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Old 04-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
linux10.4
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Ubuntu Linux can't boot and I think I made it worse


So here's the deal:
I accidentally "chowned" a folder (I think it was my /home/username folder, but I'm not sure) to root instead of me (I think). Whatever I did, Ubuntu 10.04 would not boot because it "Could not update .ICEauthority - Permission denied."

This isn't the first time it's happened, so I booted up a live session, mounted the permanent installation (/dev/sda5, in case it matters) into a location I created for the purpose (/media/fix). In all, this is what I attempted:
Code:
sudo mkdir /media/fix
sudo mount /dev/sda5 /media/fix
sudo chroot /media/fix
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get dist-upgrade
exit
exit
sudo reboot
The same thing came again: "Cannot update /home/username/.ICEauthority - Permission Denied". However, it let me log in but unmounted and encrypted my drive. When I accessed the README.txt it told me the above and suggested I run:
Code:
ecryptfs-mount-private
I tried that, it asked for my login passphrase, I typed it in, and it still said permission denied.

Then, I tried the following:
Code:
sudo chown username /home/username/.ICEauthority
That returned an error saying that "/home/username/.ICEauthority doesn't exist". Back to square one.

In frustration, I made my huge error. I meant to type:
Code:
sudo chown username -R /home
I hoped that would solve the permission errors. I accidentally hit enter before finishing, so the command I actually gave was:
Code:
sudo chown username -R /
After that, and a couple minutes of waiting while everything under root got chowned by username (or tried to ... lots of things gave a "permission denied" error), I tried to do:
Code:
sudo reboot
It didn't work. I was told that I would need to be "uidroot" to use any "sudo" commands.

So, my question: is there a way to fix this, or is the only thing possible to reformat that partition and reinstall Linux? I have Windows on another partition, and I've saved everything important to the Windows partition anyway, so that would be doable, but I'd really like to get back to Linux without losing the programs and settings and all. Any help is much appreciated!
 
Old 04-05-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
snowpine
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I would reinstall.
 
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
linux10.4
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Registered: Jun 2011
Posts: 7

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OK, but ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
I would reinstall.
Argh. Helpful, and what I expected, but not ideal ... I'll do that, but I do have one question: What keeps this from being done? Is it because of the sheer volume of stuff I'd have to know about and switch? I'm not trying to be a nuisance, only to figure out the reason behind the action.

Thanks!
 
Old 04-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
snowpine
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Do you know the correct permissions for every file on the system, and are you prepared to go through and fix them file-by-file, folder-by-folder?
 
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
linux10.4
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Registered: Jun 2011
Posts: 7

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Do you know the correct permissions for every file on the system, and are you prepared to go through and fix them file-by-file, folder-by-folder?
Uh ... no. Thanks for the advice ... and the perspective!
 
  


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