I can no longer write to my SD card using the GUI (Files 3.10.1). If I use the command line I can successfully write to the SD card, but using the GUI gives me "Destination is read-only".

Using the command line I am the same user as the GUI. No elevated permissions such as sudo are being used. I am able to write using the command line with the same user that is not able to write using the GUI.

I was able to write using the GUI just fine yesterday. There was an update(s) this morning to Ubuntu, not sure if that has caused this issue.

I am running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. To summarize, command line I can write, GUI I cannot.

edit: New test I just ran was to create a file using touch on the command line and deleting it via the GUI. I was successfully able to delete the file via the GUI. So I can delete, just not create/copy?

  • I'd like to know an answer to this. The only way I can copy files is via a terminal. I have no idea why the GUI complains but not a CLI command.... Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 19:50
  • 1
    The following link and links from it with more details may help you or at least explain what is the problem, askubuntu.com/questions/402236/…
    – sudodus
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 16:58
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of I Cann't Copy any file to My Pendrive
    – Melebius
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 8:07

2 Answers 2


This sounds very similar to this question; unfortunately I have not found an answer, but it may be worth checking out; I'd hate to have you go through the same diagnostic steps only to find out the same result.

  • Created a directory and changed the owner to myself all via the command line. Tried to copy a file into this new directory and still get the same error, "Destination is read-only". The drive itself works on Windows and has worked recently (yesterday) on Ubuntu. It's really confusing me why it no longer works. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 14:38
  • I have looked high and low for an answer to this; I have ultimately had to use windows to check / fix mine, after that it works fine again in Ubuntu. Unfortunately, mine have all eventually gone back to 'read-only' in Ubuntu, regardless of the method I use to copy files onto them.
    – snurfle
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 14:46

I had a similar problem with a USB stick Ubuntu 16.04. I could read the files but not write (even though I was able to delete files on the USB stick).

The solution I found was rebooting ubuntu with the usb stick in. The write permissions now work.

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