Disclaimer: I answered the question that I believe was incorrectly marked as a duplicate.

This question, in which the OP accidentally changed the permissions of one system directory, was marked as a duplicate of this question, in which the OP accidentally changed the permissions of many system directories, recursively.

I believe that this might be an error.

The answers to the latter question state that the OP needs to completely reinstall their system or restore it from a backup. This is correct in that case, because it would be overwhelmingly difficult to restore permissions on so many directories. However, in the former question, the OP only needs to undo one change. I would consider the answers to the latter question to be very bad advice in the case of the former because of the avoidable trouble they would cause to the OP to solve their problem.

If the OP of the former question understood that the chmod command that they ran only affected one of the system directories described in the answers to the latter question, then it's possible that they could synthesize that information to use a Live CD to revert their change, but I do not think it is safe to assume that they — and everyone else who finds the duplicate and follows the link — would do that.

Furthermore, there was some confusion in the answers to the former question about how the chmod command worked. The first answer (now deleted) assumed that chmod had been run with the -R argument (which I have definitely seen more commonly than without on this site), but the OP did not include it as part of the command they had run. The second answer would be correct if the OP had run chmod /* instead of chmod /.

This confusion could make it more difficult to acquire the understanding of permissions/chmod needed to resolve the problem using the answers in the latter question.

Given this situation, is it correct to mark the question as a duplicate?

  • 3 reopen votes at the time of this writing already... ;-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 20:54
  • 3
    @Fabby and Nonny: Question is now reopened :)
    – Kulfy
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


I edited both the question and the answer to make it abundantly clear that no recursive option was used, left a link to the duplicate in your answer and voted to reopen.

But I'm just one of the original 5 people that voted to close. If another 4 (same or different) users vote to reopen, it will be reopened as it was a community effort to close, so it must be a community effort to re-open as well.


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