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So I did a dumb thing, I chowned /var to a single user and now I am getting errors everywhere,I had to add permissions so that mysql and lighthttpd would start, any easy way to revert changes or must I manually revert changes ?

I am getting errors like fopen: Permission denied when i run apt-get .

The above error can be fixed by running sudo chown -R man:root /var/cache/man

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No way to revert changes, but since it's an OpenVZ VPS, you can simply use tar -tvf to quickly overview the permissions in the default official templates available here and change yours appropriately. –  izx Sep 30 '12 at 8:35
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Chown it back to root. Then ask the httpd question elsewhere.

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I did that, I want to know I can revert changes to all folders or fix errors as they crop up ? –  HackToHell Sep 30 '12 at 8:22
    
change the whole thing back to root ownership: sudo chown -R /var –  fabricator4 Sep 30 '12 at 10:34
    
@fabricator4 You probably meant sudo chown -R root /var. However, the whole approach of recursively chowning /var back to root is a bad idea; a cursory examination of even the top-level contents of /var on a healthy system shows that not everything is owned by root! –  Eliah Kagan Oct 1 '12 at 3:17
    
Yes, you're right on both counts (I meant root:root) however looking at /var, everything is owned by root, it's just that the groups are different: whoopsi, mail, and local, mainly. Chowning back to root would certainly fix the update problem, but looks like it might be an issue for mail and bug tracker. /var/local may be empty in any case. –  fabricator4 Oct 1 '12 at 4:25
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See paste.ubuntu.com/1254258. (it was a few thousand chars too long to paste here). –  saleemrashid1 Oct 1 '12 at 17:04
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