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Permissions for Common File Types

File permissions for test user
In a previous post, I explained how to use chmod to change file permissions and also provided some security tips to ensure your file permissions are not more permissive than they need to be. Looking back on those posts, I think it would be useful to list some common file types and the maximum permissions that those files should have. The maximum means that there is no legitimate reason for those files to be any more permissive.

(r = read, w = write, x = execute) (Owner, Group, Other)

1. Executables – CGI files – Perl scripts, for example, often need to be executable. 755 (rwx r-x r-x)
2. Regular HTML and PHP files – These only need to be read by the outside world. 644 (rw- r– r–)
3. Private files – Sometimes text data files are stored on the server but do not need to be seen. 600 (rw- — —)
4. World writable – use these only if absolutely required by the application. 666 (rw- rw- rw-)
5. Full permissions – almost never necessary and could cause security problems. 777 (rwx rwx rwx)

There are other combinations, but these are the common permissions for files on most Linux servers. Only change file permissions if necessary. Otherwise, keep them as conservative as possible. This will ensure the security of your website(s) and server.

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