Mac has a utility that checks permissions of files installed on your system to make sure they have the correct permissions as per an installation. Is there something like that with LinuxMint. I am not looking for chown as I do not know what the permissions are supposed to be nor can I go through packages to figure it all out.


  • I installed packages to get OctoPrint up and running. On those, I needed to use sudo. At some point, I was supposed to use pip. And virtualenv (Which Creates a mini python install for that directorytree?) – user142242 Nov 8 '15 at 17:04
  • It is all messed up and I wish to see how if it is possible to fix, remove and redo, or throw it all away and build from a clean system. (3rd isn't that tough, single user 16 installed programs, who KNOWS how many extra packages. – user142242 Nov 8 '15 at 17:06
  • And, last comment. This came about because I am trying to get ssl working with python2.7 for octoprint. I get permission problems doing an install with pip. I can destroy OctoPrint, but I am certain the system installed stuff might not be the best. Getting mjpg-streamer installed took awhile... – user142242 Nov 8 '15 at 17:08

LinuxMint is based on Debian, which apparently has no tool for this. You could reinstall the related packages, as detailed in Restoring Permissions on a Debian System. That reinstalls everything:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install `dpkg --get-selections | grep install | grep -v deinstall | cut -f1`

If it were an RPM-based system, in principle you could check for modified packages, and lessen the pain of a reinstall. Reinstalling packages in Debian is, however, less painful than the initial install.

If you want to identify the packages which you recently installed, you can do that by searching the dpkg logs as detailed in List packages by installation date.


It depends on what package manager do you use and what environment do you have.

Linux by itself does not have such tools, because many software exists for Linux, and many of them may require special file handling or execution modes (i.e. setuid binaries or mailbox-like directories with special privilege assigned), unlike Mac (I assume OS X), because Mac is more closed pool and OS X designers do know what software will be preloaded on typical Mac and have guidelines for installing packages.

If a package manager can debug such an issues, then - nice, you should check your package manager docs for that.

If you're messed with root file system, then it's safe to backup a current list of privileges first:

find / -xdev -exec ls -ld '{}' ';' >>/root/perms.lst
(do that for each mount point related to system binaries, for example, /usr)

then resetting everything back to root (0:0). If you had any special setuid binaries that will be touched by such a reset, you will be able to reset their status later by examining /root/perms.lst file.

For chmod permissions, it's harder to advice anything like chmod 644 or chmod 755, you should examine your files before making changes, because there can be a security concerns.

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