Ubuntu – How to make read-only file system writable


At some point, the filesystem on my digital audio player has become read-only. I cannot copy files into it or remove files on it.

Are there some possible reasons for the player's file system to change permissions in this way?

I tried using chmod:

$ sudo chmod a+rw SGTL\ MSCN/ 
chmod: changing permissions of `SGTL MSCN/': Read-only file system

SGTL MSCN is the mount point of the digital audio player.

What else can I try to make it writeable?

Best Answer

If a filesystem has been mounted read-only, chmod will not work since it's a write operation too.

Try remounting it read-write:

sudo mount -o remount,rw '/media/SGTL MSCN'

If the device has a write lock on it (like SD memory cards), you need to turn it off. Hardware locks cannot be disabled by software. Note that the write lock on SD memory cards is located from the sight you see the letters near the up left corner and it looks like a very small switch.

Some filesystem drivers may also not support write operations, this is the case with the older NTFS module supported by Linux. For NTFS filesystems, be sure to use the ntfs-3g driver which should be picked automatically nowadays. If not, you can force the driver with something like:

sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o uid=$(id -u) /dev/sdb1 /mnt/

(where /dev/sdb1 has to be substituted for your block device and /mnt/ for your destination)

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