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How To Fix “Read-only file system” Error in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 11

In Ubuntu, you might sometimes encounter a “Read-only file system” error. This error can occur when you’re trying to create a folder or file using the sudo command. This article will guide you through several methods to fix this error.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Read-only file system" error in Ubuntu, you can try several solutions. First, use the fsck command to check and repair file system errors. If that doesn’t work, you can use GParted from a live USB/DVD to check and repair the partition. Another solution is to disable Fast Startup in Windows if you’re dual-booting. Additionally, you can use the ntfsfix command to fix NTFS-related problems on the disk. If you’re still facing issues, seek help from the Ubuntu community.

Understanding the Error

The “Read-only file system” error usually occurs when the system thinks a file system or partition is potentially damaged. To prevent further damage or data loss, it automatically mounts it in read-only mode. This means you can read files, but you can’t modify them.

Solution 1: Using fsck Command

The fsck command is a system utility that checks and repairs file systems in Unix and Unix-like operating systems.

sudo fsck -n -f

In this command, -n makes fsck run in a ‘no’ mode where it only checks but doesn’t repair any errors it finds. The -f option forces fsck to check the file system even if it’s marked as clean.

After running this command, reboot your machine. This should fix the error if it was due to minor file system issues.

Solution 2: Using GParted from a Live USB/DVD

If you have a live Ubuntu USB or DVD, you can use it to boot your system and then use GParted, a free partition editor, to check and repair the partition.

To do this, boot from the live USB/DVD, open GParted, and select the partition causing the issue. Then, use the check/repair feature to fix any errors. If you don’t have a live disk, you can use a tool like PartedMagic.

Solution 3: Disable Fast Startup in Windows

If you’re dual-booting Windows with Ubuntu, the “Fast Startup” option in Windows can cause this error. Fast Startup is a feature in Windows that allows your computer to start up faster after shutdown. However, it can cause issues with mounting file systems in Ubuntu.

To disable Fast Startup, go to Control Panel -> Power Options in Windows and disable Fast Startup. Then, reboot into Ubuntu and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 4: Using ntfsfix Command

If you’re accessing an HDD from different operating systems (e.g., Windows and Linux), the disk may have an unclean file system. The ntfsfix command can fix this.

sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1

Replace /dev/sdb1 with your partition path. This command tries to fix NTFS-related problems on the disk. If the disk is not mounted automatically after this, create a mount point and mount the disk manually.

sudo mkdir /media/[mount point]
sudo mount -o rw /dev/sdb1 /media/[mount point]

In the mount command, -o rw option ensures that the file system is mounted in read-write mode.

Solution 5: Fixing NTFS File System Errors

For dual-boot systems, especially with Ubuntu and Windows, the NTFS file system can cause the “Read-only file system” error. To fix this, unmount the disk causing the issue and run the ntfsfix command.

sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda3

Replace /dev/sda3 with your partition path. This command fixes NTFS-related problems on the disk.

Conclusion

These solutions should help you fix the “Read-only file system” error in Ubuntu. Always remember to backup your important data before attempting any disk repairs or modifications. If you’re still facing issues, consider seeking help from the Ubuntu community.

What does the “Read-only file system” error mean in Ubuntu?

The "Read-only file system" error occurs when the system detects potential damage to a file system or partition and automatically mounts it in read-only mode to prevent further damage or data loss. This means you can only read files but cannot modify them.

How can I fix the “Read-only file system” error using the fsck command?

To fix the error using the fsck command, open a terminal and run the command sudo fsck -n -f. The -n option makes fsck run in a ‘no’ mode where it only checks but doesn’t repair any errors it finds. The -f option forces fsck to check the file system even if it’s marked as clean. After running this command, reboot your machine to see if the error is resolved.

Can I use GParted to fix the “Read-only file system” error?

Yes, if you have a live Ubuntu USB or DVD, you can use GParted, a free partition editor, to check and repair the partition causing the error. Boot your system from the live USB/DVD, open GParted, select the problematic partition, and use the check/repair feature to fix any errors. If you don’t have a live disk, you can use a tool like PartedMagic.

How can I disable Fast Startup in Windows to resolve the “Read-only file system” error?

To disable Fast Startup, go to Control Panel -> Power Options in Windows and disable the Fast Startup option. This feature can cause issues with mounting file systems in Ubuntu when dual-booting with Windows. After disabling Fast Startup, reboot into Ubuntu and check if the error is resolved.

How can I use the ntfsfix command to fix the “Read-only file system” error?

If you’re accessing an HDD from different operating systems, like Windows and Linux, the disk may have an unclean file system causing the error. You can use the ntfsfix command to fix this. Run the command sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1, replacing /dev/sdb1 with your partition path. This command attempts to fix NTFS-related problems on the disk. If the disk is not mounted automatically after this, you can create a mount point and manually mount the disk using the commands sudo mkdir /media/[mount point] and sudo mount -o rw /dev/sdb1 /media/[mount point].

Can the NTFS file system cause the “Read-only file system” error in dual-boot systems?

Yes, especially in dual-boot systems with Ubuntu and Windows, the NTFS file system can sometimes cause the "Read-only file system" error. To fix this, unmount the disk causing the issue and run the ntfsfix command. Use the command sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda3, replacing /dev/sda3 with your partition path. This command fixes NTFS-related problems on the disk.

What should I do if none of the provided solutions fix the “Read-only file system” error?

If you have tried all the solutions mentioned in this article and are still facing the error, it is recommended to seek help from the Ubuntu community. You can visit the Ubuntu community website and ask for assistance with your specific issue.

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