I have messed up my sudoers file and I want to change the permission on it.

When I login in recovery mode, I cannot run the command chmod as it is read-only option.

I tried mount -o remount,rw / in recovery mode. Didn't work for me:

Err : Ext4-fs remount. Opts errors=remount-ro 

How can I boot into recovery mode and with read-write option?


I did some web searching on "Recover Mode Read Only" and came across this post on LinuxQuestions.org website.

  1. Shutdown the computer
  2. Boot into Recovery Mode --After BIOS load, hold down Shift key to access the grub menu --Once in grub menu, select the entry ending in "(recovery mode)"
  3. From the next menu selected option to enter Root Session
  4. At the root session, execute command mount -o rw,remount / to remount the filesystem as read-write
  • I get: "mount: special device remount does not exist" – Rishabh Agrahari Feb 3 at 18:54
  • 1
    @RishabhAgrahari You'll get that message if you added a space after "rw" in the command (ask me how I know :) ). It's as-written: mount(space)-o(space)rw,remount(space)/ – 8bitartist Apr 27 at 5:22
  • @8bitartist Lol, true. Why is it like this? – Rishabh Agrahari Apr 28 at 6:04

I always use following way to change into read/write mode

  • Login in Safe Mode
  • From the Menu just go to Grub option, it will give a message like Updating grub will mount your system in read/write mode. Just chose yes to mount your system in read/write mode. It will update your grub and will exit from Grub menu.
  • Finally login as root, your system will be in read/write mode.
  • You can also chose dpkg option from the menu to change file system to read/write mode.

It always worked for me. It helps when you don't remember the command to change into read/write mode.

Just give it a try..

  • what does "login in safe mode" mean? – gman Oct 10 '18 at 0:43
  • @gman: Safe Mode is kind of login without the GUI part! You can do so by holding Shift while your system restarts. You'll get a GRUB menu from where you can choose to login in SAFE MODE – Saurav Kumar Oct 15 '18 at 14:50
  • @gman recovery mode – mchid Jul 30 at 7:12

Since the answer is a bit old and did not work for me, I share with you my solution. I mistyped an option in fstab for the / directory (very bad, I know).

In order to mount in recovery mode with read write option the mentioned solutions did not work for me.

I simply chose the kernel with recovery mode option and pressed e to modify the boot parameter from ro to rw.

  • 1
    +1 for an alternate solution, even if it might not be ideal in many cases. – Stunts Sep 18 '15 at 23:22
  • 1
    Your answer is gold! – reexmonkey Aug 9 at 15:11

protected by Community Mar 4 '14 at 18:05

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.