I am new to Ubuntu, I've installed 12.04. I used to use wamp server on Windows, and after changing OS I moved some files from www folder to /var/www on Ubuntu. But when I try to view that folder in a browser it doesn't display anything.

Probably there is a problem with permission issues. What are proper permissions for /var/www folder? Here are my /var folder permissions:

drwxrwxr-x  4 root root     1024 Feb  4 20:06 www

I have run

chmod -R 755 /var/www  
chown -R root /var/www

Right now that /var/www folder is empty, but how can I configure apache to show files under that folder in browser?


By default apache is configured to show following files instead of directory listing:

DirectoryIndex index.html index.cgi index.pl index.php index.xhtml index.htm

You can recursively list all these with this:

find /var/www -name 'index.*'

If your directory have any of those, apache will show it, instead of something like this:

Example of apache file listing

To fix that, delete or rename index.* files to something else. Alternatively, you can change DirectoryIndex directive and reload apache (/etc/init.d/apache2 reload).

By default, apache DocumentRoot is /var/www. Only files under that folder are displayed. Additionally, symlinks are followed only if destination is owned by same user. If you have files under /var/www, you don't have to care about that.

Apache does not list files that www-data user can not read. As long as there's r and x the last group (marked with ^ below), everything is fine:

drwxrwxr-x  4 user group     4014 Feb  4 23:16 filename
       ^ ^

Technically, you only need x for folders. Your commands for changing the permissions were correct:

chmod -R 755 /var/www  

If apache does not list any files even if you don't have any index files on your folder, use

tail -f /var/log/apache2/error.log

to see which errors apache encountered.

| improve this answer | |

Install Apache using following command

sudo apt-get install apache2

Now, open /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default file check if following line is present

DocumentRoot /var/www

If any other path is present, change it to /var/www

Now you can put any html file to view it in your browser. Also, if you add index.html to /var/www and visit http://localhost/ in browser, you will be able to see it.

| improve this answer | |
  • Actually I've already install apache and all other elements, and yes that line is present.. I can view files that I created in the folder, but I can't view that specific folder that I copied from Windows, although it almost doesn't contain php code that could have an error. So there must be a permission issue, or may be I should change group to www-data?! ps I have added myself to that group.. – Fort Nox Feb 4 '14 at 19:09
  • You don't have to add yourself to that group. root is just fine as owner of those files - actually it's better than www-data, because then apache do not have permission to modify or remove those files. – Olli Feb 4 '14 at 20:07

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