View Full Version : Group importance (CHMOD)

01-04-2004, 05:52 AM
You've all seen and heard this a thousand times:

(this has been screenshot straight from WS_FTP)

"Set somefile.php so it has a permission of 777." (indicated above)

This poll is simple. Just indicate how important the group permission settings are to the way you run your site or write your scripts, then give a concrete example of how/why.

(yes there's a point to this; we'll see how this poll goes for awhile first though)

01-10-2004, 09:46 PM
No one interested, huh? Well, just in case somebody is...

This has turned into an interesting topic across the dev forums where I have posted it (8 so far). I did a 4-page chmod tutorial several years ago and am reworking it now while exploring some of the finer mechanics of the various permissions. When you really look around you don't find much about this (kinda like when looking for UNIX switch references to SSH commands; everyone always just tells you to use [command] --help to see the list of switches for that command). Basically, most people are just expecting someone else to know.

Anyway, current collective poll results are:

Very Important: 50%
Moderately important: 17%
Unimportant: 33%

The interesting thing about the responses I've been getting so far, is people are consistently misunderstanding the question. Although I deliberately specified "Group" permissions this has been mentally filtered out and most people only see the "CHMOD" part. It is important to understand I am specifically attempting to derive information on the Group permission settings (2nd digit in the XXX string - or 3rd digit for 0XXX, as the case may be).

In a nutshell, cases where the Group setting applies are sparse at best. I have experimented with a number of different scripts and files, and currently can find no impact whatsoever where Group permissions are applied (or not applied). You can recursively chmod the Group permissions of your whole site to zero and nothing will stop working. Even the image posted above has a Group setting of zero.

So far, the only person who has made it actually do something is a moderator on my board who assigned the Group of a file directly to Apache. Via SSH:

chgrp apache somefile
chmod 707 somefile
By doing this the file cannot be accessed by the browser. Evidence is leading toward that there should be some significant impact by using Group settings for FTP sites, but I sure haven't found out what yet.

01-15-2004, 08:53 AM
group ownership is irrelevant to most website work , unless you work as root there would be no need to worry about group permissions anyway which is why I suspect no-one spotted it ?

the only point of creating groups would be for collaberative work on a server that also allowed general user access and you wanted a group of users to have otherwise denied permissions.