[SATLUG] Root problems

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 13:32:42 CDT 2010

On Friday, August 06, 2010 18:40:02 Peter Cross wrote:
> I am using Fedora 12 and cannot it seems get to root:
> [Peter at heretic ~]$ su -c "nano /etc/pam.d/gdm"
> Password:
> su: cannot set groups: Operation not permitted
> I've tried to just a normal "su -" to get to root as well and the same issue
> appears. I was using chmod the other night and I think I may have
> inadvertently done a "chmod -R 777 /" (intended to do a "chmod -R 777
> /var/hda/files" my yellow lab hit my hand, he wanted attention :) ). Is this
> recoverable or in the grand scheme of things is it better to just reinstall?
> I have a very recent backup but would not like to have to reinstall, migrate
> the data back, and get all of my other applications reset (6+ hours).
> Thoughts? Recommendations? Prayers?
> Thanks in advance!
> Peter
> (current holder of the dunce cap)

I don't have the solution for you, but a recommendation for the future (having been an occasional dunce-cap wearer myself).
I have found I am more comfortable as root running commands such as 'chmod', 'chown', and especially 'rm -rf', by typing the path first, then backing my cursor up to type the command. Then I can be sure to properly type, say,  'rm -rf /usr/share/pathname' and not 'rm -rf /' (oops, hand spasm made me hit enter too early!). I know that some users are fanatic about typing as fast and efficient as possible, and will laugh at typing the path before typing the command, but I'd rather play it safe and give myself some insurance from the unforeseen.

John C

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