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WordPress Permissions Configuration Script
#!/bin/bash
#
# This script configures WordPress file permissions based on recommendations
# from http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions
#
# Author: Michael Conigliaro
#
WP_OWNER=changeme # <-- wordpress owner
WP_GROUP=changeme # <-- wordpress group
WP_ROOT=/home/changeme # <-- wordpress root directory
WS_GROUP=changeme # <-- webserver group
# reset to safe defaults
find ${WP_ROOT} -exec chown ${WP_OWNER}:${WP_GROUP} {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;
# allow wordpress to manage wp-config.php (but prevent world access)
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
chmod 660 ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
# allow wordpress to manage .htaccess
touch ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chmod 664 ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
# allow wordpress to manage wp-content
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -exec chgrp ${WS_GROUP} {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;
@macbleser

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@macbleser macbleser commented Feb 21, 2014

Save the file as wordpress-perms.sh and set appropriate permissions for that script file using the following command:

chmod +x wordpress-perms.sh

Run the script with the following command:

./wordpress-perms.sh

After successful execution delete wordpress-perms.sh script file and then you are done.

rm wordpress-perms.sh
@vancouverwill

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@vancouverwill vancouverwill commented Apr 13, 2015

hey @macbleser this script was great super helpful. I would suggest returning the .git directory back to the sysadmin owner after processing as this directory shouldn't be controllable by the apache user.

see https://gist.github.com/vancouverwill/b409515938548497bc7e

thanks

Will

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@jacksierkstra jacksierkstra commented Oct 10, 2015

I made a minor alteration to this script namely:

#!/bin/bash
#
# This script configures WordPress file permissions based on recommendations
# from http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions
#
# Author: Michael Conigliaro
#
WP_OWNER=changeme # <-- wordpress owner
WP_GROUP=changeme # <-- wordpress group
WP_ROOT=$1 # <-- wordpress root directory
WS_GROUP=www-data # <-- webserver group

And then you can call this script like the following:
./wp-permissions-script /var/www/wordpress-directory

That was useful to me as I had more Wordpress installations on my webserver.

@bradbakerdx

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@bradbakerdx bradbakerdx commented Nov 26, 2015

WS_GROUP makes sense - that's going to be www-data or apache depending on your distro
WP_OWNER makes sense - that's going to be whatever user needs to interact with the files

But what is WS_GROUP? What's that supposed to be set to?

@NeonMonk

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@NeonMonk NeonMonk commented May 3, 2016

Good work @jacksierkstra, that means it can be run on all wordpress directories like this: find /var/www -maxdepth 1 -type d -exec wp-permissions-script {} ;

@bradbakerdx: WS_GROUP is generally the same as WP_GROUP. Some people may have a different setup, if it's not immediately obvious to you, you don't. :)

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@tech4eleven tech4eleven commented May 9, 2016

Is it possible to run this script on a wordpress installation on a windows server 2008 server? if so, how exactly?

@s1037989

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@s1037989 s1037989 commented Aug 18, 2016

Wow, this is helpful! I wish Wordpress would include this in the tarball! Every time I do a new installation I struggle to get the permissions right before handing it over to the developer and then it's constant back and forth: "try again!"

What do you think about this updated version:

#!/bin/bash
#
# This script configures WordPress file permissions based on recommendations
# from http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions
#
# Author: Michael Conigliaro (https://gist.github.com/macbleser/9136424)
#
WP_ROOT=${1:-.} # <-- wordpress root directory, current directory by default
[ -e "$WP_ROOT/wp-config.php" ] || { echo "Usage: $0 /path/to/wordpress"; exit; } # <-- detect that the directory is a wordpress root
WP_OWNER=$(id -u $(logname)) # <-- wordpress owner (This assumes the wordpress owner is the logged in user)
WP_GROUP=$(id -g $(logname)) # <-- wordpress group (This assumes the wordpress owner is the logged in user)
WS_GROUP=$(
     source /etc/apache2/envvars 2>/dev/null && # This works on debian-based systems at least
     echo "$APACHE_RUN_GROUP" ||
     echo nobody  
) # <-- webserver group
echo "Fixing permissions on $WP_ROOT"
echo "Wordpress owner.group: $WP_OWNER.$WP_GROUP"
echo "Web Server group: $WS_GROUP"

echo 'reset to safe defaults'
find ${WP_ROOT} -exec chown ${WP_OWNER}:${WP_GROUP} {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

echo 'allow wordpress to manage wp-config.php (but prevent world access)'
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
chmod 660 ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php

echo 'allow wordpress to manage .htaccess'
touch ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chmod 664 ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess

echo 'allow wordpress to manage wp-content'
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -exec chgrp ${WS_GROUP} {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;
@jaysin586

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@jaysin586 jaysin586 commented Sep 8, 2016

I want to thank you so much for this!

For those of you looking into a default AWS word press install please use the below variables:

WP_OWNER=apache # &lt;-- wordpress owner
WP_GROUP=apache # &lt;-- wordpress group
WP_ROOT=/var/www/html # &lt;-- wordpress root directory
WS_GROUP=apache # &lt;-- webserver group
@KontrivedMedia

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@KontrivedMedia KontrivedMedia commented Sep 15, 2016

How would I get this working on my local machine (Mac running Mamp Pro) as the above script doesn't work for me and sets the group to nobody. Which renders my site a whitescreen.

@jult

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@jult jult commented Oct 26, 2016

This assumes apache is the webserver. I have to admin several servers and sites that run solely using nginx and php5-fpm.

@phidomo

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@phidomo phidomo commented Dec 10, 2016

How do I get the WP_OWNER, WP_GROUP and WS_GROUP of my current WordPress installation?

@michaelwdc

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@michaelwdc michaelwdc commented Mar 21, 2017

This is great! I've been struggling with getting the correct file/folder permissions. This script makes it easy.

@burbridgeconsulting

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@burbridgeconsulting burbridgeconsulting commented Apr 2, 2017

I can't tell you how helpful this is. Thanks!

@milesstewart88

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@milesstewart88 milesstewart88 commented Aug 30, 2018

I needed this!

@KarlYee

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@KarlYee KarlYee commented Oct 4, 2018

Wonderful! Something that should come bundled w/ the WP install package.

@inventortechie

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@inventortechie inventortechie commented Dec 4, 2018

Why is there a separate WordPress group, and a Server Group?

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@kl3sk kl3sk commented Dec 28, 2018

To automatically find webserver user, symfony provide a command:

HTTPDUSER=$(ps axo user,comm | grep -E '[a]pache|[h]ttpd|[_]www|[w]ww-data|[n]ginx' | grep -v root | head -1 | cut -d\  -f1)

source: https://symfony.com/doc/3.3/setup/file_permissions.html#using-acl-on-a-system-that-supports-setfacl-linux-bsd

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@pwil30 pwil30 commented Jun 20, 2019

Brilliant, thank you!

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@oktayaa oktayaa commented Dec 2, 2019

It would be useful if the script has a test or dry-run option. Most people would not be comfortable running it blindly.

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@ph33nx ph33nx commented Mar 10, 2020

I have created a fork of this script that allows to set the folder, wp-content folder name & "open" or "close" access by wordpress all from the terminal.

This is best when you've multiple installations & you also wish to make wordpress the owner for plugins/themes updates, & once that's done simply run the script again with close as the third parameter to set secure folder/file permissions.

Check out here

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@notadevop notadevop commented Jun 19, 2020

#!/bin/bash

This script configures WordPress file permissions based on recommendations

from http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions

Author: Michael Conigliaro (https://gist.github.com/macbleser/9136424)

WP_ROOT=${1:-.} # <-- wordpress root directory, current directory by default
[ -e "$WP_ROOT/wp-config.php" ] || { echo "Usage: $0 /path/to/wordpress"; exit; } # <-- detect that the directory is a wordpress root
WP_OWNER=$(id -u $(logname)) # <-- wordpress owner (This assumes the wordpress owner is the logged in user)
WP_GROUP=$(id -g $(logname)) # <-- wordpress group (This assumes the wordpress owner is the logged in user)
WS_GROUP=$(
source /etc/apache2/envvars 2>/dev/null && # This works on debian-based systems at least
echo "$APACHE_RUN_GROUP" ||
echo nobody
) # <-- webserver group
echo "Fixing permissions on $WP_ROOT"
echo "Wordpress owner.group: $WP_OWNER.$WP_GROUP"
echo "Web Server group: $WS_GROUP"

echo 'reset to safe defaults'
find ${WP_ROOT} -exec chown ${WP_OWNER}:${WP_GROUP} {} ;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type d -exec chmod 755 {} ;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type f -exec chmod 644 {} ;

echo 'allow wordpress to manage wp-config.php (but prevent world access)'
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
chmod 660 ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php

echo 'allow wordpress to manage .htaccess'
touch ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chmod 664 ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess

echo 'allow wordpress to manage wp-content'
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -exec chgrp ${WS_GROUP} {} ;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type d -exec chmod 775 {} ;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type f -exec chmod 664 {} ;

some users using nginx instead apache2, not useable for them

@yupthatguy

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@yupthatguy yupthatguy commented Aug 6, 2020

Hi there,

I just tried to run the latest version of the script above on my Ubuntu 18.04 LAMP dev environment and I got the following errors:

Fixing permissions on .
Wordpress owner.group: 1000.1000
Web Server group: nobody
reset to safe defaults
find: missing argument to `-exec'
find: missing argument to `-exec'
find: missing argument to `-exec'
allow wordpress to manage wp-config.php (but prevent world access)
chgrp: invalid group: ‘nobody’
allow wordpress to manage .htaccess
chgrp: invalid group: ‘nobody’
allow wordpress to manage wp-content
find: missing argument to `-exec'
find: missing argument to `-exec'
find: missing argument to `-exec'

I also made a post on wordpress.stackexchange.com regarding the original script at the top of this thread.
https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/372449/permissions-script-not-working

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@libre libre commented Oct 21, 2020

Warning Broken system
Small modification for the command line use with option.
On the other hand, important modification related to security: I add this condition because if the folder does not exist, you completely block your system until you can no longer start! (cron: "root" account)

#!/bin/bash
#
# This script configures WordPress file permissions based on recommendations
# from http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions
#
# Author: Michael Conigliaro
#
WP_OWNER=$1 # &lt;-- wordpress owner
WP_GROUP=$2 # &lt;-- wordpress group
WP_ROOT=$4 # &lt;-- wordpress root directory
WS_GROUP=$3 # &lt;-- webserver group

# Check value option
#
if [ -z ${1} ] || [ -z ${2} ] || [ -z ${3} ] || [ -z ${4} ] ; then
echo "Error, option not found"
echo "usage: $0 OWNER GROUP WEBSERVGROUP FOLDER"
echo "ex: $0 www-data www-data www-data /var/www/html"
echo ""
exit 1
fi

#I add this condition because if the folder does not exist, you completely block your system until you can no longer start.!
#I wanted to share the experience with you because I had the case with a cron job which blocked a system because the folder no longer ``existed ....
if [ ! -d ${WP_ROOT} ]; then
echo "STOP, The folder Wordpress not found !"
echo "Please check the path"
exit 1
fi

# reset to safe defaults
find ${WP_ROOT} -exec chown ${WP_OWNER}:${WP_GROUP} {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

# allow wordpress to manage wp-config.php (but prevent world access)
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
chmod 660 ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php

# allow wordpress to manage .htaccess
touch ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chgrp ${WS_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chmod 664 ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess

# allow wordpress to manage wp-content
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -exec chgrp ${WS_GROUP} {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;
exit 0

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@phance phance commented Nov 2, 2020

I have made a few additions:

  1. Allowed parameters to be added as the script is called so standard usage would be for example:
[scriptname] /var/www/sitename username groupname

I always set the groupname to that of the webserver (nginx/apache) which as far as I know is secure but let me know if you disagree

  1. Added SE Linux context changes using chcon. Mine are standard Redhat / Centos contexts which you may need to alter

  2. Speeded up the script by applying standard file permissions with chmod recursively (no find necessary) and then altering directory permissions using find and chmod as before for directories. Doing this means it executes 10-20x faster on large sites.

***** WARNING - I've only tested this on a couple of live sites so far with no issues it's been fine. Posting this in case it's useful but please do your own testing and be careful before using it in production or cronjobs. The original script by Michael is probably safer until this one has been tested more! **********

#!/bin/bash
#
# This script configures WordPress file permissions based on recommendations
# from http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions
#
# Author: Michael Conigliaro with tweaks to make it faster and SE Linux by Jonathan Gittos
#
# check if this script has been called with a first parameter and use it as the wordpress root directory
[  -z "$1" ] && WP_ROOT=$PWD || WP_ROOT=$1
# check owner and group of wp-config and use later to give same to rest of WP DIR unless parameter 2 or 3 set
[  -z "$2" ] && WP_OWNER="$(ls -ld $WP_ROOT/wp-config.php | awk '{print $3}')" || WP_OWNER=$2
[  -z "$3" ] && WP_GROUP="$(ls -ld $WP_ROOT/wp-config.php | awk '{print $4}')" || WP_GROUP=$3

# Make sure we're in what looks like a WP directory to avoid big snafus

if [ ! -f $WP_ROOT/wp-config.php ]; then
    echo ""
    echo "--------------------------------------------"
    echo "This doesn't look like a Wordpress directory!"
    echo "Current or chosen directory is " $WP_ROOT
    echo "Maybe change directory, or specify a directory as a parameter to this script and try again?"
exit

fi

echo -e "\nAbout to reset permissions on:\n " $WP_ROOT
echo "Changing owner and group to:" $WP_OWNER $WP_GROUP

read -p "Does that look right? " -n 1 -r
echo

if [[ $REPLY =~ ^[Yy]$ ]]; then

    echo -e "\nRestoring permissions on: " $WP_ROOT

# reset to safe defaults
chown -R ${WP_OWNER}:${WP_GROUP} $WP_ROOT;
chmod -R 644 $WP_ROOT;
chcon -R system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 $WP_ROOT;
find ${WP_ROOT} -type d -exec chmod -R 755 {} \;

# allow wordpress to manage wp-config.php (but prevent world access)
chgrp ${WP_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
chmod 660 ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php
chcon system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0 ${WP_ROOT}/wp-config.php

# allow wordpress to manage .htaccess
touch ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chgrp ${WP_GROUP} ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chmod 664 ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess
chcon system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0 ${WP_ROOT}/.htaccess

# allow wordpress to manage wp-content
chmod -R 664 $WP_ROOT/wp-content;
chcon -R system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0 $WP_ROOT/wp-content;
find ${WP_ROOT}/wp-content -type d -exec chmod -R 775 {} \;
echo -e "\nDoing it\n"

fi
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@juanpgarciac juanpgarciac commented Mar 16, 2021

If you are having "No such file or directory" problems and you use windows to upload the file a quick fix is changing the format to unix again:

#vim fix_permision.sh
:set fileformat=unix
:wq

#sh fix_permision.sh

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