this is not that simple as it sound, so please read carefully before answer (I really tried before writing this).

So, the problem is the following. I have an external hard drive, NTFS of 2TB. It is meant to be only for movies and music. So, I have a Music folder that have several other folders and subfolders (Artist, disc1, disc2... in any possible combination that you can imagine... -im not an organized guy). Inside them there are music files, mainly mp3, but also .flac, .ogg and .cue files.

For some reason (I REALLY DON'T GET WHY) some files have restricted permissions on the writing, so I cannot edit the mp3-tag info using software like rhythmbox or even some things more specific like easytag. Whatever, the point is not the software, but the permission of the files.

Since my idea is to edit the tag-metadata-info from rhythmbox and I just can't because the field is blocked -gray colored, I can't write on it, for example, to change the artist names-, I was wondering the ways to change the file permissions recursively. And we arrived to the point.

I'm needing some help to make a script or a "one liner" to:

1) identify the files and folders that have permissions different from 777.

2) a) on that cases, enter into each folder-subfolder, b) change the folder permissions to "777" -meaning FULL ACCESS, are mp3 guys, i don't care about security there- c) change every file permission on each subfolder to "777" full access.

I have a LOT of music, so no way to do it manually. Any help, clue, or comment will be really appreacited, Thanks in advance!!!

  • NTFS does not support Ubuntu file permissions. The issue is somewhere else. Is there anything different from files you can write to vs. files you can't? Do they have a different mount point perhaps?
    – Takkat
    May 25, 2013 at 9:55
  • It might have something to do with how you are mounting the partition. This might be helpful askubuntu.com/questions/11840/…
    – benj
    May 25, 2013 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


That's because the NTFS filesystem doesn't support unix-style permissions natively.

In reality Ubuntu and other linux-based distributions are using FUSE to provide a virtual support for this kind of restricted access to the filesystem, in practice you should set this permissions when you mount the HDD, I don't know if there is a GUI or an app in Ubuntu to manage FUSE, but usually it's an fstab-only kind of thing.

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