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I created a folder on the command line as the root user. Now I want to edit it and its contents in GUI mode. How do I change the permissions on it to allow me to do this?

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You can use setfacl command. –  Ramesh Nov 13 '13 at 20:31
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If I understand you correctly, fire up a terminal, navigate to one level above that directory, change to root and issue the command:

chown -R user:group directory/

This changes the ownership of directory/ (and everything else within it) to the user user and the group group. Many systems add a group named after each user automatically, so you may want:

chown -R user:user directory/

After this, you can edit the tree under directory/ and even change the permissions of directory/ and any file/directory under it, from the GUI.

If you truly want any user to have full permissions on all files under directory/ (which may be OK if this is your personal computer, but is definitely not recommended for multi-user environments), you can issue this:

chmod -R a+rwX directory/

as root.

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How can I undo the last command you gave? –  TJonS Nov 15 '13 at 3:55
    
@TJonS The last command opens (almost) all permissions to everybody, so undoing it depends on which permissions you want to revoke. –  Joseph R. Nov 15 '13 at 10:24
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