tried many ideas from the net, but none of them work. This looks correct and in good order **sudo btrfs filesystem show /dev/sda2** failed to read /dev/sr0 Label: none uuid: ...
11
votes
2answers
998 views

How does linux handle a move command

How does linux handle a move command under the hood? Let's say I move my home dir /home/me and I move this into another directory /home/foo/me How are all the files and directories paths under ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

How to determine where biggest files/directories on my system are stored?

I was wondering how do you know where the largest files in my system are stored. For example--- Disk Space Used: 1GB Java: 500MB Java Percentage: 50% maybe represented in a pie chart. Maybe? I know ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the significance of '*' (star, asterisk) in the file listing results?

I have noticed that some of my files have an asterisk at end. Does the asterisk at the end have any particular significance? I think they are mostly executable and displayed in green by the ls ...
11
votes
4answers
490 views

Way(s) of browsing the filesystem that are more flexible

I have two related questions, both probably (but not necessarily preferentially) accepting the same answer : When browsing or exploring the filesystem in a GUI, I want to be able to right click on ...
11
votes
1answer
9k views

What is /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ for?

I'm using an application that, when searching for installed dependencies, looks up some .so files in /usr/lib and /usr/local/lib/. Now I migrated on Natty and some files seem to be moved from ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I clean up my harddrive?

Not to long ago I was using only 35% of my HD. Just recently it shot up to 54% and my diskspace is 16gb so that's more then 3gigs that have been taken. From what I remember I failed to build mysql, I ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I keep a folder synchronized to an external USB hard drive?

I have a growing music collection which I manually keep in sync with an external USB drive. Sometimes I edit their ID3 tags, add or delete a file in either the hard drive or the USB drive, and I would ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I convert an ext4 partition to btrfs (or other file systems) without losing data?

I wish to convert my current /home partition to BTRFS (or other file systems) without losing data if possible, what steps should I take for this? is it safe?
11
votes
2answers
23k views

GRUB: “invalid arch independent ELF magic” after install on SSD [duplicate]

I've got a brand new laptop with a 128GB SSD drive. I read that aligning the partitions to match the Erase Block Size of the SSD is important. I followed William Scott's guide SSD Tweaks in Linux and ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Can and should UDF be used as a hard drive format?

Several time recently I've seen UDF suggested as the solution to a cross platform format for a drive used on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows XP and above. I've searched here and not found the same ...
11
votes
3answers
14k views

Can't set permissions for files on an NTFS partition

I remember that I was able to run a Linux .exe that was placed on an NTFS partition earlier before I installed 10.10 RC. But if I try to run it now, I can't run it as it hasn't the execution ...
10
votes
4answers
729 views

What does the first character of UNIX mode string indicate?

I'm very familiar with linux file permissions, and special perms (sticky bit, suid, guid) But I don't know what the c stands for? Is it a permission, or something else? I've done some googling with ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

How to make and restore incremental snapshots of hard disk

I use Virtual Box a lot for distro / applications testing purposes. One of the features I simply love about it is virtual machines snapshots, its saves a state of a virtual machine and is able to ...
10
votes
9answers
14k views

How to hide an NTFS partition from ubuntu

I need to hide an NTFS partition from listing in the nautilus. How can I achieve that? Is there any tool to do that? And how can I hide files in ubuntu (except . operator)
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Why can't I copy a 5G file?

I'm trying to backup my VirtualBox, but when I try to copy the .VirtualBox directory to my external hard drive I get an "File too large" error: [130 amanda@luna ~]$ cp -r .VirtualBox ...
10
votes
3answers
32k views

Force fsck.ext4 on reboot, but really “forceful”

One of my Ubuntu 10.04 servers is giving me trouble. When I run fsck.ext4 -n /dev/sda5 it tells me there are errors in the free inode count, free block count, and more. I have tried: touch ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

using locate on an encrypted partition

I selected /home/ to be encrypted when I was installing Ubuntu. Now, is it possible to make locate work with an encrypted partition like this?
10
votes
4answers
15k views

Solving permission problems when using external EXT4 hard disk with multiple linux installs

Hello I have a external hard drive and since I only use Ubuntu and Fedora I decide to format my hard drive to ext4 everything is fine. The problem is when i mount the drive i need to change the ...
10
votes
1answer
7k views

Reasonable size for “filesystem reserved blocks” for non-OS disks?

When creating a file system ( mkfs ...) the file system reserves 5% of the space for its own use because, according to man tune2fs: Reserving some number of filesystem blocks for use by ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Do I need to defrag EXT file systems? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is defragmentation unnecessary? I've been told that EXT file systems don't need to be defreagged because of the way they handle writes. Is this true? Would I benefit ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

How to unmount after using mount --bind option?

I have mounted a hard disk /dev/sda1 on /media/backup. Further, I have issued the following command: mkdir /home/users/Desktop/backup sudo mount --bind /media/backup /home/users/Desktop/backup This ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to sync Google Docs with a folder in my filesystem?

I'd like to be able to edit my files offline and it would automatically send the changes to Google Docs and vice versa. Is that even possible? If so, how to do it?
10
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I make a write-only view of a folder?

I want to have a place on the filesystem that presents a write-only "view" of another folder that I have read-write access to. I'm picturing something that's similar in behavior to an FTP drop box, ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

df shows all space taken, but du doesn't add up

I'm having a problem with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. This is the second time I've encountered this problem in the last 3 weeks. The first time is described in this closed question on StackOverflow. The TL;DR ...
9
votes
5answers
23k views

Command line option to check which filesystem I am using?

Is there a command that will show which file system (ext3, ext4, FAT32, ...) the various partitions and disks are using? Similar to how sudo fdisk -l lists information about disks and partitions?
9
votes
3answers
872 views

Why are these directories called file systems?

/proc, /usr, /var, /home are called file systems. What does that mean? i thought there was only one file system (e.g. ext4)..
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Why doesn't /tmp use tmpfs?

I have loads of RAM and I use very little. I also do record some screencasts with gtk-recordmydesktop, which by default saves to /tmp while recording. I assumed that it would mean storing to RAM as ...
9
votes
1answer
651 views

Accidently deleted my /etc/default folder

I Accidently deleted my /etc/default folder. Now my computer wont boot. Its running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Upon boot it says, Filesystem check or mount failed. A maintenance shell will now be ...
9
votes
3answers
329 views
9
votes
4answers
6k views

Is NTFS-3G safe for writing?

These days, I have to use the NTFS-3G driver to write to an NTFS drive (which will later be used in Windows). But I still remember the olde times of Linux ntfs driver which clearly said in the docs: ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

NTFS -> EXT4 migration, where did 120 GB go?

wim@wim-ubuntu:~/Desktop$ mount | grep media /dev/sdc1 on /media/data type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks) /dev/sdb1 on /media/wd type fuseblk ...
9
votes
3answers
642 views

Organizing software - where in the filesystem?

I guess it's also a matter of personal taste, but since I'm starting with a fresh 10.10 install I thought maybe this time I'll keep my system more organized. What is/are the conventional place(s) to ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

What do I do when my root filesystem is full?

My / folder is reading as full and I can't update software or do anything. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here. $ df -h Results: Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/sda1 ...