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All of a sudden my home dir turned to be owned by user '1016':

drwxr-xr-x 96  1016  1016 20480 Apr  2  2010 albert
drwxr-xr-x 32 guest guest  4096 Mar 16 13:46 guest

I don't understand how that changed. I just noticed because I couldn't write files or anything on my home directory during my open session. I rebooted and complained of 'cannot creat file .ICEauthority'.

What could have caused this weird change in ownership to owner 1016? A virus perhaps?

I logged in as guest and did a ssh albert@localhost to then do a: sudo chown -R albert:albert /home/albert/. Is that going to be enough?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Thanks @IlluminAce for the answer:

This seems to be a common complaint; if the veetle installation script is run as root, then ownership of your home directory is changed as you describe. Apparently, Veetle should only be installed as your user, not root.

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I would have expected you to use:

sudo chown -R albert:albert /home/albert

As for why; have you installed any new programs recently?

In response to your comment regarding having installed Veetle, I ran up a 64-bit 12.04 VM, installed ia32-libs, and tried installing Veetle as root. The first thing I noticed is a warning message prior to installation:

You are running this script as root. Veetle recommends against installing
on the superuser account. We suggest you press <Control-C> now and reinstall
on the user account you typically use to run Firefox or Mozilla.
Press <ENTER> to continue installing anyway as root.

However, since this comes directly after paging through a multi-page licence agreement, and looks identical at first glance to the acceptance prompt for the licence, I grant you it isn't easy to spot.

I continued with the installation. Post-installation, I saw the following:

ace@ace9:~$ ls -l /home
total 4
drwxr-xr-x 21 1016 1016 4096 Apr  2  2010 ace

ace@ace9:~$ ls -la /home/ace | grep 1016
drwxr-xr-x 21 1016 1016     4096 Apr  2  2010 .
drwxr-xr-x  5 1016 1016     4096 Apr  2  2010 .mozilla
drwxr-xr-x  3 1016 1016     4096 Apr  2  2010 .veetle_vlc

Therefore, to fix this, I suggest running:

sudo chown -R albert:albert /home/albert
sudo rm -r ~/.veetle_vlc/
sudo rm -r ~/.mozilla/plugins/libveetle*

You can then reinstall Veetle as your user:

./veetle-0.9.17-linux-install.sh

and all should be well.

Veetle should consider exiting the script if the executing user is root, or at the very least default to aborting the installation (and require the user to type 'y' if they wish to proceed regardless, for example), instead of causing damage to people's systems. Something like:

WARNING
Veetle should NOT be installed as root. 
Please exit and install under your normal user account. 
Continue with installation anyway? [n]:

I can't see a bug tracker for Veetle on their website; you may wish to consider contacting them directly to request this.

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I installed the veetle software from veetle.com/download/veetle-0.9.17-linux-install.sh –  213441265152351 Mar 16 '13 at 21:14
1  
This seems to be a common complaint; if the veetle installation script is run as root, then ownership of your home directory is changed as you describe. Apparently, Veetle should only be installed as your user, not root. –  IlluminAce Mar 17 '13 at 2:48

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