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Need to set directory permissions when copying them with this function.

Posted on 2004-10-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Hi, I am using the code below (slightly modified already) to replicate my default site structure (with my site manager) when a new site is created. However - the trouble is that when this site is created the permissions on the directories mean I can't even delete them through FTP (I get a permission denied error.) How do I include CHMOD into the code below to set more feasible permissions? Thanks in advance.


 * Copy a file, or a folder and its contents
 * @author      Aidan Lister <aidan@php.net>
 * @version     1.0.0
 * @param       string   $source    The source
 * @param       string   $dest      The destination
 * @return      bool     Returns true on success, false on failure

$source = "/home/httpd/vhosts/datafilesoftware.com/httpdocs/site_manager/default_site_structure/";
$dest = " /home/httpd/vhosts/hygienebags.com/httpdocs/";

echo $source;
echo "<p>";
echo $dest;

function copyr($source, $dest)
    // Simple copy for a file
    if (is_file($source)) {
        return copy($source, $dest);

    // Make destination directory
    if (!is_dir($dest)) {
    // Loop through the folder
    $dir = dir($source);
    while (false !== $entry = $dir->read()) {
      echo $entry;
        // Skip pointers
        if ($entry == '.' || $entry == '..') {

        // Deep copy directories
        if (is_dir("$source/$entry") && ($dest !== "$source/$entry")) {
            copyr("$source/$entry", "$dest/$entry");
        } else {
            copy("$source/$entry", "$dest/$entry");

    // Clean up
    return true;

copyr("/home/httpd/vhosts/domain1.com/httpdocs/site_manager/default_site_structure", "/home/httpd/vhosts/domain2.com/httpdocs/test_site");

Question by:ralphuk100
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 12442432
As the script is run as the webserver-user you might not be able to create files as another user directly with php (security issue)

A solution might be to use sudo and exec of php

See http:Q_21185044.html#12431265

how such things can be done

Author Comment

ID: 12442593
Hi, this script works already. Its just setting the wrong permissions that is the problem. It does not work cross vhost directories but this is something we are working on. Thanks for the comment.

Author Comment

ID: 12442628
I dont want to upload a file, just copy it from one vhost directory to another
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 12442774
its the same problem. Your webserver user will not be allowed to change those premissions of the files you wnat to copy. Changing the owner is typical only allowed for root. So you need a script that runs with root-priveliges.

Author Comment

ID: 12442800
Ok thanks - so how do I write exec to copy a directory structure to another vhost directory?
LVL 48

Accepted Solution

hernst42 earned 500 total points
ID: 12446871
The following will describe how you setup sudo correctly to change the ownership:

As root create a /usr/local/bin/phpcp
if [ -z "$1" -o -z "$2" -o -z "$3" -o -z "$4"]; then
    echo "Missing parameter";
    exit 1

if [ "$1" == "root" ]; then
    echo "Copy to root not allowed"
    exit 1

cp -r "$3" "$4"
chown -R $1 "$4"
chgrp -R $2 "$4"

then make the script executable via
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/phpcp

the add the following line in /etc/sudoers:
wwwrun  ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/local/bin/phpcp

in php do
exec('/usr/local/bin/phpcp $user $group "$src" "$dst"');

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