Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My question is why can't I set permissions on a file in /root?

I'm stumped. This bash script run from cron as a non-root user

# Charles M. Norton 01/07/2013
# Emails df to some folks.

df | mail -s "Disk Usage For" \ 

just started throwing out this error df: /root/.gvfs: Permission denied`, after an upgrade to our Centos 6 list server.

OK, so I'm going to fix this by having this run as root out of cron, but for some reason I cannot set the permissions on .gvfs as root.

I tried this as a workaround. I cannot figure out why chmod 755 .gvfs does not work, when command is issued by root.

[root@public ~]# ls -lda .gvfs
dr-x------. 2 root root 0 Feb 23 10:53 .gvfs

[root@public ~]#

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Any user that tries to modify the permissions of the files and directories inside /root needs execution permissions for /root itself. Since the same happened to .gvfs, I suspect that the permissions of /root got somehow altered as well.

Try executing this as root:

chmod 700 /root
chmod 755 /root/.gvfs
share|improve this answer
Thanks. I missed the obvious. – octopusgrabbus Feb 26 '13 at 19:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.