Support » Fixing WordPress » Public_html permissions question

  • Probably a dumb question. I installed the latest version (0.5.3). On the configuration page, I get a warning message that my public_html file is writeable and that I should change it to read only.

    The permissions for my public_html file (which contains my WP installation) is set to 755. If I change it to 754 or 744, I get a 404 Access Forbidden error when I try to log in to or access the site. Don’t I need the owner permissions to be Read, Write, Execute? Why is Super Cache concerned about the public_html file being writeable if it is only writeable by the owner? Should I be concerned about the current settings and, if so, what should they be?

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  • It does that on mine too. I know better, so I ignore it.

    The short version is that it uses the PHP function is_writable() to determine that, and that function is not particularly accurate.

    Note that depending on your configuration, the webserver, when running PHP, may be running as you, with your access permissions. So a 755 could be writable to the webserver running as you. Set the permissions to 555 and see if that makes the message go away.

    Otto42 – maybe it needs a “I know already, go away” button to hide this message?

    I still shudder to think that someone’s web directory would be writeable by the web server!

    Interestingly, I cannot change the permissions to 555 using my FTP client. It reverts to/stays at 755. (I have not tried with the web host’s File Manager function).

    Perhaps I misunderstand all this, but if the server will not allow me to change permissions to that directory via FTP, would that indicate the directory is writeable by the server?

    donncha: Consider the use of suexec on many webservers. This allows the PHP apps to run as the user, and thus they get the users own permissions.

    prairieprog: Hard to say. Write a simple PHP program that attempts to create and write to a file in that directory, then run it through the website. That’ll tell you for sure.


    file_put_contents('./testfile.txt', 'This directory is writable');

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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