View Full Version : [ubuntu] [SOLVED] Need help with chown on Ubuntu 8.10

January 3rd, 2009, 07:56 PM
Last night I wasn't thinking at all (thanks to a bottle of wine) and I thought that I would change the ownership of everything in my home folder to my user (I have transferred a lot of files from my old computer). Anyway, in my drunken state I typed the following:

sudo chown -R gavin /.

Things still seemed to work until I rebooted this morning and now nothing is working right. I have tried to chown everything back to root but that hasn't helped either.

Is there a simple fix to this or do I need to reinstall?

January 3rd, 2009, 08:07 PM
You have just chowned the entire root file system, that's not good, and I'm not sure there's a good fix, since a lot of things will belong to other users, not just you or root(syslog has it's own user, as does gdm, etc...)

(If you have a liveCD or alternate install CD, you might be able to restore the installed systems defaults with minimal downloading, just pop in the CD, and start the package manager when prompted, now click installed in the status tab, and then use ctrl+A to highlight everything, and mark them for reinstall, it will take a while to complete, but I think it's the safest method of restoring the settings)

January 3rd, 2009, 08:09 PM
wow, the main issues i see are that you did not specify a group and i don't know what directory /. would be. your home direcory is ~/yourusername. If the command happened to make you the owner of everything on the disk with no group specified then I would reinstall. It maybe too much work to undo everything. That is just my opinion on the matter.

January 3rd, 2009, 08:10 PM
I second... just re-install.

January 3rd, 2009, 08:13 PM
Almost as bad as sudo rm -rf /. :)

I think you should reinstall. It doesnt take that long and you make sure you dont get strange errors because of this in the future. Like others have said, you just changed the owner of all files and folders on the hard drive to be you instead of root.

January 3rd, 2009, 10:06 PM
Thanks all.

I guess this just goes to show that chown and a bottle of wine do not mix.