With a fresh Ubuntu LAMP stack, I'm wondering why Apache serves up a Forbidden: Permission Denied error for my site.

Apache2 was setup with the default user/group www-data.

It's document root is /var/www

The permissions of that folder and its contents are 744 webmaster:www-data

The webmaster is just a sudo user for maintenance and has been added to the www-data group. But by all things, shouldn't this work?


A directory needs to have the execute permission set as well as the read permission. So

chmod 755 /var/www

should solve your problem.

  • Correct! That seems so strange to me. Isn't that a bit counter-productive to the whole security aspect? Like php exploits for shell and file uploads. – CP510 Jun 26 '13 at 12:55
  • Execute means different things for directoryes compared to files. For a directory, it means permission to enter the directory. For a file, it means permission to run the file as a program. – Jenny D Jun 26 '13 at 12:58
  • So safe to use it on directories but ok to exclude it on files? – CP510 Jun 26 '13 at 13:05
  • In this context and with these settings, yes. – Jenny D Jun 26 '13 at 13:10

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