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I accidentially changed permissions on many many files in var/ file in ubuntu and now my ubuntu will not boot on system start. The generic purple background will load, but after 5 seconds, the normal ubuntu logo is not displayed, and my caps lock light starts blinking.

I'm thinking the only solution is to uninstall ubuntu and then reinstall the system. I could be wrong, perhaps there is a way to automatically generate the files and permissions that I deleted.

Possibly a way to merge a fresh version of ubuntu with the version I already have installed.

I'm really not sure what my course of action is and the time is ticking on the work day.

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migrated from Mar 7 '12 at 17:37

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If you know what you changed, you might be able to boot into the Fedora recovery console and change it back. – SaintWacko Mar 7 '12 at 19:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not sure how you would go about fixing the permissions.

It would be easier to do a fresh install. If you put a DVD of Ubuntu in, it will attempt to install. During the installation process you can select where the install should go. Just tell it to overwrite the old one. It will dual-boot as you need it to.

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Thanks - I don't have a DVD - I downloaded it online - Do I need to put it on a usb drive? – Bob Cavezza Mar 7 '12 at 17:39
It can be installed both from a USB and DVD. If you go here, it will give you a step-by-step of both methods: – Mike Kwan Mar 7 '12 at 17:44

You can boot the Ubuntu disk and repair your existing installation with the Repair option, which basically overwrites the entire filesystem (but doesn't touch your settings and files).

Another approach would be to boot the LiveCD and copy over your /home/<username> folder to an external storage drive and reinstall Ubuntu completely.

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I don't have a disk - do I need to take my download and put it on a usb drive? – Bob Cavezza Mar 7 '12 at 17:40
Either approach works. You just need a working Linux system to boot from. I usually keep a CD handy as it is harder to lose than a USB stick. – Blender Mar 7 '12 at 17:41

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