Ubuntu – Does nothing work after I randomly changed some file permissions


Ok so last night i was trying to set permissions to some folders in my File System, since apparently im not an admin on my own computer. And now everything got messed up today and i don't know what to do..

  • I lost my internet, the icon is not showing in the taskbar anymore.
  • I lost my sound, there is no sound devices listed when i go into the sound menu.
  • I can not log into root anymore, it gives me "sudo: must be setuid root"
  • I can not plug anything in anymore, it will not recognize flash drives or external hard drives.
  • It gives me a Internal Error message everytime i log in
  • It doesn't let me log into the Grub screen anymore on boot up.

What did i do? I have a lot of files on here i wish to put on a flash drive but it won't recognize it.

Best Answer

Sounds as if you changed the ownership and / or permissions of system files.

You can search ~/.bash_history for the commands you ran, and if you post them here perhaps they are easily reversed.

gedit ~/.bash_history

Look for commands such as chown or chmod , if they were run with the -R (recursive) option, easier to re-install. If, however, you changed only a few files or directories, recovery is possible.

Often though you will have to re-install as manually fixing permissions is time consuming and imperfect.

In the future see: ubuntu sudo page

Normally you use sudo or for graphical applications gksu to perform system administration or edit system files.


gksu gedit /path/to/file
sudo command
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