[Solved] Programs 'working' yet 'not working' think an install attempt messed things up

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SteveH_66
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[Solved] Programs 'working' yet 'not working' think an install attempt messed things up

Post by SteveH_66 »

A couple of days ago, I tried to install a program that I needed which was not available in the repositories, a couple of them actually. The first program had you entering commands using curl or wget or some such. It failed to install. The second install was for the Nix repository, to use Nix packages on my install - they are supposed to be something like snaps or appimages or similar. It installed, but I could not get it to work, because the directories Nix used for data storage and such in my home directory had their ownership changed.

So I finally gave up on that too. Nix was easy to uninstall, they had an uninstall command for you to use and it uninstalled nicely, no problems.

But since, I have noticed a problem with at least one program, and I foresee more possible problems in the future. I tried to start up Google Earth, which had been working fine for months. It would not start. Not even thinking about the earlier ownership problems that failed install had put on the Nix directories, I figured that GE was messed up. So I uninstalled and reinstalled. It just would not start up, where it had started fine in the past - except for this morning.

So I suppose I have a couple of questions to ask, to try to straighten out this mess I have made. First, what command could that failed install have used or what changes could it have made which would be causing me these file/directory ownership problems - and any ideas about how to fix it?

The second is about how to handle this problem if no one can figure out what changes might have been made that are causing these problems.

I found out that Google Earth actually works, by some experimentation, but it does not work right. Even though GE installs in it's own folder in /opt , it sets itself up so that any user can use it. I opened up an instance of file browser as admin, and went to the /opt/google/earth/pro directory and double-clicked on GE Pro and it ran just fine. As root. But it will not run as a regular user.

So, do I go in and change the ownership permissions somehow on GE Pro or it's directory or what so that all users can use it? If so, what should I change the ownership properties to? Or should I just wait and see if someone knows what that failed install did to mess up my file/directory ownership properties and then apply that solution?

I am hoping that someone has run into this kind of problem before from something they did and can offer me an easy fix to whatever that messed up install attempt/fail did, so that I don't have to mess with ownership on a bunch of files and/or directories. I appreciate any help or insight anyone can give me into this problem, thanks
Last edited by SteveH_66 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:12 am, edited 2 times 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

sleeper12
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Re: Programs 'working' yet 'not working' think an install attempt messed things up

Post by sleeper12 »

Can you use Timeshift to go back to before you made those changes?

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Flemur
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Re: Programs 'working' yet 'not working' think an install attempt messed things up

Post by Flemur »

It sounds like you might have some files owned by root in your $HOME, so do this in a terminal (it's harmless):

Code: Select all

sudo chown -R $USER:$USER $HOME 
That Recursively changes the files under $HOME to $USER = you:

Code: Select all

echo $USER
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

SteveH_66
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Re: Programs 'working' yet 'not working' think an install attempt messed things up

Post by SteveH_66 »

Thanks sleeper12, I had uninstalled Timeshift for some reason, and when I reinstalled it I only had images too old to be useful. I think I uninstalled it because it was eating up too much disk space with images. I am not very familiar with the application, it seems like it might be good to use but I need to read up a lot more on it and learn how it works and how best to use it.

Thanks Flemur, that worked to get me back ownership of everything in my home directory. I am not sure that in the case of Google Earth that was the problem though. After I tried your solution, it still would not start up. So, I went into my home directory, then to the .googleearth directory. There was a folder in there, I do not remember the exact name of the folder but it ended -instance-lock. I had remembered seeing this folder before when working on the problem but didn't think much about it in my earlier attempts to get Google Earth working. Then I thought to myself, what good is a folder named lock? Only thing I could think of was that it was there to lock a program for some reason, or lock something in it.

It still had a padlock symbol on the folder. So I took a chance and deleted that folder, reasoning that maybe that was the problem. It might have been a foolish or wild chance to take but I figured not really - if worse came to worst I reasoned that I would just have to reinstall Google Earth Pro. After I deleted that directory, Google Earth Pro fired up and ran right away.

So, anyone having a problem with Google Earth or Google Earth Pro may be able to use that solution if it refuses to start for them as a regular user. Thanks again to both of you for your help.

I am wondering if I should not post a separate new topic about Google Earth and this problem, if that might help other users running into that problem who might miss this post in a search of the forums for "Google Earth" and similar search terms. Anyone think that would be a good idea, or just not bother? Whenever I stumble (and believe me, with what little I know about Linux it is definitely stumbling :lol: ) across a solution or possible solution to something I like to try to help my fellow newbies out if I can.

I think that is one of the strengths of Linux in general, and Mint in particular. The way other users really help each other out, and particularly how you more experienced users help us newbies out here in this forum. Thanks again for the help.
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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