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Whenever I try to install or remove something using terminal it gives the following error message:

bluebird@bluebird:~$ sudo apt-get update
sudo: /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so must be only be writable by owner
sudo: fatal error, unable to load plugins
bluebird@bluebird:~$ sudo apt-get remove vlc
sudo: /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so must be only be writable by owner
sudo: fatal error, unable to load plugins
bluebird@bluebird:~$ sudo apt-get install apt-file
sudo: /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so must be only be writable by owner
sudo: fatal error, unable to load plugins
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are you trying to install from non-admin account? –  Shamim Hafiz Dec 31 '12 at 6:55
    
yes.....but using sudo commands we can also perform the required task as an administrator. i always install/remove programs this way. today i installed vlc player through ubuntu software centre. after that i noticed such error. i remove vlc using soft centr. but no help. –  Loy Dec 31 '12 at 7:08
1  
Hi Loy, welcome to Askubuntu. I want to encourage you to use some formatting in your question. That makes it easier to read it. One practical question: can you run ls -al /usr/lib/sudo/ and tell us what the permissions are for sudoers.so? –  don.joey Dec 31 '12 at 7:16
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2 Answers

Try this,

ls -l /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so

If the first word of the output is something other than

-rwxr-xr-x

we have to remove the write permissions from group and others.

pkexec chmod go-w /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so
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22h has it right, but because of the sudoers.so issue, you won't be able to run sudo to fix the permissions.

So you are going to have to drop to a root shell as described here: How do I boot into a root shell?

(Essentially rebooting, holding the left Shift key for Grub to come up, "Advanced Options" "recovery mode" "network" and "root").

Then you will need to:

chown root:root /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so
chmod 644 /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so

Which should solve this issue.

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Alternately, if su is installed, you can use it to switch users to root, assuming you know the root password. I think it's one of the default packages, but I can't say for sure. (I only use Ubuntu server so not sure if the client install prompts you to set the root password) –  Powerlord Mar 7 at 15:33
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protected by Community Mar 7 at 15:43

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