I need to write a shell script .sh file which is creating a zip file from /var/www as a sudo user.

I have my Ubuntu server and my site hosted on it which means my source code is in /var/www folder. But /var/www has writeable permissions only for root user.

I want to write a script for backing up the /var/www folder as a zip every time I run that script with no need to ask root user password.

  • Hi & Welcome to AU. What are you referring to as "a sudo user"? Executing part or including in shell script. :) – AzkerM Jul 16 '14 at 6:02
  • So you want the script to run as root? Are you looking for if [ "$UID" != "0" ]; then echo not root; fi? – Elliott Frisch Jul 16 '14 at 6:08
  • I need shell script code, /var/www folder having only accessed by root user. – Upendra Jul 16 '14 at 6:08
  • What does "/var/www folder having only accessed by root user" mean? – Elliott Frisch Jul 16 '14 at 6:10
  • I will explain my complete requirement :: I have my ubuntu server, and my site hosted on it, means my source code in /var/www folder. here /var/www folder writable permissions only for root user. I want to write a script for backingup that (/var/www)folder as a zip when I run that script. (no need to ask root user password) – Upendra Jul 16 '14 at 6:13

Hi & Welcome to AskUbuntu,

Well, I'm not sure why /var/www directory is been owned by root while technically it should be www-data who'll be the owner & the group as default. Nevertheless, the simplest way to achieve this is using below script which I use to compress some of my directories. I'm using tar command instead.

Creating a shell script

  • open a terminal (with CTRL+ALT+T) & create a new bash file.

  • type the command nano filenam.sh & paste below (alter the script according to your need).


TIME=`date +%F-%H%M%S`                   # time stamp to the backup file
FILENAME="backuup nam-$TIME.tar.gz"      # defining the format of the file name while backing up
SRCDIR="/home/parth/to/source"           # Location of the backup directory
DESDIR="/home/path/to/destination"       # Destination of the backup directory (where you need to backup)
tar -cpzf $DESDIR/$FILENAME $SRCDIR      # Executing the command
  • save the script (with CTRL+O & enter). Then exit (with CTRL+X).

Executing the command

  • Simply run sudo sh filename.sh to perform (sudo will run with root previledge)

You may also add this to a cronjob which will automate the process according to your needs. This bash script append a time stamp and backup on an incrimental basis. Its just a simple script that I took and altered to your ease.

Refer official Ubuntu Documentation on Shell Scripts & bash script which I took from BroExperts.

Hope it helps!

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