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Permission Denied woes.!!!

Posted on 2000-04-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I am getting "permission denied" errors.  I want to change permission so that I can modify files, LILO etc...  I use redhat 6.1, the gnome desktop.  I am home/hopkins, I need to be the root user.  how can I access as root.
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Question by:Mustard
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philiph_elvis earned 50 total points
ID: 2702727
Ok, to become root you use the "su" command.  Open up a terminal window and type "su" at the prompt.  You will be asked for the root password, which you supplied when you installed Linux.

You can then change file permissions with chmod.  Some background: files have three sets of permissions: owner, group, and other.  Each set corresponds to a different set of people:

Owner: the person who actually owns the file
Group: anyone in the same group as the owner
Other: everyone else.

To view the permissions and ownership of a file, use "ls -l".  This will show you three sets of permissions.  'r' means read, 'x' means eXecute, and 'w' means write.  the three sets correspond to owner, group and other.

So, to allow the current owner to execute a fuile, you would do:

chmod u+x filename

You can change file ownership using "chown".

The root user has absolute ability to change all permissions and ownership.  Other users can only operate on files for which they have appropriate permissions  and ownership.  Obviously you can't just change the ownership of a file which belongs to another user (you can 'give away' a file to someone, however).

In general you want to do as little as possible as root, to avoid damaging your system (since the root user could erase any file, for instance).
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by:Mustard
ID: 2704295
The answer pointed me in the right direction.  However, if i had no previous underestanding, it probably would not have worked.  I would have liked to see more "type this, then at this prompt type this, etc...."  overall, a good expaination.
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