I'm trying to change the permission for my .bashrc file in Ubuntu but don't seem to have permission. I've tried following the example here:

Open up publicity.html for reading and writing by anyone.

Before:  -rw-r--r--  publicity.html
Command: chmod og=rw publicity.html
After:  -rw-rw-rw-  publicity.html

Here's my terminal session:

username@ubuntu:/etc$ -rw-r--r-- bash.bashrc
-rw-r--r--: command not found
username@ubuntu:/etc$ chmod og=rw bash.bashrc
chmod: changing permissions of `bash.bashrc': Operation not permitted
username@ubuntu:/etc$ -rw-rw-rw- bash.bashrc
-rw-rw-rw-: command not found

Any ideas how I can do it?


The file is probably not owned by you. try

sudo chmod og=rw bash.bashrc

You can see who owns it with

ls -l

and you can change owner with

sudo chown username:username bash.bashrc
  • Fantastic. Works perfectly!
    – user20285
    May 29 '10 at 0:21

Looks like you entered -rw-r--r-- bash.bashrc as a command.
It's not a command itself but is part the output of the command ls -l bash.bashrc.


user@host:~$ ls -l /etc/bash.bashrc
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1939 2010-04-19 04:15 /etc/bash.bashrc

See Wikipedia for further information on the meaning of -rw-r--r--

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