Why is “chmod -R 777 /” destructive?
I have CentOS 6.3 minimal installed. No desktop or GUI. All the while, I was able to login as root. Today, I come to work and find the same password no longer works. I was the only one who knew the password and no one in the office touches this machine. I have verified it using CCTV.
When I enter the password it gives me the following error:
centos2 login: root Password: Login incorrect
I have tried SSH via Putty as well as WinSCP. I get
Network Error: Connection refused.
So what could have gone wrong?
Please Note: root is the only user on this machine. I have not made any other user yet. Or maybe I did but I cannot remember since I have been using root for several days now.
I tried to reset the password following the instructions on some other site. All went well, except I get the same error despite changing the password!
This server is my test server and I try a lot of things on it. The last major thing I did was to select all the directories in WinSCP and give them 777 permissions. Could this have anything to do with the problem?
Congratulations, you broke it beyond repair. Your only option at this point is to recover what data you can (try booting from a Live CD) and rebuild the server from scratch.
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