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From "Adam Martin" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Question on permissions
Date Tue, 26 Feb 2008 17:30:41 GMT


I'm new to the group and thought I'd take a crack at this one.  Is
www-data a user or group?  From the end of your email it sounds like a
user since you added it to the rgeddes group but I am a little confused
when you changed the group from rgeddes to www-data in the middle of
your example.  If it is a group then I don't believe you can add a group
to another group in the /etc/group file.


If it is a user I did a quick test one of our servers to verify but I
don't believe the adding of a user to a group is dynamic.  In order for
the new group assignment to take affect I had to log out and log in as
the test user for the id command to reflect the change.  You didn't
mention it in your email but did you try and restart your server after
adding the www-data user to the rgeddes group?


My apologies if I am misunderstanding your question.



From: Richard Geddes [] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 10:08 AM
Subject: Re: [users@httpd] Question on permissions


Thanks for the response.  

I set up a directory under the main DocumentRoot called test 

drwxr-xr-x 2 rgeddes rgeddes  80 2008-02-18 15:18 test

and it appeared in a directory listing in the webpage of my main

Changed permissions as follows:

drwxr-x--- 2 rgeddes rgeddes  80 2008-02-18 15:18 test

and test disappears from the webpage (this makes sense)

changed group as follows:

drwxr-x--- 2 rgeddes www-data  80 2008-02-18 15:18 test

and test appears in the webpage (this makes sense) as the servers are
running as www-data.

Now if I change the group back to:

drwxr-x--- 2 rgeddes rgeddes  80 2008-02-18 15:18 test

and I add www-data to the rgeddes group in /etc/group, the directory
fails to show up.  This does not make sense to me as www-data is part of
the rgeddes group and rgeddes has r-x permissions.

Is there a reason why www-data is not being granted rgeddes group


Joshua Slive wrote: 

On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 12:59 AM, Richard Geddes
<> <>  wrote:

	 I'm using apache 2.2 on Ubuntu 7.10 setting up name-based
	 hosting .  The apache servers servicing requests run as
	 The idea is to allow users to make their own websites under
their home
	 directories, and for the admin to symlink the users'
	 directories below main DocumentRoot directory, and have the
	 configuration file with <VirtualHost> sections direct the http
	 I got this to work correctly, but I had to set the 'other'
execution bit
	 for directories that lead to the users symlinked directory.
This means
	 that users will have execute permissions on each others'
	 but I want to keep the users strictly separated from each
other.... I
	 think the FAQ suggests this, if I'm not mistaken, but I think
there is a
	 security issue here.

Having world-executable (searchable, really) home directories is not
an uncommon configuration. Yes, your users need to be a little more
careful about the permissions of stuff inside their home directories,
but that isn't such a big deal.
Alternatively, do the symlink in the other direction: put the
directories under DocumentRoot and include a symlink in the home
directories pointing to the correct location so your users know what
to edit.
The official User-To-User support forum of the Apache HTTP Server
See <URL:>
<>  for more info.
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