I stupidly ran sudo chown -R carlos:carlos / and carlos is my user. This changed all files to be Carlos and I could not boot up again (because the root files were now owned by #1000) and I cant get sudo acess in live cd (because the owner of /usr was changed to my user). Can anyone help me? FYI I have mounted my hard drive.


You could spend a bunch of time trying to repair this, your best bet is to just reinstall over your existing installation and doublechecking that you don't format the partition.

You'll lose the packages you have installed and have to reinstall them, but it's much less work than reconstructing the permissions on your system.

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    Will this erase ~? If it does, it's probably a good idea to backup ~ first. After the reinstall, you can replace the new ~ with the old ~ afterwards and keep your old settings. This will save you lots of time. – Exeleration-G Jun 25 '12 at 21:18
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    No, by default a reinstall will preserve ~, but you're right, keeping backups is always a good idea. – Jorge Castro Jun 25 '12 at 21:21
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    Actually, depends if the /home drive is on a separate mount point in my experience, because from what I've done when trying to reinstall, Ubuntu NEEDS to erase the mount point of / to reinstall it's OS... – Dominic Hayes Jul 2 '16 at 18:53

It worked from me, hope it helps someone. If this doesn't work reinstall is always an other option.

On booting time:
Select Advanced Options for Ubuntu.
Switch to ubuntu recovery mode.
Select root option from the list of Options.
Enter the commands below:

mount -o remount,rw /
mount --all
chown root:root /usr/bin/sudo
chmod 4755 /usr/bin/sudo
  • I just used this to solve my own issue. How did the change in the ownership of sudo occur. I have Webmin installed, did that change it ? – George Udosen Dec 20 '16 at 16:06
  • Worked for me after changed the chown of /use/bin /use/share by mistake, big thx :) – zatamine Nov 4 '17 at 11:52
  • I hope this gets more upvotes. I'm very much against the "reformat" or "reinstall" option. – Lorax Aug 7 '18 at 9:54
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    worked for me to regain sudo and for re-constructing permissions i downloaded virtual machine of the same distro in other PC created facl (ACL file) uploaded to Public S3 wget in infected one and restored permissions and reboot. :) – harsh zalavadiya Jan 4 '19 at 4:55
  1. Boot into recovery mode (follow 1 to 8 from this link). Item 8 is very important.

  2. By typing in the root terminal there, change the ownership of the sudoers.so file: chown 0 /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so.

  3. Then chmod 644 /usr/lib/sudo/sudoers.so.

  4. Restart your computer.

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