Summary: file permission question

From: mckinney (
Date: Wed Jul 01 1998 - 18:07:30 CDT

My Original Question was as follows

> I have a file in particular sendmail with the following permissions
> -r-sr-x--x and I can't seem to delete this file even as root because it
> says the file not found...

Thanx to the following people in no particular for their suggestions

Geoff Weller
Marc L. Herbert, Ph.D.
Adam Forsyth
Matt Massie
Jack Goldsmith
Matthew Stier
Daniel T Pigg
Igor Schein
Ian Wallace
Ackerson, Greg
Charlie Mengler

Solutions and other questions in no particular order:

2. The file might have non-printing characters in the file name, which means
the name must be enclosed in quotes (")
--> I checked this way not very helpful but was a good start

3. try: chmod o+w <filename> / rm <filename>
--> I tried this and it wouldnt let me.

4. Is this file a symbolic link pointing to a file that no longer exists?
--> No this was not a symbolic link. this is what I 1st thought but it
turned out to be
--> an SUID, SGID on futher digging

5. Did you do an fsck?
--> didnt want to do this on a production machine during working hours.

6. The filename may contain control character.
        Try doing an "ls | od -c". This should give you a hint if it has one or
        To remove one that does, use wild cards to replace the control character.
        Use "rm -i <filename with wildcards>" if you can't get a wild card pattern
        to isolate the problem filename. (The answer Y or N to delete or not delete
        the file.)
--> This helped greatly. it pointed me in the correct direction..

7. Try carefully doing a wildcard rm / rm -i * or rm -i int* you get the
        SORTA along the same premise as #6

8. You should be able to delete the file using the file manager. Open file
manager, then click on the oddly named file, and delete it.
--> I didnt think of doing it this way .. but by the time I figured it out
it was too late to use
--> the file manager ... but will try it next time ( but hopfully no next
time will occur )

9. Change the permissions of the file first.
--> I tried chmod 4777 , chmod 0000 , chmod 2777 etc....
--> but to no avail..

10. Do ls -b on that file, chances are it has unprintable characters in it.

11. do an ls -q to verify you have all the filename

12. chmod 777 / rm
--> see #9

--- Thanx once again this has proven to be a helpful list ...

-- rick

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