Before I would write "sudo chmod 777" and then the name of the file or folder but now it doesn't seem to change any permissions. I looked at multiple tutorials on how to use chmod and can't figure anything out. I need to change permissions of a folder with a lot of files. How can I change the permissions of all the files in one go? I need to change the permissions from root to my user account. Running nautilus in gksudo only allows me to change the permissions 1 file by one which will take way to long to do. When I select multiple files at once and go to the permissions tab in the properties it just says that the owner is root and I cannot change it.


3 Answers 3


To recursively change a folder, all the files within any subfolders, all the files within and so on:

sudo chmod 755 -R <folder>

Try with:

  • You should not be changing ownership and permissions outside of your home directory, doing so can break ubuntu. chmod 777 is generally bad advice.
    – Panther
    Dec 20, 2013 at 17:18
  • @bodhi.zazen Thanks for the information. I edited. But I mentioned it as 0755.
    – user224082
    Dec 20, 2013 at 17:25
  • Thank you, just be aware that chmod -R on many system directories breaks ubuntu.
    – Panther
    Dec 20, 2013 at 17:57

Haven't you forgot a little -R? If with "folder" you mean a directory and its files, so chmod must be utilized recursively:

sudo chmod -R 777 [Directory]
  • Please use code tags: ``, and you might want to link to manual page, like this one.
    – Wilf
    Dec 20, 2013 at 16:50

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