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BTW, that typo you gave is exactly why you shouldn't make your normal user a superuser. One little typo can hose your system as the superuser, but not as a normal user (you can still, of course, hose your data). As others have suggested, use sudo to gain root priviliges. As for your problem, if you're using a distro with a package manager that track permissions, you can "fix" the perms to everything by basically reinstallinmg all the RPMs. An easy way to do this is to use your boot CD and do an upgrade, which willreinstall all the RPMs. You may still lose some customizations though.