When I type a sudo command into the terminal it shows the following error:

sudo: /etc/sudoers is owned by uid 1000, should be 0
sudo: no valid sudoers sources found, quitting
sudo: unable to initialize policy plugin

How do I fix this?


Change the owner back to root:

pkexec chown root:root /etc/sudoers /etc/sudoers.d -R

Or use the visudo command to ensure general correctness of the files (thanks to @KasiyA):

pkexec visudo
| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Easier way to fix it is: pkexec visudo – αғsнιη Aug 19 '14 at 19:21
  • Im having a problem i have an ec2 instance and I tried your solution and it asks for password. How do I mitigate this? – david Jan 4 '16 at 8:40
  • Well, that sucks; "The program 'pkexec' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing: sudo apt-get install policykit-1" – Koen. May 16 '16 at 21:41
  • @Koen. It is installed by default on Ubuntu (unless you're talking a server or minimal installation, perhaps). – muru May 16 '16 at 21:52
  • Indeed a server installation, but I fixed it by booting in single user mode. – Koen. May 16 '16 at 22:22

first run the following command

$ su -root

it will ask for password and then run following commands one by one

chown root:root /etc/sudoers 
chmod 440 /etc/sudoers
chown -R root:root /etc/sudoers.d
chmod  755 /etc/sudoers.d 
chmod  440 /etc/sudoers.d/*
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    On Ubuntu, root account is typically disabled, so this approach will not work. However, pkexec should work, if the only damage is to sudo's config. – vidarlo Feb 29 at 8:05

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