35

I was trying to open a file and write to it with PHP at /var/wwwfolder but it wasn't working so I did

sudo chmod 777 /var/www

now I want to set the permissions for /var/www to the default.
what are the default permissions for /var/www?

29

The permissions on this folder are:

chmod 755 /var/www/

and the files inside the folder are:

chmod 644 /var/www/file
43

The default permission for /var/www itself is a pretty standard one: owner root:root and mod 755.

As for anything inside /var/www, that is one of the rare directories where you have the privilege of deciding for yourself what to put in it and what permissions everything in it should have. But what makes the most sense is:

  • Most files should be writable by whichever user or group is going to be writing to them most. You can set them to be owned by your user account. Or set up a custom group for your developers. Or if the files will be modified rarely and you want good security, you can go with root:root and just sudo in on the rare occasions they'll be modified.

  • Most files should not be world-writable. So, 644 for files, and 755 for directories is appropriate (or 664 and 775 if you want to give a group write access).

  • It is not recommended to set any of it to be writable by the web server, ie www-data, except for any specific files your web scripts to be able to write to. If so, it's better to set the user or group of those files to www-data than to make them world-writable. Note that any time the www-data user can write to any file within the web root, whether it's by setting the user or group on those files, or making them world-writable, it's a potential security problem. World-writable is just the worse of the two.

  • 2
    Upvoted as most conclusive answer here – Chris Aug 19 '14 at 12:35
  • 2
    Now, this is a really good answer. :) – Banago Jan 11 '15 at 12:35
  • to improve the answer, consider adding commands to set the appropriate parmissions – Abraham Murciano Benzadon May 20 '18 at 22:08
  • Is there a recursive function that can change all folders to 755 and files to 644 inside var/www? – Matthew Semik Oct 16 '18 at 1:04
  • Yep: stackoverflow.com/questions/18817744/… (the second answer is more elegant than the accepted one IMO) – thomasrutter Oct 16 '18 at 3:44
9

Make sure the group is www-data on '/var/www'.

sudo chgrp www-data /var/www

Make it writable

sudo chmod 775 /var/www

set group id for subfolders

sudo chmod g+s /var/www

add your username to the group

sudo useradd -G www-data [USERNAME]
OR
usermod -a -G www-data [USERNAME]

give yourself ownership

sudo chown [USERNAME] /var/www/
  • 9
    That is not the default permissions for /var/www, and it's a very bad idea security-wise to make the whole web root writable by www-data. Only do this when web scripts need write access to particular files, and even so only do it to those particular files, not to the entire web root. And the OP did not say he needed to do this, anyway, so this should not be a recommendation at all. – thomasrutter Jul 9 '14 at 2:03
  • 3
    Also it's a very bad idea to add yourself to the www-data group and treat that group in that manner. Where did you read to do this? It's particularly bad advice, almost maliciously so. Create your own groups when you need to give a group access to something: don't re-use the unprivileged groups that are intended for internal use by daemons. – thomasrutter Jul 9 '14 at 2:04
  • 1
    @neon_overload what do you recommend – aWebDeveloper Dec 7 '14 at 8:58
  • 1
    Exactly, what would your recommend @neon_overload? – Banago Jan 10 '15 at 15:45
  • 1
    @Banago personnaly I recommend a +1 :) – kamil Jan 10 '15 at 16:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.