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I can't modify files in Ubuntu 12.04. I'm trying to change the permissions so that I can add a folder or change a file and all I get is this:

$ sudo nautilus
sudo: /usr/lib/sudo/ must only be writeable by owner   
sudo: fatal error, unable to load plugin
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Watch the language please – soandos May 15 '12 at 3:12
What are the current permissions for /usr/lib/sudo/ – CodeGnome May 15 '12 at 3:25

Try gksudo nautilus instead.

From RootSudo - Community Ubuntu Documentation # Graphical Sudo:

You should never use normal sudo to start graphical applications as Root. You should use gksudo (kdesudo on Kubuntu) to run such programs. gksudo sets HOME=~root, and copies .Xauthority to a tmp directory. This prevents files in your home directory becoming owned by Root. (AFAICT, this is all that's special about the environment of the started process with gksudo vs. sudo).

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I assume nautalis is a typo. – Dennis May 15 '12 at 3:13
nope and nope still doesn't work the entire sudo suit doesn't work not even su. It's something to do with he permissions but without sudo it's almost impossible to change :S any ideas? – Aaron Bishop May 15 '12 at 11:33

Assuming that the error message is accurate, and that you can gain access to root, then you should do what the message says and add write permissions to the file:

~# chmod 644 /usr/lib/sudo/

Alternatively, you can force a re-installation of sudo, which will reset the permissions on the files in that package:

~# aptitude reinstall sudo

If you don't have access to root via su, you can try booting into single user mode, or a chroot into your system with a recovery CD in order to effect repairs. You will definitely need some means of gaining root permissions to fix your problem, though.

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Operation not permitted and aptitude is not installed therefore need sudo to install it ? – Aaron Bishop May 15 '12 at 11:41
and the only other problem is that I'm using virtual box how do I boot into single user mode? – Aaron Bishop May 15 '12 at 11:45
@AaronBishop: At the GRUB boot loader prompt, scroll down to the "Recovery" option. This will boot you into a root terminal, or a curses menu form which you can continue into the root terminal (depending on the distro/release). Then retry @CodeGnome's chmod command. Reboot and repent. – invert May 25 '12 at 11:27

try su - then press enter then enter password, hope this will also work for you.

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Under Ubuntu, try

sudo -i  

Enter your password, then

gksu nautilus  

Nautilus will open and allow changes to folders and files.

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The problem is that sudo itself refuses to execute, since one of its shared libs is/may be world-writable, thus weakening its security. – Valmiky Arquissandas Aug 4 '14 at 2:10

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