One of those “D’oh” moments: chown .*

UPDATED: Repair process below

Want to change the ownership of all files in a directory to a user named ‘foo’?  Think this is a good way to do it?

chown -R foo * .*

Yeah, don’t do that. In one of those awesomely awful “D’oh” moments, I did that.  Remember: “.*” matches “..”.  So that will traverse up one level, and then recursively back down.

And of course …. I ran this in /mnt .   It took me about 5 seconds to realize what I had just done, before hitting ^c.  Yeah, my system is b0rked. 😦

Resolution provided by Simon Sekidde at Red Hat:

On Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and derivatives), there is an easy way to re-initialize the ownership and permissions of RPM-installed files:

for i in `rpm -qa`; do  rpm --setugids $i;  rpm --setperms $i; done

Make sure to use –setugids before –setperms; if the order is reversed, changing the ownership with –setugids will reset any suid/sgid bits set by –setperms.

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