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So I have a duplicity-based backup script which is run periodically as root thanks to anacron. It runs as root because I'm backing up about the whole file system (save for /tmp, /sys, etc), and also because anacron makes it uneasy to have user related jobs (even though I know "quick" workarounds exist)

My concern is that since the backup is run as root, the files are owned by root, and every subsequent operation on the backups (like duplicity verify) also needs root access to happen. I have no problem with having to sudo to check the integrity of the backup or to occasionally recover a file, but here comes my question:

Assuming my system completely dies, and I'm only left with the backups, will I be able, as the root of another system to chown or chmod 644 those backups files owned by a now "dead" root in order to recover my data?

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Yes,

The user id of root is always 0. It is hardcoded in the kernel.

So any root user on any system that can get to that backup will be able to give you access to that backup. That includes allowing you to chmod, chown on that backup file.

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