Setting the file access permissions for files and folders

development, server Add comments

You have a web application hosted on a server and you want to set file access permissions by chmod command, different for files and folders.

Why different? A folder must have ‘x’ (access) flag:


At the same time a file shouldn’t have it (otherwise it would be executable):


How can you set it up for all nested files/folders in your application folder?

You can solve this task by setting common persmissions for all files and folders (step 1) and then make folders accessable (step 2), recursively:

chmod -R 644 .
chmod -R a+X .

But chmod allows you to set up only access flag for folders, you cannot set one persmission for folders and another for files.

Here is a script written by my collegue Anton [vojtoshik] Voitovych to solve this task.

Copy it and save to a file (I saved it in /bin/rchmod — thus it’s accessable for all users of my system):




while getopts "d:f:" OPTION
case $OPTION in
f) files="$OPTARG" ;;
d) directories="$OPTARG" ;;

if [ "$path" != '' ]; then 
    find "$path" -type d ! -name "." -exec chmod "$directories" {} \;
    find "$path" -type f -exec chmod "$files" {} \;
    echo "Usage: rchmod <path_to_directory> [-d <directories mode>] [-f <files mode>]";
    echo -ne \\n;

OK, now make it executable:

chmod 755 rchmod

How to use it.

1. You are in your application folder and want to set 755 (drwxr-xr-x) mode for folders and 644 (rw-r--r--) mode for files which is the default:

rchmod .

2. You want to set 123 permissions only for folders in a particular folder::

rchmod /some/path/to/folder -d 123

3. You want to set 123 permissions for folders and 456 permission for files in a particular folder::

rchmod /some/path/to/folder -d 123 -f 456

Note: don’t forget that every time after that command run you should make some folders writable (wp-content/uploads, cache, temp — what else you have in your webapp).

One Response to “Setting the file access permissions for files and folders”

  1. влад с Says:

    на хуя так сложно ))

    find . -type d | xargs chmod a+x
    find . -type f | xargs chmod a+w

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