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The “chmod 777” trap: How and why to avoid it

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It can be a frustrating experience trying to get your web application to work. When the world seems to be working against you, and you get “permission denied” at every turn, it can be very tempting to break out the “chmod 777” — and give everyone on your server permission to write to your files. In case you’re not familiar with chmod, it’s a tool to specify access control on your files. The “7” refers to full read, write and execution privileges. The three sevens means that it applies to yourself, to other people in your group, and to everyone else on the server. While this approach does solve your immediate problem, it isn’t without its own drawbacks. They’re subtle drawbacks; you don’t notice them straight away, but given the…

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