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How do I give addmin permission to PHP user/permission to write to filesystem on Ubuntu 14 server?

Last Modified: 2014-08-07

When joomla or wordpress try to write to the filesystem, which user do they use?
Is it possible to give that user admin permissions?

I did a test on my MAIN SERVER (ubuntu 14.04 x64 with php 5.5.9) and on page 3 of this application I got one error:
PHP cannot write to filesystem: http://www.mismatched.be/index.php?step=2

I also use two shared hosting servers, one in the US and on in Italy and the same test does not give that error:

How is it that automatically on those servers when I use Joomla or Wordpress the CMS installation software can write to .htaccess, configuration.php and wp-config.php files and tmp, cache, logs folders without any problems and on my I get errors?

On my ubuntu MAIN SERVER server (with the php permissions problem) I manually upload joomla.zip or wordpress.zip and unzip them and then I use the following command to give the permissions:

for the directories
sudo find /site_installation_folder/ -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;

for files only
sudo find /site_installation_folder/ -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

What am I doing wrong and how to enable the right permissions so that I don't have to set 777 chmod permissions on any folder?

thanks in advance
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Kent WSr. Network / Systems Admin
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Hi mugojava thanks for your message.
Do I change the owner for a CMS folder using:

sudo chown -R apache:apche /path_to_folder/



ah thanks David will try right away :)
Kent WSr. Network / Systems Admin

Yes, that how to change the user.group.  Then set your permissions the same way using chmod
(sudo chmod -R 550 /path_to_folder/)
And on the certain files that need apache to write -
(sudo chmod 660 /path_to_folder/file.ext)

Do you understand what each integer's place means in the chmod permissions?


works! thanks!

I changed the permissions on the entire folder and everything works.

By the way, when I use SCP now to connect, my user "lupocatttivo" cannot delete, rename etc. files that are owned by www-data. Is it possible to add my user "lupocatttivo" to the www-data group as well as the admin group (which it already is). Is this possible?

thanks again
Kent WSr. Network / Systems Admin

Yes, you can do that, or just use sudo.  Sudo is safer.

Every user also has a "group", so you can change owner to like apache.lupocatttivo, and give yourself either r+w (6) or rwx (7),  So for apache.lupocattivo, 570 would give apache read, your group "lupocatttivo" rwx, and all others nothing.

In the permissions, say 660, the first 6 is for "user", second 6 is for "group", and last 0 is "all others".

Apache will work correctly if it's got appropriate permissions as either user or group.  You don't have to have it as both user and group, that's just a common method.

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