Huge Permissions problem/mistake

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Huge Permissions problem/mistake

Post by hall.scott.100 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:17 am

So, I really screwed up today! I was getting frustrated with changing some music permissions, because I was having to go and do each one individually. Finally, I though to myself, "Let's just hit good ole' ctrl-a and select all of my artist folders, and then check the box to apply the changes to all of my sub-folders as well!" I had a long list of artists, so I couldn't see, and didn't realize that when I hit Ctrl-a it selected ALL of my folders - every one on the computer.
The long and short of it is that I changed the permissions on every file on my computer, including the linux files, to my username being the only one to access them, but that I had full access. Now the computer itself cannot access them, even to login. When I try to login it says that I don't have permissions on 644 files and then that "your last login attempt lasted less than 10 seconds..." and the details show that the computer didn't have permission to access several of the necessary files to login.

I would greatly appreciate any help that anyone might be able to give, I'm running off of a boot cd (I'm using Celena 3.1 by the way) but even through the cd can't seem to find any of my files to try to modify them back.

Thanks for your help!!

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Re: Huge Permissions problem/mistake

Post by Acid_1 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:28 am

can't you only edit system file permissions as root. if that's so, what were you doing as root in the gui for? anyhow, yes, you're in a pickle. my advice, hopefully you backed things up, and reinstall.

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Re: Huge Permissions problem/mistake

Post by dracorX » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:42 am

well... it is a problem...

When you DONT have a backup, I would preceed as following: start the live disc, and unmount the now corrupt filesystem of your old HD...

Then you should only have the filesystem of the livecd mounted... switch to / directory and make an ls -l (including subdirectories, dont know parameter by heart) and directly redirect it with ">>" to the file permissions. Now open it in Open Office Spreadsheet and rearrange the line so they fit the chmod command parameters
add the chmod at the beginning. Remount the hd with the corrupt files. In the permissions file, add the mount path before the directories (you can do that by search and replace automatically)
Save the file on an usb and make it executable. now run it with sudo ./ It will at least reset the file permissions for the standard files. So your pc should be running again from the hard disk. Then uninstall and reinstall programs that don't work anymore...


!!! Take care... If done carefully, it SHOULD work... However I cannot guarantee anything and I'm not committed enough to reproduce your problem on my personal PC !!! It is highly messing round with your pc, you know !!! So do it on your own risk...

PS: a feedback if it worked would be nice, if you try


Re: Huge Permissions problem/mistake

Post by Guest » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:40 pm

That sounds like something that I would try, but I'm relatively new to Linux and haven't mess around with much of what you mention. I appreciate your feedback greatly, but I don't know enough to do what you mention. If you could put it in a little dumber english that would be very helpful.

Thanks All!!

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Re: Huge Permissions problem/mistake

Post by portamenteff » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:33 pm

Hmmm. I would open a terminal and type:
cd <directory of the harddrive>
chmod 777

You should be able to read, write, and execute everything on there now.
Blank CD: $0.25
Gnu-Linux ISO image: Free
Virus free surfing with Linux MInt: Priceless

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