Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just installed Ubuntu Server 12.10 and I selected the LAMP, OpenSSH and mail server packages during the install. The only other thing I've done is install nmap via apt-get. I can SFTP to my server but I have no permission to create directories or upload files to /var/www/. What do I need to do to fix it so I can upload files here? I have read many different threads related to this but they all deal with specific scenarios and often the answers involving doing things that I don't know how to do, like setting "setgid" on the directory. I only know the basics about how to manage a server so please be detailed. Thanks!

apache2.conf:

# ServerRoot: The top of the directory tree under which the server's
# configuration, error, and log files are kept.
#
# NOTE!  If you intend to place this on an NFS (or otherwise network)
# mounted filesystem then please read the LockFile documentation (available
# at <URL:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mpm_common.html#lockfile>);
# you will save yourself a lot of trouble.
#
# Do NOT add a slash at the end of the directory path.
#
#ServerRoot "/etc/apache2"

#
# The accept serialization lock file MUST BE STORED ON A LOCAL DISK.
#
LockFile ${APACHE_LOCK_DIR}/accept.lock

#
# PidFile: The file in which the server should record its process
# identification number when it starts.
# This needs to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars
#
PidFile ${APACHE_PID_FILE}

#
# Timeout: The number of seconds before receives and sends time out.
#
Timeout 300

#
# KeepAlive: Whether or not to allow persistent connections (more than
# one request per connection). Set to "Off" to deactivate.
#
KeepAlive On

#
# MaxKeepAliveRequests: The maximum number of requests to allow
# during a persistent connection. Set to 0 to allow an unlimited amount.
# We recommend you leave this number high, for maximum performance.
#
MaxKeepAliveRequests 100

#
# KeepAliveTimeout: Number of seconds to wait for the next request from the
# same client on the same connection.
#
KeepAliveTimeout 5

##
## Server-Pool Size Regulation (MPM specific)
## 

# prefork MPM
# StartServers: number of server processes to start
# MinSpareServers: minimum number of server processes which are kept spare
# MaxSpareServers: maximum number of server processes which are kept spare
# MaxClients: maximum number of server processes allowed to start
# MaxRequestsPerChild: maximum number of requests a server process serves
<IfModule mpm_prefork_module>
    StartServers          5
    MinSpareServers       5
    MaxSpareServers      10
    MaxClients          150
    MaxRequestsPerChild   0
</IfModule>

# worker MPM
# StartServers: initial number of server processes to start
# MinSpareThreads: minimum number of worker threads which are kept spare
# MaxSpareThreads: maximum number of worker threads which are kept spare
# ThreadLimit: ThreadsPerChild can be changed to this maximum value during a
#              graceful restart. ThreadLimit can only be changed by stopping
#              and starting Apache.
# ThreadsPerChild: constant number of worker threads in each server process
# MaxClients: maximum number of simultaneous client connections
# MaxRequestsPerChild: maximum number of requests a server process serves
<IfModule mpm_worker_module>
    StartServers          2
    MinSpareThreads      25
    MaxSpareThreads      75 
    ThreadLimit          64
    ThreadsPerChild      25
    MaxClients          150
    MaxRequestsPerChild   0
</IfModule>

# event MPM
# StartServers: initial number of server processes to start
# MinSpareThreads: minimum number of worker threads which are kept spare
# MaxSpareThreads: maximum number of worker threads which are kept spare
# ThreadsPerChild: constant number of worker threads in each server process
# MaxClients: maximum number of simultaneous client connections
# MaxRequestsPerChild: maximum number of requests a server process serves
<IfModule mpm_event_module>
    StartServers          2
    MinSpareThreads      25
    MaxSpareThreads      75 
    ThreadLimit          64
    ThreadsPerChild      25
    MaxClients          150
    MaxRequestsPerChild   0
</IfModule>

# These need to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars
User ${APACHE_RUN_USER}
Group ${APACHE_RUN_GROUP}

#
# AccessFileName: The name of the file to look for in each directory
# for additional configuration directives.  See also the AllowOverride
# directive.
#

AccessFileName .htaccess

#
# The following lines prevent .htaccess and .htpasswd files from being 
# viewed by Web clients. 
#
<Files ~ "^\.ht">
    Order allow,deny
    Deny from all
    Satisfy all
</Files>

#
# DefaultType is the default MIME type the server will use for a document
# if it cannot otherwise determine one, such as from filename extensions.
# If your server contains mostly text or HTML documents, "text/plain" is
# a good value.  If most of your content is binary, such as applications
# or images, you may want to use "application/octet-stream" instead to
# keep browsers from trying to display binary files as though they are
# text.
#
# It is also possible to omit any default MIME type and let the
# client's browser guess an appropriate action instead. Typically the
# browser will decide based on the file's extension then. In cases
# where no good assumption can be made, letting the default MIME type
# unset is suggested  instead of forcing the browser to accept
# incorrect  metadata.
#
DefaultType None


#
# HostnameLookups: Log the names of clients or just their IP addresses
# e.g., www.apache.org (on) or 204.62.129.132 (off).
# The default is off because it'd be overall better for the net if people
# had to knowingly turn this feature on, since enabling it means that
# each client request will result in AT LEAST one lookup request to the
# nameserver.
#
HostnameLookups Off

# ErrorLog: The location of the error log file.
# If you do not specify an ErrorLog directive within a <VirtualHost>
# container, error messages relating to that virtual host will be
# logged here.  If you *do* define an error logfile for a <VirtualHost>
# container, that host's errors will be logged there and not here.
#
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

#
# LogLevel: Control the number of messages logged to the error_log.
# Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
# alert, emerg.
#
LogLevel warn

# Include module configuration:
Include mods-enabled/*.load
Include mods-enabled/*.conf

# Include list of ports to listen on and which to use for name based vhosts
Include ports.conf

#
# The following directives define some format nicknames for use with
# a CustomLog directive (see below).
# If you are behind a reverse proxy, you might want to change %h into %{X-Forwarded-For}i
#
LogFormat "%v:%p %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" vhost_combined
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O" common
LogFormat "%{Referer}i -> %U" referer
LogFormat "%{User-agent}i" agent

# Include of directories ignores editors' and dpkg's backup files,
# see the comments above for details.

# Include generic snippets of statements
Include conf.d/

# Include the virtual host configurations:
Include sites-enabled/

The envars file:

# envvars - default environment variables for apache2ctl

# this won't be correct after changing uid
unset HOME

# for supporting multiple apache2 instances
if [ "${APACHE_CONFDIR##/etc/apache2-}" != "${APACHE_CONFDIR}" ] ; then
    SUFFIX="-${APACHE_CONFDIR##/etc/apache2-}"
else
    SUFFIX=
fi

# Since there is no sane way to get the parsed apache2 config in scripts, some
# settings are defined via environment variables and then used in apache2ctl,
# /etc/init.d/apache2, /etc/logrotate.d/apache2, etc.
export APACHE_RUN_USER=www-data
export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=www-data
export APACHE_PID_FILE=/var/run/apache2$SUFFIX.pid
export APACHE_RUN_DIR=/var/run/apache2$SUFFIX
export APACHE_LOCK_DIR=/var/lock/apache2$SUFFIX
# Only /var/log/apache2 is handled by /etc/logrotate.d/apache2.
export APACHE_LOG_DIR=/var/log/apache2$SUFFIX

## The locale used by some modules like mod_dav
export LANG=C
## Uncomment the following line to use the system default locale instead:
#. /etc/default/locale

export LANG

## The command to get the status for 'apache2ctl status'.
## Some packages providing 'www-browser' need '--dump' instead of '-dump'.
#export APACHE_LYNX='www-browser -dump'

## If you need a higher file descriptor limit, uncomment and adjust the
## following line (default is 8192):
#APACHE_ULIMIT_MAX_FILES='ulimit -n 65536'
share|improve this question
1  
How is Apache2 Configured? with a straight httpd.conf or are you using Apache2.conf and envars? Basically you need to be in the group that owns /var/www. In newer Apache2 installs you have an apache2.conf / envars and Sites.Enabled that replaced httpd.conf. Depending on how this is laid out will influence how you set it up correctly. Add this information to your Post and I will answer appropriately –  apesa Feb 28 '13 at 16:12
    
I have no idea but I added the contents of apache2.conf and I saw a file called envars so I included it as well. Does that help? –  Dave Feb 28 '13 at 17:39
    
The answer is for all users that need to write to /var/www need to be in that group. You can see what those environment variables are set to in envars. Add your User to Group www-data. –  apesa Feb 28 '13 at 19:04
    
Thanks for the advice! –  Dave Feb 28 '13 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The files you provided do provide the answer two which you are looking for. The apache2.conf file has the following directives: User ${APACHE_RUN_USER} and Group ${APACHE_RUN_GROUP}. In envars, each of these environment variables are assigned the value: www-data which is the default for Debian-based distributions, such as Ubuntu and Mint.

These configurations specify the user and group under which apache's permissions are granted. To be able to serve the files, apache must be able to read those files. Therefore, the /var/www directory is owned by user www-data and group www-data.

For an outside user to be able to write to the directory, the user must either:

  • log into the server as www-data (not recommended)

or

  • be a member of the www-data group (best solution).

The only other alternative is to turn on user directories to allow a specific directory in the user's home directory (and owned by the user) to be served by Apache to the outside world. URLs served in this way have traditionally looked like this:

http://example.com/~username/index.html

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks! That did the trick! –  Dave Feb 28 '13 at 20:04
    
I spoke too soon. It's still not working. I added my user to the www-data group: dave@ubuntu12vm:/var$ groups dave dave : dave adm cdrom sudo dip www-data plugdev lpadmin sambashare –  Dave Feb 28 '13 at 20:07
    
It looks like the root user owns the www directory. Should that be changed to www-data? –  Dave Feb 28 '13 at 20:25
    
Yes, although I would be more apt to create a subdirectory which is owned by www-data, rather than changing the ownership of /var/www –  Rob Gibson Feb 28 '13 at 23:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.