Why is "chmod -R 777 /" destructive?

Posted by samwise on Server Fault See other posts from Server Fault or by samwise
Published on 2012-02-28T21:25:40Z Indexed on 2012/09/09 21:39 UTC
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This is a Canonical Question about File Permission and Why 777 is "destructive".

I'm not asking how to fix this problem, as there are a ton of references of that already on Server Fault (reinstall OS). Why does it do anything destructive at all?

If you've ever ran this command you pretty much immediately destroy your operating system. I'm not clear why removing restrictions has any impact on existing processes. For example, if I don't have read access to something and after a quick mistype in the terminal suddenly I now have access well... why does that cause Linux to break?

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