How to Make Disk Drive and Partitions Writable on Ubuntu

By | September 3, 2020

When you install Ubuntu on your system, a common issue that pops up is that partitions other than the root partition are not writable by non-root users.

The same thing happens when you add an extra disk drive to your system. The disk or partition can be read through file managers like Nautilus or Dolphin but cannot be written to.

This happens because by default the mount points of these drives is owned by the user root and no other user can modify it.

Make drives writable

To make the other partitions or disks writable we need to change the permissions of the mount directory.

1. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where the drive or partition is mounted. For example it could be something like this:

/media/your_user_name/d046d112-22ec-48ce-86ef-dedc382f0516/

Just open the drive in your favorite file browser (Nautilus for gnome users, Dolphin for KDE users) and click the drive icon on the left panel to mount it and view its content.

Then press Ctrl+L to show the full path of the mount point in the url bar.

2. Once you know the mount point directory, now run the chmod command to grant all users write permissions on all contents of that drive (with recursive option).

Note the "dot" in the command points to current directory, assuming that you are inside the mount point directory.

$ sudo chmod -Rv a+w .
OR
$ sudo chmod -Rv a+w *

Or you could specify the full path of the mount directory

$ sudo chmod -Rv a+w /media/your_user_name/d046d112-22ec-48ce-86ef-dedc382f0516/

Now you should be to write to the drive normally. You can create files/folders and edit files.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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