Not sure if this is possible but is there a way to grant the Apache user same level of permissions (ownership) as root only on specific folder(s).

Why I need this: We have a CentOS 6.2 server with apache setup as our development server, and we use only the root user because the server is an internal server and doesn't have any outside access, every day we upload quite a lot of files and setup new folder, but because we are using the root user the ownership of the files belongs to the root user and for the apache user to create files (upload images, create log files and create folders) we need to grant 777 permissions.

Of course we can go in and update the ownership of all the files to Apache but not everyone in the team knows how to do this, so if it would be possible to grant the apache user root permissions on the "/var/www/*" folder and what's inside it would solve all of the issues.

  • 2
    Why not look for the solution at the source of the problem? Install with correct permissions (preferably as unprivileged user). (Btw., there is no such thing as "permissions as user X on directory Y". Oversimplified, either you are user X or not. (And please don't run apache as root))
    – Jo So
    Jul 3, 2012 at 15:31
  • 2
    Development servers require a sane security baseline just as well as a machine in full production. Start trying to understand how the Linux security model works, it really isn't that difficult and gives you plenty options to implement your requirements in a sane way. Security must be part of your architecture and design not something you try to apply afterwards.
    – jippie
    Jul 3, 2012 at 20:41
  • Use ACLs. Maybe How to assign correct permissions to both webserver and svn? is a better duplicate. Jul 3, 2012 at 22:47
  • 2
    Teach them, it isn't rocket science. As I mentioned before: Security must be part of your architecture and design not something you try to apply afterwards.
    – jippie
    Jul 4, 2012 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you could use some help from umask. Setting the umask of a folder, etc. will default newly created files to that mode, like 777.

To set a umask of 777 for the apache process (CentOS/RHEL specific instructions):

echo "umask 777" >> /etc/sysconfig/httpd
service httpd restart
  • 1
    Wrong solution to the problem. Why not embrace the security infrastructure of the system? It's that simple.
    – Jo So
    Jul 3, 2012 at 15:33
  • @JoSo OP did not ask for answers that "embrace the security infrastructure".
    – Tim
    Jul 3, 2012 at 15:35
  • 1
    If your friend wants to shoot himself because he's desperately in love, what weapon would you recommend?
    – Jo So
    Jul 3, 2012 at 15:57
  • Don't umask it!!! If you do, apache will not have access to sessions any more. If you do it by accident, just coment/delete the added line in /etc/sysconfig/httpd
    – user32667
    Feb 19, 2013 at 9:30

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