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can't change file permission

On my hard drive everything is fine, but when I go onto my external drive I can't chmod. I get no error message but the changing simply doesn't take place.

I have tested it and it works fine when I'm on my laptops hard drive.

The same goes for creating symbolic links, I can create symbolic links on my hard drive but when I try to do it on my external drive I get:

failed to create symbolic link, Operation not permitted

What is the problem?

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marked as duplicate by Michael Mrozek Jul 23 '12 at 14:51

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Check how you mounted it, I suspect it is read-only. –  lynxlynxlynx Jul 23 '12 at 11:20
    
to core folder of the external drive is 700, and chmod doesn't work on that either. –  Hermann Ingjaldsson Jul 23 '12 at 11:22
    
Are you able to log in as the root? Also try using the sudo command. You haven't mentioned what OS you are using. –  Kevdog777 Jul 23 '12 at 12:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

What file system is on your external drive? Are you sure it supports concepts like owner, permissions and symbolic links? FAT32, for example, doesn't support these things, so you won't be able to use utilities like chmod, and Windows "shortcuts" are not the same as UNIX symlinks.

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I don't know what file system it has, how do i get that information? –  Hermann Ingjaldsson Jul 23 '12 at 11:26
1  
That depends on what OS you are using - but as a starting point, you can try df -T and mount - both should give the file system type. –  D_Bye Jul 23 '12 at 11:31
    
my external drive is on the good old vfat system. is there any way to change that to ext4 without formatting? –  Hermann Ingjaldsson Jul 23 '12 at 11:37
    
Not that I am aware of - those two file systems are so vastly different, that I suspect the only way to change is to bite the bullet and reformat. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. –  D_Bye Jul 23 '12 at 11:40

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