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Re: HELP! can't become root

On Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 01:04:49PM -0500, Jonathan Wilson wrote:
> On Wednesday 10 October 2007 13:04, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> > On Tue, Oct 09, 2007 at 05:25:17PM -0700, tom arnall wrote:
> > > Well, I got a list of perm's for stuff in /dev (from a sarge system. I'm
> > > on etch). There were only two diff's: two sound devices. But there are
> > > lots of insane permissions throughout the rest of the system. Is this
> > > because when I did 'chmod -R 777 /dev' I also in effect did 'chmod -R 777
> > > /dev/hda1'? But when I do 'ls -R /dev/hda1' I get only  '/dev/hda1'. Why
> > > the diff' in the scope of the commands? And where do you read about this
> > > kind of thing?
> >
> > well, ls and chmod are different utilities, so the -R could easily have
> > different effects despite having apparently the same function.
> >
> > I seem to recall once I did a chown -R something and it followed the
> > /. and /.. links in the directory so that it started walking up the
> > directory tree. luckily I stopped it. Perhaps chmod -R is doing a
> > similar thing?
> >
> > A
> That does /not/ happen with any utility's -R. They don't walk up the tree 
> with ../ , it would be way too dangerous to have any utility work that way. 

Absolutely dangerous. So maybe I'll amend my statement above with an
emphasis on the *seem* and *something*. The result was that I ended up
chowning a bunch of stuff I didn't want to with ensuing chaos. My
memory of the specifics are fuzzy. But it definitely ended up chowning
up the tree *somehow*.

> The only way for a recursive run to get back up higher in the tree is 
> following a symlink (which is certainly a realistic possibility).

this may have been the case. 


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