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Please, i am using Ubuntu 11.10 and I made a mistake in system directories, changed permissions of all content to 777. I was trying to correct some files, but i cant fix all directories and files. Can I return to default permissions??


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closed as too localized by Javier Rivera, mikewhatever, Ringtail, fossfreedom Mar 31 '12 at 22:24

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possible duplicate of How do you fix file permissions for root directory? – Javier Rivera Mar 27 '12 at 13:52
cant fix from first command: chown: can not get the target referenced by "/ etc /": File or directory not found --->> Sorry, not working! – Daniel Accorsi Mar 27 '12 at 14:30
Which command didn't work? you should be able to use chown – Christian Vielma Mar 27 '12 at 15:41
i am trying: sudo chown root.root /etc/* – Daniel Accorsi Mar 27 '12 at 15:43
up vote 3 down vote accepted
We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

#1) Respect the privacy of others.
#2) Think before you type.
#3) With great power comes great responsibility.

fdisk, format, reinstall, doo dah, doo dah. i.e.

root@loki:~# find /etc/ -type f -exec ls -al {} \; | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq
root@loki:~# find /etc/ -type d -exec ls -al {} \; | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq

some blanket chmod'ing and chowning in /etc is not going to fix this. you've made a proper mess of things, and a reinstall is the quickest and cleanest way to fix it RIGHT. any thing else, short of restoring content or images from backups is both a waste of time and incomplete.

chalk it up to experience (i've certainly hosed many an install learning), and move forward.

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Yes... i have some differences on my permissions... I will reinstall. Thanks. – Daniel Accorsi Mar 28 '12 at 18:09

Let's do this from the terminal

1) sudo -i

2) sudo chown root.root /etc/*

3) sudo chmod 755 /etc/*

4) exit

In case you need to reset the permissions on sudoers, the permissions should be set to:

1) chmod 440 /etc/sudoers

It is owned by root.root

I think most file system have permission of 755 for folders and 644 for files except for /bin which has executable files with root as owner.Hope this helps...


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Hi, thanks. Same I mentioned above when i using the second command: "chown: can not get the target referenced by "/ etc /": File or directory not found". – Daniel Accorsi Mar 27 '12 at 17:40

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