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I was a newb and chown'd the usr/bin folder. I'm going to reinstall but I'd really like to be able to save a tarball I created of all the important files (passwords and such). However ubuntu refuses to connect to the internet or recognize usb drives and CDs. Alt+F2 freezes the system and I end up having to restart.

The errors I get when I attempt such tasks are simply "Permission denied."

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Very important: what command did you use? –  Rinzwind Feb 16 '13 at 19:42
    
'chown -R name:name /usr' pretty sure i wrecked the OS. –  Nicholas Pickering Feb 16 '13 at 19:53
    
and I cancelled it halfway through when I realized something wasnt right. –  Nicholas Pickering Feb 16 '13 at 19:54
    
Ah crap. I assumed you did a 777 –  Rinzwind Feb 16 '13 at 19:56
    
ok I am done. see of the 2nd part works for you. But maybe it is just as easy to do this from the live disc ;) –  Rinzwind Feb 16 '13 at 20:04
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Possible best and easiest method: you can use a live cd to burn that tar file to a CD or DVD. Since it will use the live cd's /usr/bin it will be able to use the dvd/cd player. Just mount the disc that has the tarfile and burn it.


Alernative to try and do it from your system:

  • Reboot the machine.
  • Press the ESC key while GRUB is loading to enter the menu.
  • If there is a ‘recovery mode’ option, select it and press ‘b’ to boot into single user mode. Otherwise, the default boot configuration should be selected. Press ‘e’ to edit it.
  • Highlight the line that begins with ‘kernel’. Press ‘e’ again to edit this line.
  • At the end of the line, add an additional parameter: ‘single’. Hit return to make the change and press ‘b’ to boot.

Commands to reset sudo file:

chown root:root /usr/bin/sudo
chmod u+s /usr/bin/sudo
  • Reboot and try to burn the tar file (hopefully only the wrong permissions for sudo is the problem).
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OK, I'm running the live CD, but I'm not sure what you mean by "mount the disc". I just looked it up, but I don't really comprehend. I'm not going to be able to take the live CD out while I'm running ubuntu off of it, right? –  Nicholas Pickering Feb 16 '13 at 20:15
    
Oh, I figured it out. –  Nicholas Pickering Feb 16 '13 at 20:20
    
I was able to copy the tarball to a USB Drive after I ran Live CD, and mounted the original partition. From there I was able to view all of the files from the corrupt installation and copy my tarball to a USB drive. Thank you kindly, Rinzwind. –  Nicholas Pickering Feb 16 '13 at 20:27
    
no problem @NicholasPickering :D Glad you got it figured out, and please do not do this again ;) –  Rinzwind Feb 16 '13 at 20:47
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