during an install of Ubuntu 13.04. I had my home partition deleted by the operating system. 13.04 install had reformatted the whole drive. I managed to recover & get my home partition onto a removable drive using Puppy Linux ( thanks Puppy).I formatted my hard drive & again made a separate partition for my home directory. I copied the home files from the removable drive to the new partition. I cannot access my home files from the new Ubuntu install. I get a message that the file is root, & I do not have permission.

I used Puppy to change the permissions, I can now get access but each file has a "padlock icon"in the corner. I cant change the permission with SU in Ubuntu. Have spent hours trying to no avail. Am in 70s & hate the terminal command line. Could someone please help me to get rid of the **padlock. Is there an alternative to Ubuntu that is not so restrictive with SU permissions & preferably has a graphical interface for root?. Frustrated.


I cant change the permission with SU in Ubuntu.

Use sudo (not su), and change ownership, not permissions, unless you're totally sure the ownership is already correct.

If you are logged in on the Ubuntu system, them you can get ownership of your home folder and all its contents by running:

sudo chown -R $USER:$USER $HOME

That can entered (copied and pasted, or typed in) exactly; you do not need to (and should not) replace USER or HOME with anything.

If you cannot log in to the Ubuntu system and are accessing it on an Ubuntu live CD/DVD/USB or from another Unix-like OS (such as Puppy Linux), then this command will probably do what you want (an Ubuntu system's first user almost always has UID 1000):

sudo chown -R 1000:1000 /home/username

For that command, you do have to replace username with your actual username on the Ubuntu system.

  • I love u Eliah, it worked – john Aug 13 '13 at 5:19

I think that you can open the file manager (nautillus) by right clicking inside it and select open as root.

Alternatively, In the command line you could type-

gksudo nautillus

which would open the file manager as root and here you can modify the file permissions.

PS. it could be nautilus also.

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