Saturday, August 13, 2011

CentOS and "su: incorrect password"

I made a mistake. I was setting up CentOS and accidentily ran chown -R 0 /. Yep, a global & recursive ownership change. Not a good thing.

The first problem I noticed was that I couldn't use su -. It kept saying that I was using the "incorrect password" even though I was completely sure I was.

I after digging around, I found someone who had the same problem and a nice chap named Mike who, very impressively, pointed out the source of the problem (ie, the globaly recursive chown). His response: "He's got rather a mess, unfortunately." Uh oh.

Well, it seems that the mess wasn't as bad as I thought. After fretting and digging around the interwebs, I came across this article about resetting file permissions on RHEL (and CentOS by extension, of course). Hallelujah!!

Following the instructions there, I did this to fix my woes:

rpm --setperms -a

I am not convinced everything is back in its proper place and I will probably see more fallout from my careless command executing. BUT, I can successfully "su -" without any bogus password complaints. That I like.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

this saved my server too :) what other things you had to fix to get it running normally?