I'm new to Ubuntu. Just spent a couple of days overcoming all sorts of minor problems and performing tweaks and downloading apps etc.. Having installing 12.04 (32 bit) onto an old Xp machine leaving windows in a separate partition for optional booting. Basically very impressed with everything. However have just hit a brick wall, there does not seem to be a simple way of enabling other users of the same computer accessing each others' files. Even the music files only seem to be available to the user that downloaded them. Surely Ubuntu does not require that each user has a complete duplicate copy of the music library. And how do two users have access to a commonly used file that they mutually update. What am I missing....?


2 Answers 2


To just access the files of another user, you should find them in /home/"username". Navigate there with a terminal using cd /home/"username" and type ls -l. You should get a list of all the folders and files. There you can see all the permissions for owners and users (lookup ls in ubuntuusers). Here you can see if permissions are the problems. You can change the permissions with chmod (lookup chmod in ubuntuusers).

If you also want cross-platform access (from XP to Ubuntu and vice versa) and I think it is not a bad idea to keep data, you want to use from several accounts, not in /home/"user"/.., I would make a separate NTFS- Partition (only if windows access is necessary otherwise you can use ext). You can mount this partition on startup in Ubuntu and make a link in nautilus to where you mounted it:

Ubuntu Mount table Intro

This is where I keep my music and video to be able to access it from any Operating System i want.

Hope I could help, Phil


I think by default your users should already be able to access each other's files. So if you are user1 you should be able to navigate to /home/user2/Music and see what's in there. Additionally, you could create a link to user2's Music folder in your home folder, for convenience. Also, if you (as the owner of the folder)

  • right click to the file/ folder you want to share
  • select Properties from the menu
  • go to the Permissions tab

you can hand out additional permissions like create and delete files.

  • Thanks for your response, in the end I gave up the idea of multiple users. Its a family machine, no secrecy required between users. So resorted to single user, Documents in User folder structure, similarly individual play-lists for a single music application. And truecrypt for financial files etc. The multi-user set-up seems extraordinary heavy handed full of duplication and ambiguities. Thanks anyway.
    – Knotty
    Feb 1, 2014 at 10:59

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