after defining new group, lost administration privileges and /etc/group has been changed

Alan E. Davis lngndvs at
Tue Mar 3 11:23:25 UTC 2009

Thank you for the responses.

In order, pretty much:

(I am not now at the machine where this disaster happened.  I am installing
intrepid on another partition, so maybe tomorrow it will be updated.  Maybe
that's my main option now?  I am hoping somehow there is a way to
reconsistitued /etc/group)

   - I cannot list the group file as I am not there now.

   - The closest thing to a backup is /etc/group-.  I don't know what that
is about.  It's not any better than /etc/group.

   -  Admin was blown away from /etc/group.  Most of the plethora of groups
I see on my home ubuntu box, also Intrepid, are not on the group file on the
system at work.  Yes, I assigned the wrong group number, as I didn't know it
was supposed to be 111, for admin: I had hoped to recover the administration
permissions.  Will try that tomorrow.

    - I added myself to the sudoers file, with permissions for everything.
That didn't make much difference.  I used visudo to do this.  I still
couldn't define groups.  (Later, I reinstalled dbus and dbus-x11, and was
able to do so.  I will restore the file to the original configuration.

  -  I really don't know how /etc/group got altered.  I suppose I may have
edited it.  However, I do know about System -> Admin -> users and groups,
and probably did use that.  Somehow, /etc/group was a mere suggestion of
itself, even worse than the file I sent, with no users assigned to ANY
group, except the one I had defined, "git".  I assigned group number 1111.
I was trying to have two machines with the same group ID for git, so I could
add users on both machines to the git group, and then they would both have
write permissions on the flash drive with a git repo.  Perhaps I edited it.
I was panicking, as I was unable to push my work to the USB key due to what
appeared to be permissions issues, and I was pulling rabbits out of hats
(guess I pulled a rat out, instead).

Thank you for the suggestions.


Alan Davis

"An inviscid theory of flow renders the screw useless, but the need for one
non-existent."                     ---Lord Raleigh (John William Strutt), or
else his son, who was also a scientist.

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when
there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.
    ---- Bertrand Russell
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