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Linux noobie here, I'm still figuring things out as I move along. At my school we have a shared server environment where every student gets an account. But we have very limited permissions.

I have a webpage that requires mysql access, its a PHP page. I currently store the mysql login information in a text file. I store this information outside of my public_html directory, inside my home directory.

My webpages basically work in this fashion: It attempt to read the password file and then connects to mysql from there, throwing an error if it fails to read it.

This works only if I set the permissions of the password file to be 777.

This technically works, but I know its wrong as another student can just navigate to the file locally and discover my password. As a student project its probably not a big deal, but I can't get away with this in the real world.

If I change the permissions of the file, apache can't get at it.

I was using this topic to troubleshoot

What are the best linux permissions to use for my website?

but I seem to be more restricted than this person.

1) I have no permission to chgrp, chown, or setfacl

Actually I'm not 100% sure on setfacl as I've never used this command before

setfacl -m g:daemon:r passwordfile.txt
setfacl: /somegenericpath/passwordfile.txt: Operation not supported

2) I'm not exactly sure if daemon is the right group, I'm looking for. The guide said the default is typically www-data, and using the command ps aux | grep httpd, to find it, but all I'm finding is daemon and root.

[me@someserver~]$ ps aux | grep httpd
root      3209  0.0  0.2 186972 11392 ?        Ss   Jun13   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon    5353  0.0  0.2 187104 11200 ?        S    Aug02   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon    5354  0.0  0.2 186972 10080 ?        S    Aug02   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   10220  0.0  0.2 186972 10136 ?        S    Jul30   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   10221  0.0  0.2 189172 11520 ?        S    Jul30   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   13352  0.0  0.2 187104 11668 ?        S    Jul26   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   22647  0.0  0.2 187104 11544 ?        S    Jul18   0:01 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   25622  0.0  0.2 187104 11140 ?        S    Aug03   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   26737  0.0  0.2 186972  9988 ?        S    Aug03   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
daemon   26743  0.0  0.2 186972  9980 ?        S    Aug03   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start
me       27570  0.0  0.0  61204   764 pts/1    S+   00:39   0:00 grep httpd
daemon   30187  0.0  0.2 187104 11528 ?        S    Jul31   0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start

Heres some more server information.

Server version: Apache/2.2.16 (Unix)

Linux venus 2.6.18-308.8.2.el5 #1 SMP Tue Jun 12 09:58:12 EDT 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

core_module (static)
authn_file_module (static)
authn_default_module (static)
authz_host_module (static)
authz_groupfile_module (static)
authz_user_module (static)
authz_default_module (static)
auth_basic_module (static)
include_module (static)
filter_module (static)
log_config_module (static)
env_module (static)
setenvif_module (static)
version_module (static)
mpm_prefork_module (static)
http_module (static)
mime_module (static)
status_module (static)
autoindex_module (static)
asis_module (static)
cgi_module (static)
negotiation_module (static)
dir_module (static)
actions_module (static)
userdir_module (static)
alias_module (static)
so_module (static)
php5_module (shared)

Am I doing something completely wrong or is it impossible with my current set of privileges

Sidenote: Figuring out what commands, I'm allow to use, and which ones I'm banned from, is a real test of guess and check, Is there anyway to drum up a list of commands that I can/can't use? This ones a real pain to search, anytime list and command show up all the results are about ls.

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by womble, Michael Hampton, EEAA, Scott Pack, Ladadadada Aug 23 '12 at 9:38

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to professional server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your system administrator will need to properly secure the server. There's very little that you can do. –  Michael Hampton Aug 4 '12 at 5:40
I see, what commands should I ask for? will asking for chgrp be enough? –  Ray Aug 4 '12 at 6:22
for sysadmin chown daemon file if file owned by you, you can chmod 0655 file it will allow all users on the machine to read file, –  eicto Aug 5 '12 at 0:48