Ubuntu: Windows and Ubuntu/Linux permissions for folders on a common disk


After collating my music from various locations and OS's I'd been trying to sync the resulting 400GB+ directory to my home/music folder but kept ending up without ownership or permissions in first all, then some of the resulting files.

This was despite chown'ing the entire mount prior as well as chmod'ing both the source and destination directories full -rwx for user and group both before and after the sync. Using grsync to preserve owner/permissions/group in the GUI didn't seem to make any difference either.

So I mounted the drive in Win7 and with two clicks in the context menu removed the read-only protection that had somehow been mysteriously applied after it's time in Ubuntu 14.10 but could not be identified in chmod and it seemed to solve the problem.

My questions are:

  1. what was I doing wrong?
  2. Why did terminal tell me I had full ownership and permission both at the source and destination yet the files remained unreadable?
  3. And why did I stop dual-booting and do a full install of this time-wasting mule of an OS?

Hopefully someone can enlighten me and my perseverance will be rewarded.


For the future: it's better to ask one question so you can receive one answer, because the more questions you ask, the less likely you'll find someone that can answer all as they need to be an expert in multiple fields, which will become more and more unlikely the more questions you ask.

  1. From the problems you're having I can infer that you're using NTFS as your file system for both the Ubuntu /home and the Windows 7 X:\users directory. (Where X is the Windows drive letter you use) This is not wrong as such, but it takes an expert at both Windows and Ubuntu file permissions to make it work properly.

    So, I always also advise to have an OS partition for Windows under NTFS, an EXT4 for Linux and then:

    a. For the beginning user (not you), I advise to use FAT32 for a common data partition.

    b. For the average user, NTFS as a common data partition, but:

    1. To have X:\users separate from X:\home

    2. To create X:\home under Windows and set file permissions under Windows to System and Everyone

    3. Mount the entire NTFS partition under Ubuntu, allowing a /users with default Windows permissions and a /home with default Ubuntu permissions.

    4. Never move files to/from /users to /home but always copy and delete the original. (and vice versa too)

    c. For the expert: meh, whatever! Just don't mess it up!

  2. Probably because the ACLs under Windows were messed up.

  3. Hah! You want me to tell you why you did something? I'm sorry, but my right telepathy antenna is broken off and you're too far away from me to link directly to your computer right now. ;-)

    I got rid of Windows a long time ago: with wine I don't need Windows any more and my data has been safely migrated to ext4 a long time ago and if I now need to transfer anything, I just copy it to a FAT32 USB stick! (Mmmh, which actually makes me a beginning user according to my own definition!)


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