[Solved] Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

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SteveH_66
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[Solved] Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by SteveH_66 »

I don't know how it happened, but sometime between the time I went to sleep last night and when I woke up this morning, most everything is not working on my system. It seems to be, from what I can tell, permission related. At first I thought it was just home folder related. Then I thought it was related to a root directory, such as /usr, because the error message in some of my programs says "can't write to such and such in /usr/yada/yada/yada" or some other directories.

My first clue that something is wrong was update manager. When I awoke, there was a message up that it couldn't access such and such, something or another was messed up, sorry dude. I wish I could give you the exact error message, but unfortunately I didn't copy & save it at that time, and now Update Manager will not even load - I don't even get a popup error message box or anything to get it from.

When I was researching chmod, trying to figure out if I just needed to take back ownership of my home directory, when I clicked on a link in the search results it was a pdf file. In Waterfox (fork of Firefox) it is set to pop-up that screen asking you what you want to do with the file. Instead, I got the message "could not be saved, because the disk, folder, or file is write-protected.

Write-enable the disk and try again, or try saving in a different location"

Whenever I try to open Firefox or Opera, for Firefox it says "Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system." Even though it is NOT running, and I can NOT find an instance of it running under System Monitor. When I try to run Opera, it gives me a popup message "Can't open user profile directory, because you lack sufficient privileges. You might want to contact the administrator of this machine."

I HIGHLY suspect that if I ever close this Waterfox window, it isn't going to start up and I'm going to be getting access via a Live disc. By the way, when I try to use the FVD Speed Dial extension, now I am getting this message about I need to make sure I add FVD Speed Dial to the exceptions list for "never save history setting" in Firefox (which is what Waterfox shows up as to most sites, extensions, etc) or set Firefox to Save History in Preferences - except for one thing, I have not changed that setting, and when I go into preferences, it shows History set to "Save History". I am guessing that is because Waterfox isn't able to write to it's profile directory.

Other programs give me other messages.

Qalculate (calculator program) : "/usr/share/applications/mate-system-monitor.desktop = (((microsteradian ∕ (second ⋅ hektoare)) ∕ (are ⋅ picolink ⋅ centiare ⋅ tonne ⋅ i ⋅ nanosecond)) ∕ (milliare ⋅ tonne ⋅ e)) − (second ⋅ yoctosecond ⋅ tonne ⋅ e ⋅ meter) − (meter ⋅ i ⋅ tonne ⋅ day ⋅ e ⋅ second ⋅ kilotonne)
- Misplaced operator(s) "/" ignored
- "p" is not a valid variable/function/unit.
- "o" is not a valid variable/function/unit.
- "on" is not a valid variable/function/unit.
- "or." is not a valid variable/function/unit.
- "op" is not a valid variable/function/unit." (This is where it is trying to add various measurement unit variables, as I am sure you can guess by looking at it, and tries to access a website to update currency prices for various world currencies - which it can't do because it can't access some folder, probably /usr (root folder?).).
And when I try to close it : "Couldn't write preferences to
/home/steve/.qalculate/qalculate-gtk.cfg" (a Home folder).

I do not know how this could have gotten messed up. In the last couple of days I have not installed any new programs, or updates that I know of. Just went to sleep and Mint was working fine, woke up and Update Manager has run for the hills and I am getting error messages - either "can't write to some directory" or "such and such is already running, you need to yada yada". Unless I rolled over in my sleep and by some (extremely unlikely?) coincidence hit some super secret key or combination-of-keys that I don't about that Linux or Ubuntu or Mint put in at whatever level, I can't think of what I could have done that would have caused this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Last edited by SteveH_66 on Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
System 1: Acer-Aspire V3-472P-324J. Hardware : 14" Touch Screen dual-band 2.4GHz & 5.0GHz Acer Nplify wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n); BT 4.0; OS : Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa; Kernel: 4.4.0-96 (64 bit) MATE 1.12.0
AscLinux
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Re: Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by AscLinux »

The first thing I'd check is if the filesystem is mounted read-only. In case of filesystem corruption kernel protects the content by remounting the filesystem in question read-only. If this is the case then you need to investigate what is causing it, dying hard drive, bad cable, etc.
SteveH_66
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Re: Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by SteveH_66 »

AscLinux wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:41 pm
The first thing I'd check is if the filesystem is mounted read-only. In case of filesystem corruption kernel protects the content by remounting the filesystem in question read-only. If this is the case then you need to investigate what is causing it, dying hard drive, bad cable, etc.
How do you check if the filesystem is mounted read-only? Using the Mate desktop by the way. Thanks

Edited: Added additional information
System 1: Acer-Aspire V3-472P-324J. Hardware : 14" Touch Screen dual-band 2.4GHz & 5.0GHz Acer Nplify wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n); BT 4.0; OS : Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa; Kernel: 4.4.0-96 (64 bit) MATE 1.12.0
AscLinux
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Re: Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by AscLinux »

From terminal mount command will print all mounted volumes along with actual mount options in effect.
SteveH_66
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Re: Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by SteveH_66 »

AscLinux wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:28 pm
From terminal mount command will print all mounted volumes along with actual mount options in effect.
I ran mount in terminal. I can post the whole output here if that would help with running down the problem. The first entry in the () after each entry had rw, which I assume means that that entry/resource is read and write. But there was a warning posted, it said :

Code: Select all

mount: warning: /etc/mtab is not writable (e.g. read-only filesystem).
       It's possible that information reported by mount(8) is not
       up to date. For actual information about system mount points
       check the /proc/mounts file.
Does this show anything that catches anyone's eye? Thanks
System 1: Acer-Aspire V3-472P-324J. Hardware : 14" Touch Screen dual-band 2.4GHz & 5.0GHz Acer Nplify wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n); BT 4.0; OS : Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa; Kernel: 4.4.0-96 (64 bit) MATE 1.12.0
deepakdeshp
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Re: Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by deepakdeshp »

Boot from Live USB, choose fsck option for your / partition on HDD.
Or run command

Code: Select all

 sudo fsck -y /dev/sda1 /
. Replace sda1 with the partition on which you installed Mint,the / partition.
SteveH_66
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Re: Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by SteveH_66 »

deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:01 am
Boot from Live USB, choose fsck option for your / partition on HDD.
Or run command

Code: Select all

 sudo fsck -y /dev/sda1 /
. Replace sda1 with the partition on which you installed Mint,the / partition.
Thank you deepakdeshp, I was able to solve the problem in a bit different way, using fsck. While doing research, I came across some articles about using this command. One of them said to reboot and go into recovery mode, but I was unable to reboot. So I took a chance, and just did a hard power-down. When I started back up, I was able to get into the recovery mode. From there I don't remember if the first screen offered FSCK specifically, but it did offer repair filesystem at one point or another. I chose that, and let the process run through.

When it came up, everything seemed to be working, although there were a couple of small problems. I shutdown and then restarted, and when Mint was back up everything seems to be working again. So I am just going to watch the system and see how things go, going fine so far. Update Manager seems to be working fine again, and I can start the programs and they seem to be running well.

Thank you all for your assistance, I greatly appreciate it. I will mark this topic solved, if I can remember how to do that :lol: , and unmark it solved if problems crop up later. Or start a new topic.
System 1: Acer-Aspire V3-472P-324J. Hardware : 14" Touch Screen dual-band 2.4GHz & 5.0GHz Acer Nplify wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n); BT 4.0; OS : Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa; Kernel: 4.4.0-96 (64 bit) MATE 1.12.0
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Re: [Solved] Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by deck_luck »

When Linux freezes a file system it is usually a result of a hardware problem. A bug in the ext4 file system is extremely rare, but it is possible.

As a proactive measure you should check the s.m.a.r.t status of your hard disk(s) using the disks utility or installing smartmontools. Also, you should run memory test grub boot option for an extended period of time (like overnight). If your manufacturer provided hardware diagnostic you should run them for an extended period as well.

I always run my computers and NAS on a UPS with automatic voltage regulator.
(AVR). Nasty spikes on the power lasting from a millisecond to nanoseconds can wreak havoc on your hardware.
🐧Linux Mint 19 XFCE 💡Give a friend a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a friend how to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime. ✝️ Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
deepakdeshp
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Re: [Solved] Somehow lost ownership of my home (at least) directory?

Post by deepakdeshp »

Thanks for letting know the solution.
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
Regards,
Deepak

I am using Mint 20 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB
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