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I often run into this issue on Linux, and I'd love to know the proper way of solving it.

Say I have a daemon running. In my example, I'll use LigHTTPD, a webserver.

Some software, like Wordpress, enjoys having read/write access to files for updating applications via a web interface, which I think is quite handy.

At the same time, I enjoy being able to hack on my files using vim, using my local user account, 'eddie'.

Herein lies the rub. Either I chown everything to lighttpd or eddie and a shared group between them both, and chmod it 660, or perpetually sudo to edit the damned things. The former isn't a bad solution, until I create a new file in which case I have to remember to chmod it appropriately, or create some hack like a cron job that chmods for me.

Is there an easier way of doing this? Have I overlooked something?

Cheers,

-e-

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you can probably do something with ACLs (filesystem dependent) to make access simple(r), but that's a ball of fun i've yet to tangle with, so hopefully someone else will enlighten us. –  quack quixote Mar 23 '10 at 7:35
    
Yes it can be done with ACLs too, but most distros do not enable them by default and I think it's more difficult. It also allows more fine grained control though. See man setfacl if you're interested. –  Kim Mar 23 '10 at 7:54
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In fact there is a way to auto-chown files created in a certain directory. Let's say the files you want lighttpd to be able to access are in /var/www. Then you set the group of /var/www to your group and set the SGID bit on /var/www. You will probably want to do this recursively for subdirs. I'm assuming the group is www-data.

chgrp -R www-data /var/www
chmod -R g+s /var/www

This will just set the group however. To give newly created files 660 permissions by default you can set your umask to 007. Add this line to ~/.bashrc:

umask 007
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Interesting. I've only vaguely heard of the SGID bit, so that's good info to get. As for umask, how does that work with the lighttpd process in this case? How do I set a umask for non users? –  Eddie Parker Mar 23 '10 at 8:37
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I'm no expert on lighttpd and a process can change its own umask at will, but you could try adding the umask command to lighttpd's startup script. If that doesn't help, have a look at lighttpd's or wordpress' documentation. –  Kim Mar 23 '10 at 11:52
    
Alright, thanks Kim. Very concise answer and exactly what I was looking for. I'll noodle with the server side, but at least the SGID bit will get me 90% of the way there. –  Eddie Parker Mar 23 '10 at 17:37
    
ah, i was forgetting SGID. thanks @Kim –  quack quixote Mar 23 '10 at 21:11
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