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Due to some mishaps, I am unable to boot into Kubuntu at all. However, my data is still on the hard drive.

I managed to get one of the other two computers to which I have access to read the disk by booting into a liveCD session of kubuntu. The only storage medium to which I have access is a 30 GB data stick.

Here's where the trouble starts: In music alone, I have to back up about 60 GB. Obviously this is going to have to be split into chunks and moved over to the second spare PC until I can reinstall Kubuntu on my laptop. All of the data that needs backed up is behind a permissions wall, so while I can view it, I can't interact with it directly.

I know copying and moving through the terminal can get around this with sudo cp or sudo mv, but is there a way to first compress multiple folders in a single archive, then move it? (While we're on the subject, what compression method would be best for large volumes of music in MP3, WAV, and OGG format?)

  • Have a look at the file-roller command (If it is on your system) file-roller --help-all – Wilf Oct 23 '13 at 22:28
  • Also, if command line is the only option, try midnight commander – Wilf Oct 23 '13 at 22:35
  • I'm on a live disk. will this work still? – adsmz Oct 23 '13 at 23:08
  • ah. Being on a Live disk, it will not work, as I think it writes anything done to memory. But, if you try a Live USB of KUbuntu or some other operating system on a memory stick (it would only needs to 2GB to 8GB in size), it would save any changes. What operating systems are you using on the other PCs? Also, you may be able to reinstall Kubuntu to the hard disk, without rewriting the relevant partitions on the disk (If you try anything like this, be VERY careful. – Wilf Oct 24 '13 at 8:18
  • There is also another command - dd, which does mostly the same thing as cp - Look at this link here – Wilf Oct 24 '13 at 8:30
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MP3 and OGG are already well compressed, so I would just use the STORE level (no compression at all). WAV - go for maximum.

And, in making archives, all you need to do to archive is to read it the original meda file, no other permissiones needed IIRC, but

To change all the directories to 777 (-rwxrwxrwx):

find /home/yourname/music -type d -exec chmod 777 {} \;

To change all the files to 666 (-rw-rw-rw-):

find /home/yourname/music -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;
  • Just tried it, got a bunch of "Operation Not Permitted" Edit, tried again with sudo, accidentally put d instead of f in the second command. How screwed am I? – adsmz Oct 23 '13 at 22:50
  • I trid with sudo on a different folder, doing it exactly as you typed. The folder is now completely gone. That folder had all my music projects: sample, WIPs original works, album art. here's the console output pastebin.com/VcLcZJLY – adsmz Oct 24 '13 at 0:05
  • Can't access the pastebin.com at the moment - wifi proxy blocks it under 'Criminal Skills'. The command should only find the folder (d for directory) or regular file (f for file) and then exucute a command (chmod) to change the permissions. Have a look here to see the manual on that. The commands @kiloseven gave you should just make folders have permissions to be read, written to and executed for all users, and be read and written for any files. – Wilf Oct 24 '13 at 8:26
  • If doing any more first attempts, it would be probably be best to practice on a folder of less valuable data. – Wilf Oct 24 '13 at 8:27

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