problem with permissions of usb key

Todd Denniston Todd.Denniston at
Thu Feb 14 15:29:42 UTC 2008

Gianluca Cecchi wrote, On 02/13/2008 06:53 PM:
> Hello all.
> Only problem he reported lately was that when inserting an usb key, with
> normal user profile the access was read only, while logged as root had also
> write access.
<SNIP> system was updated to F8 DVD status, and yum updated in mid January.

Question, has it been updated to near the latest F8 updates by yum?  It is 
always _POSSIBLE_ that a yum update could fix things. :)  Of course if you 
have a much faster internet connection, you could be nice and take a yum repo 
copy on a big usb device.

<SNIP> messages indicating no reason for the device to be read only.
> Jan 26 17:53:15 tekkaman hald: mounted /dev/sdb1 on behalf of uid 500
were there any other message after this in the log, in the next second or two, 
concerning /dev/sdb1 or /media/KINGSTON?

> but actually on his pc the directory /media/KINGSTON is writable only by
> root
> Doing an iterated "ls -l" on my pc I see this sequence while inserting the
> usb key:
> [root at tekkaman valeria]# ll /media
> total 4
> drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2007-12-30 01:23 IPOD
> [root at tekkaman valeria]# ll /media
> total 8
> drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2007-12-30 01:23 IPOD
> drwx------ 2 root root 4096 2008-02-13 23:47 KINGSTON
> [root at tekkaman valeria]# ll /media
> total 36
> drwxr-xr-x 2 root    root  4096 2007-12-30 01:23 IPOD
> drwxr-xr-x 4 gcecchi root 16384 1970-01-01 01:00 KINGSTON
> So it seems a two (or more) step process....
> On his pc the dir remains actually
> drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 16384 1970-01-01 01:00 KINGSTON
> even if connected as a normal user to gnome session.
> Thanks for your opinions and suggestions.
> Gianluca

Assuming you mean that gcecchi logged into the console/gdm and no other user 
(including root) was logged in at the time.
Also assuming gcecchi is the username your friend logs in with.
[seeing the data above coming from a root login does not bode well for this 
assumption, thanks for including that info.]
When collecting future data I suggest, login as the user and `su -` as needed 
to execute commands as root only as required, such as to read /var/log/messages.
some of the above information seems strange, like
drwxr-xr-x 4 gcecchi root
Is gcecchi a member of the root group, and if so why?
the command `groups` will tell you all the groups you are a member of.

do you have entries in /etc/fstab for either /media/KINGSTON or /dev/sdb?? if 
so then I suggest, comment them out and retry.

After understanding the above, you are probably looking at a udev/hald rules 

Todd Denniston
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane)
Harnessing the Power of Technology for the Warfighter

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