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Complete Ubuntu newbie here, trying to make the switch but hitting a few walls.

I installed Ubuntu 15.10 last night on a new, blank hdd. It's the only OS on this system.

I would like to make some directories within my Documents folder, but when I try to create the folder (from the GUI) I get the error "Error creating directory:Permission Denied". Same behavior when trying to create a new document, or when trying to save the output from a program into any of the subfolders.

I can, however, create files or directories in the /home/user folder without issue.

I know there are many things which require elevated permissions in Ubuntu file management, but I can't believe that saving a document to my Documents folder would be one of them!

Is it normally possible to right-click-create a sub-folder of Documents, Pictures, etc? Or to save a document from a program?

This is the output of ls -ld ~ ~/Documents:

drwx------ 26 rick rick 4096 Mar 19 15:36 /home/rick
drw-r--r--  2 rick rick 4096 Mar 19 02:08 /home/rick/Documents
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    This is strange. can you open a terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and run the command ls -ld ~ ~/Documents. Then copy the output (using CTRL+SHIFT+C and not CTRL+C) and edit your question to add it. – Byte Commander Mar 19 '16 at 21:48
  • Glad it's not just me thinking this is odd.... – AreDubya Mar 19 '16 at 21:53
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~/Documents is missing the x permissions (execute). Please do a

chmod 755 ~/Documents

And you can add items to that directory. It should looks similar to

drwxr-xr-x 2 rinzwind rinzwind  4096 mrt  2 19:21 Documents

And to explain this: the permissions on a directory are a bit different to files.

  • "r" or "read" permissions means you can list items inside that directory.
  • "w" or "write permissions means you can create, rename, write and remove files inside that directory and edit the directory's attributes.
  • "x" or "execute" permissions means you can enter and access files and directories inside the directory.

So "execute" is a must to be able to do anything inside the directory.


  • "s" or "sticky" bit makes it so that only the owner can rename and remove files and directies inside the directory.
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  • Thanks Rinzwind! I'm excited to make Ubuntu my everyday OS and smoothing out the bumps helps to keep the enthusiasm going! – AreDubya Mar 19 '16 at 22:19
  • @AreDubya cool! Just keep it up and you'll get there. Took me 1/2 a year to get the hang of it (but that was when the 2nd release of Ubuntu came out so I am a bit ahead of you). Just keep at it. – Rinzwind Mar 19 '16 at 22:24
  • Will do! This is the first of two systems I am converting this weekend, so I'll be back. Thanks for the extra info, I'm really trying to build some understanding. – AreDubya Mar 19 '16 at 22:43

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