I have a folder: /home/myuser/folderA

I want to give the www-data user write access to the above, while 'myuser' continues to have normal access (as it is myuser's home folder anyway).

Which commands do I need to use?

Note: I don't want www-data to have access to any other folders in /home/myuser/.

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


First, add yourself into the group www-data

usermod -a -G www-data (your username)


chgrp www-data /home/myuser/folderA
chmod g+rwxs /home/myuser/folderA

Should do the trick unless the permissions on your /home/myuser do not permit other users access.

The first command changes the group ownership of the folder to that of the webserver. The second command gives members of the www-data group read, write, enter-directory rights, and the group s flag will ensure that any files that get created inside that directory take www-data as the group - so if you create a file as myuser the www-data user will have access.

Nb. this also depends on the umask settings of both your user account and the webserver: you need to make sure that files created in folderA have group rw access (and directories created within need group rwx)

If your webserver does not have enter rights into your /home/myuser dir (quite sensible) then it's not going to get in there unless you do something else. Two solns:

  1. sudo mount --bind /home/myuser/folderA /var/www/mysite/folderA (this is an ugly hack and would have to be repeated after reboot. But a powerful trick, also can be used to make folders accessible inside SSH jails.)

  2. Simply move the shared folder somewhere else, e.g. /home/shared-stuff/folderA.

The 2nd option is nicest. Let's say the stuff in folderA is really public and you don't care who sees it, you can set it up like

sudo mkdir -m777 /home/shared-stuff

Then you can put inside that, say, folderA with permissions as above, and folderB that www-data should not have access to with different permissions, e.g.

$ cd /home/shared-stuff ; ls -l
drwxrwsr-x 2 myuser www-data   4096 Jan 17 21:46 folderA
drwxrwx--- 2 myuser myuser     4096 Jan 17 21:46 folderB
  • what is s in g+rwxs ?
    – T.Todua
    Jan 8, 2019 at 21:22
  • "Group sticky" bit. It's effect explained in para that begins with "The first..." :-) Jan 8, 2019 at 22:17
  • to make binds persistent you can add in /etc/fstab /home/myuser/folderA /var/www/mysite/folderA none bind
    – hanshenrik
    Oct 2, 2022 at 22:46
  • nerver use this way. it is security problem
    – Hai Tien
    Sep 9 at 5:03

Another way is to change the username directly in apache config, this is if it's your local machine and you save images from somewhere else that would crush any permissions made on the folder. Also to do if you have only 1 user and don't care about www-data!

$ sudo vi /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Find User and Group and put yours
User <Your User>
Group <Your Group>

$ sudo service apache2 restart
  • This solution doesn't seem so secure, anyone know what kind of security threats this setting will cause?
    – luukvhoudt
    Dec 24, 2018 at 8:49
  • 1
    I'm quite sure it's not secure, that is why I gave the precision of Local Machine only.
    – Shadoweb
    Dec 25, 2018 at 14:36
  • This solution provides all access to apache to your folder...
    – Loenix
    Jan 12, 2019 at 13:28
  • 1
    I like this solution; as long as you don't use root, it's your private/local machine, and you have sensible permissions - especially useful if you deploy using rsync/ftp and don't use a method conducive to changing permissions, like a script.
    Nov 15 at 21:12
  • 1
    With nginx (as opposed to apache) it would be $ sudo vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf changing user www-data; to user your-username;
    Nov 15 at 21:17

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