Setting default file/folder permissions, locally, in linux/osx


As kirby needs apache to be able to write in several folders, I resorted to changing the group of all files and folders in my kirby installation to www-data, apache’s group in linux (_www in osx I think) and giving the group write permission.

But whenever I create a file with sublime text or if I ‘touch’ it in the terminal , I need to run all this again.

So I used the setgid bit to set the default group of newly created files to apache’s but I am still looking for a way to set default permissions, to give WRITE to that group.

There is umask, but I’d say that works systemwide ?

How do you people do it ?

Thank you


I’m no expert on this but from what I can tell you are creating a file in sublime or the terminal under your normal user account. Is this user apart of the www-data group? Who is the owner of your files and directories?

I have just been doing some testing on my server and with a permissions of 2774 on directories and 0664 on files and my user being part of the www-data group. Touching a test file gives it the owner of my user and group of www-data with rw permissions for both owner and group. Let me know if this helps at all :).

I also just made a directory with the same result.

*Edited to mention directory



When I or an application that I run creates a file or directory it creates it as owner/group mal/mal, with group NOT having write access.

For kirby to be able to write or modify these, it needs to have apache or its group (www-data) either as owner or group, PLUS write access for www-data. As said, by default, group does not have write access.

This is localhost btw, in a server it may differ.

And yes, mal is part of www-data, but I think that does not make any practical difference.

I will check the permissions you refered to.


Ahhh I see - I understand a bit better.

Would you not need to change the group to www-data? And then set the permissions as I referred to? Unless you added www-data to the mal group, which may be a bit of a security problem?

chown -R $USER:www-data on your html directory. That way your user is user owner and the Apache group is group owner. Then sudo find /path/to/your/directory-type d -exec chmod 2774 {} \; to change permissions on directories with the default group owner id bit and finally find /path/to/your/directory -type f -exec chmod 0664 {} \; to change permissions on files to rwrwr? This way new directories and files should get the group owner as www-data by default and the user owner as your $USER.

Hope this makes it a bit more clear, and if anyone sees a problem with this, let me know. :slight_smile:

*Edited to correct permissions
*Edited again as I was right the first time, sorry!

Thanks again @ElliotSmith91, I’ve been able to set www-data as default group for newly created files with setgid bit:

chmod -R g+s folder/

…but I cannot find any way to set write permission for the group on defaulta… well other than using ACL’s

So files are created with user/group mal/www-data but permissions rw_r_

Thanks again

Ok, I checked the umask of my setup and it is 0002 - this is probably where the differences are happening between our two systems.

If you don’t want to change your umask and don’t want the hassle of adding new/ different users to groups etc. you could check out using bindfs as a work around as mentioned in this article:

I have not done this myself, but it seems like quite an elegant solution.

Hope this helps