OK - so I open terminal and I want to use chown to change permissions / ownership recursively. I want to use

sudo chown -R username:group directory

The folder I want to change permissions on is opt/lampp what would be the correct replacement for 'directory' to change permissions on opt/lampp - if the following was my command to recursively replace ownership on the parent directory all subfolders and all files for the lampp directory and I am a sudo user, the command would be

sudo chown -R myname:sudo what goes here ?

please tell me what I would enter in terminal instead of 'what goes here'


  • I would suggest you first cd to /opt and then run sudo chown -R username:group ./lammp If you miss the space between / and opt when running chown, thatll be bad, so it's better to cd first – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jul 10 '17 at 4:43
  • @Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Perfect !!! Please post as answer and I can accept - cheers mate ! – kerry Jul 10 '17 at 4:54
  • OK. Turned my common into a full answer – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jul 10 '17 at 5:00
  • Please explain why you want this? Software in /opt/ is installed by unpacking a tar file. Tar has this inherent feature of maintaining permissions so there should be no reason for you to mess with the permissions. The software in /opt/ should be as is (set to "root:root"). You use a "service" to create access to the software. ALL user related content for a LAMP server should be outside of /opt/ (probably /var/www/). – Rinzwind Jul 10 '17 at 7:21
  • @Rinzwind - thanks for taking the interest to explore my reasons. Sergiy answered my question correctly which helped to educate me. – kerry Jul 10 '17 at 8:50

I would suggest you first cd /opt and then run sudo chown -R username:group ./lammp .

The reason for that is simple: if you by accident add space between / and opt when running sudo chown -R username:group /opt/lammp , that'll be bad. In fact this is a common error we see on Ask Ubuntu a lot - new users do this mistake by accident and as a result their system becomes extremely difficult to recover. Thus , cd first, chown second

  • I disagree. The whole idea for software in /opt/ is for it to be owned by ROOT and where you use a service to start and stop this software (and that service is owned by root too). – Rinzwind Jul 10 '17 at 7:19
  • @Rinzwind not necessarily owned by root. Consider a particular application which may be have to be owned a non-login user. Webservers like Apache use www user, if my memory is correct. While for the most part items in /opt should be owned by root, it's not always needed. Besides, I'm merely giving the user what they asked for. The question isn't about what should and shouldn't be done – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jul 10 '17 at 7:36
  • The only file when you install apache in /opt/ that needs to be owned by the user would be the "my.cnf" file and when installing in /opt/ that file should be created in /home/$USER. Installing in /opt/ is done through a tar file and the maintainer already set all the permissions as they should be. Any change to that is setting security lower than needed (especially when dealing with a website hosted on your machine). – Rinzwind Jul 10 '17 at 7:41
  • OK, I can agree with that – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jul 10 '17 at 8:47
  • Thank you all - I understand what you are saying - my initial problem is different cause to what I expected but Rinzwind did answer my actual question which helped educate me - so I will accept his answer but appreciate people thinking outside the box and asking why and giving me ideas and reasons to think differently - thanks guys - all of you – kerry Jul 10 '17 at 8:59

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