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I have multiple websites hosted on my server. The default user for apache is www-data.

For the different websites I have used different folders. Use for example user gary. When I try to write log files to gary unless I change the ownership of the log file directory (chown) to www-data (home/gary/public_html/logs), the files will not be written to. I have tried

chown -R www-data:gary /home/gary/public_html/logs

with no luck. I have to use

chown -R www-data /home/gary/public_html/logs

What am I doing wrong?

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  • Can you share the relevant Apache httpd configuration? – Tommiie Jun 17 '19 at 15:03
  • Also, I believe only the root user may own the logs. Should user www-data own the logs and have write permissions, an intruder can overwrite the logs and cover its tracks. The log files are opened by httpd as the root user. If I remember correctly, at least.... – Tommiie Jun 17 '19 at 15:14
  • Maybe to clarify the log files i am writing are debug log files from within php using fopen,fwrite,fclose. I am not trying to access apache log files. – Gary Jun 18 '19 at 13:12
  • Since it is PHP’s log files, please share how it is setup. FastCGI, mod_php... the setup could influence which user the php processes are run as. Thus which permissions are needed on the files. – Tommiie Jun 22 '19 at 6:56
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I do not understand what you want to do.

This command will try to change the owner of the folder and everything it containt to user "www-data" and group "gary"

chown -R www-data:gary /home/gary/public_html/logs

Is what you want to do ?

There could only have ONE owner at a time.

Please put the actual folder rights and reformulate what you want to do.

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  • This is a comment, not an answer. – Tommiie Jun 22 '19 at 6:54
  • Thats exactly what I am trying to do, but even though gary is in the user group www-data I still cant make all the files in that directory home/gary/public_html owned by gary. If I do my error log files (from inside my php scripts) wont write. I have to make home/gary/public_html/logs owned by www-data – Gary Jun 23 '19 at 12:16
  • That's how it must be. I do not understand why you want the files of a website to belong to different users. ``` chown -R www-data:www-data /home/gary/public_html/logs ``` If you want user gary acces to files, you have to add Gary in the group www-data and you will be fine – El_Dictator Jun 24 '19 at 15:04

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