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I cannot open any files on my Manjaro Linux laptop. I really can't remember why it happened but I restarted my computer and now I dont have read/write access to any folder or file even though I've logged in.

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Can you post the error which you are getting while trying to read/write a file. – pradeepchhetri Mar 17 '13 at 14:42
I'm getting a permission denied when trying to cd to Downloads for example – buffer0verflow Mar 17 '13 at 14:51
Can you post the output of this command: $ ls -la /home/ – pradeepchhetri Mar 17 '13 at 15:05
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 23.02.2013 21:50 ./ drwxr-xr-x 20 root root 4096 17.03.2013 10:43 ../ drwx------ 38 max users 4096 15.03.2013 05:44 max/ drwx------ 2 root root 16384 23.02.2013 19:18 lost+found/ – buffer0verflow Mar 17 '13 at 15:14
sorry i dont know how to format it line by line – buffer0verflow Mar 17 '13 at 15:16
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Check the mode at which the partition is mounted i.e whether it is mounted in read-only or read-write mode.

You can use mount command to check that. If this is the issue, then you can edit the /etc/fstab file.

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what should i see if my drive is r/w? – buffer0verflow Mar 17 '13 at 14:50
The safe way to check that is cat /proc/mounts. mount shows just the content of /etc/mtab - not necessarily the kernel's view on reality. Those lines contain "rw" or "ro". – Hauke Laging Mar 18 '13 at 19:07

Somehow you got all your files owned by root... try, as root:

chown -R user:group /home/user

where user is the user you log in as, group is the group you belong to (probably also called user, grep user /etc/passwd will give you something like:

user:x:1000:1000:Joe User:/home/user:/bin/bash

the second number is the group number).

Be extremely careful with what you do as root (or using sudo, it's the same thing), root is all-powerful and can easily destroy your system.

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If you want to chown to the primary group then you can simply use chown -R user: ... instead. And playing the smart ass: root can easily destroy most systems but since the invention of LSMs and file caps it's not all-powerful any more... ;-) – Hauke Laging Mar 18 '13 at 19:11

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