I accidentally executed the chown userx:userx / command.

Is there a way to fix this in a gentle way?

I know the mysql folder has to be owned by mysql:mysql. But what about the other folders? Are there permissions scripts available?

It's a VPS that runs in an Virtuozzo clustered environment with OS Redhat.

  • 2
    I feel your pain, but this belongs on ServerFault. – SLaks Feb 23 '10 at 14:31
  • Did you do it recursively? If not, just chown root:root / and you'll be fine. If you did it recursively, then I suggest you re-install the machine. – Wadih M. Feb 23 '10 at 14:32
  • 6
    There are two categories of unix sysadmins: those who have made a mistake as root and those who will. – mouviciel Feb 23 '10 at 14:46
  • For others' reference: if you're using OS X, there's a "Fix Permissions" command in Disk Utility. Do you have backups that preserve the correct permissions? (If not, now's the time to start.) – Benjamin Oakes Feb 23 '10 at 14:51

Did you tell it to recursively apply it?

You may find that it did not apply it recursively in which case only the top level will be userx:uxery so you don't actually have to change anything except root:root again.

If you DID NOT chown -R then it should still be fine.

  • I will check this ASAP (the -R thingy), can't access SSH at the moment, the VSP said they're having a big situation there also, don't know if this is the reason for not be able to access SSH. Guess mysql isn't running doesnt answer that question. Besides it's running Plesk. – Johan Feb 23 '10 at 14:36
  • Johan, do NOT use chmod -R... The reason mysql isn't running is not your chmod's mistake. Just let your host resolve their issues first and check again after. – Wadih M. Feb 23 '10 at 14:37

If you did your chown recursively:

On a comparable distribution, start this command:

find / -type f -printf "chown %u:%g %h/%f\n" > /tmp/myperm.txt

In the rescue mode of your system source myperm.txt after you chrooted to the root directory of your mounted mess to chown the intended files, this time :-)

This will at least set something correct on most of the files.

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