Setting up or Fixing File Permissions

3.3 version

Setting up or Fixing File Permissions

One important Symfony requirement is that the var directory must be writable both by the web server and the command line user.

On Linux and macOS systems, if your web server user is different from your command line user, you need to configure permissions properly to avoid issues. There are several ways to achieve that:

1. Use the same User for the CLI and the Web Server

Edit your web server configuration (commonly httpd.conf or apache2.conf for Apache) and set its user to be the same as your CLI user (e.g. for Apache, update the User and Group directives).

Caution

If this solution is used in a production server, be sure this user only has limited privileges (no access to private data or servers, execution of unsafe binaries, etc.) as a compromised server would give to the hacker those privileges.

2. Using ACL on a System that Supports chmod +a (macOS)

On macOS systems, the chmod command supports the +a flag to define an ACL. Use the following script to determine your web server user and grant the needed permissions:

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$ rm -rf var/cache/*
$ rm -rf var/logs/*

$ HTTPDUSER=$(ps axo user,comm | grep -E '[a]pache|[h]ttpd|[_]www|[w]ww-data|[n]ginx' | grep -v root | head -1 | cut -d\  -f1)
$ sudo chmod +a "$HTTPDUSER allow delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" var
$ sudo chmod +a "$(whoami) allow delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" var

3. Using ACL on a System that Supports setfacl (Linux/BSD)

Most Linux and BSD distributions don't support chmod +a, but do support another utility called setfacl. You may need to install setfacl and enable ACL support on your disk partition before using it. Then, use the following script to determine your web server user and grant the needed permissions:

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$ HTTPDUSER=$(ps axo user,comm | grep -E '[a]pache|[h]ttpd|[_]www|[w]ww-data|[n]ginx' | grep -v root | head -1 | cut -d\  -f1)
# if this doesn't work, try adding `-n` option
$ sudo setfacl -dR -m u:"$HTTPDUSER":rwX -m u:$(whoami):rwX var
$ sudo setfacl -R -m u:"$HTTPDUSER":rwX -m u:$(whoami):rwX var

Note

The first setfacl command sets permissions on the existing files and folders, while the second one sets permissions for future files and folders. Both of these commands assign permissions for the system user and the Apache user.

setfacl isn't available on NFS mount points. However, storing cache and logs over NFS is strongly discouraged for performance reasons.

4. Without Using ACL

If none of the previous methods work for you, change the umask so that the cache and log directories are group-writable or world-writable (depending if the web server user and the command line user are in the same group or not). To achieve this, put the following line at the beginning of the bin/console, web/app.php and web/app_dev.php files:

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umask(0002); // This will let the permissions be 0775

// or

umask(0000); // This will let the permissions be 0777

Note

Changing the umask is not thread-safe, so the ACL methods are recommended when they are available.


This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.