linux – How to change permissions for a folder and its subfolders/files in one step?

The Question :

1901 people think this question is useful

I would like to change permissions of a folder and all its sub folders and files in one step (command) in Linux.

I have already tried the below command but it works only for the mentioned folder:

chmod 775 /opt/lampp/htdocs

Is there a way to set chmod 755 for /opt/lampp/htdocs and all of its content including subfolders and files?

Also, in the future, if I create a new folder or file inside htdocs, how can the permissions of that automatically be set to 755?

I had a look at this link too:

The Question Comments :
  • Did you intend to write chmod 75 /opt/lampp/htdocs or should that really be chmod 755 /opt/lampp/htdocs?
  • The fact that the 4th highest-voted question about Linux is “closed as off-topic” is hilarious. Who but a programmer would care about chmod? How is this off-topic? Why are “permissions”, “folder”, and “cmod” even tags if they’re off-topic?
  • @ArthurDent, because this question (while perfectly valid and helpful) is more suited to a system-focused SE site, such as SuperUser or ServerFault. It’s not expressly related to programming.
  • @timelmer Sure, but I ask again, why are “permissions”, “folder”, and “cmod” tags? When would cmod ever be used ‘expressly’ for programming?
  • If you want to get really picky, Bash is actually a scripting language, but then so is php, which SO doesn’t seem to mind.

The Answer 1

3096 people think this answer is useful

The other answers are correct, in that chmod -R 755 will set these permissions to all files and subfolders in the tree. But why on earth would you want to? It might make sense for the directories, but why set the execute bit on all the files?

I suspect what you really want to do is set the directories to 755 and either leave the files alone or set them to 644. For this, you can use the find command. For example:

To change all the directories to 755 (drwxr-xr-x):

find /opt/lampp/htdocs -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;

To change all the files to 644 (-rw-r--r--):

find /opt/lampp/htdocs -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

The Answer 2

802 people think this answer is useful

Check the -R option

chmod -R <permissionsettings> <dirname>

In the future, you can save a lot of time by checking the man page first:

man <command name>

So in this case:

man chmod

The Answer 3

406 people think this answer is useful

If you want to set permissions on all files to a+r, and all directories to a+x, and do that recursively through the complete subdirectory tree, use:

chmod -R a+rX *

The X (that is capital X, not small x!) is ignored for files (unless they are executable for someone already) but is used for directories.

The Answer 4

154 people think this answer is useful

You can use -R with chmod for recursive traversal of all files and subfolders.

You might need sudo as it depends on LAMP being installed by the current user or another one:

sudo chmod -R 755 /opt/lampp/htdocs

The Answer 5

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The correct recursive command is:

sudo chmod -R 755 /opt/lampp/htdocs

-R: change every sub folder including the current folder

The Answer 6

78 people think this answer is useful

To set to all subfolders (recursively) use -R

chmod 755 /folder -R

And use umask to set the default to new folders/files cd /folder umask 755

The Answer 7

57 people think this answer is useful

chmod 755 -R /opt/lampp/htdocs will recursively set the permissions. There’s no way to set the permissions for files automatically in only this directory that are created after you set the permissions, but you could change your system-wide default file permissions with by setting umask 022.

The Answer 8

31 people think this answer is useful

You might want to consider this answer given by nik on superuser and use “one chmod” for all files/folders like this:

chmod 755 $(find /path/to/base/dir -type d)
chmod 644 $(find /path/to/base/dir -type f)

The Answer 9

22 people think this answer is useful

Here’s another way to set directories to 775 and files to 664.

find /opt/lampp/htdocs \
\( -type f -exec chmod ug+rw,o+r {} \; \) , \
\( -type d -exec chmod ug+rwxs,o+rx {} \; \)

It may look long, but it’s pretty cool for three reasons:

  1. Scans through the file system only once rather than twice.
  2. Provides better control over how files are handled vs. how directories are handled. This is useful when working with special modes such as the sticky bit, which you probably want to apply to directories but not files.
  3. Uses a technique straight out of the man pages (see below).

Note that I have not confirmed the performance difference (if any) between this solution and that of simply using two find commands (as in Peter Mortensen’s solution). However, seeing a similar example in the manual is encouraging.

Example from man find page:

find / \
\( -perm -4000 -fprintf /root/suid.txt %#m %u %p\n \) , \
\( -size +100M -fprintf /root/big.txt %-10s %p\n \)

Traverse the filesystem just once, listing setuid files and  direc‐
tories into /root/suid.txt and large files into /root/big.txt.


The Answer 10

21 people think this answer is useful


sudo chmod 755 -R /whatever/your/directory/is

However, be careful with that. It can really hurt you if you change the permissions of the wrong files/folders.

The Answer 11

14 people think this answer is useful

chmod -R 755 directory_name works, but how would you keep new files to 755 also? The file’s permissions becomes the default permission.

The Answer 12

10 people think this answer is useful

For Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), it is:

chmod -R 755 /directory

And yes, as all other say, be careful when doing this.

The Answer 13

10 people think this answer is useful

You want to make sure that appropriate files and directories are chmod-ed/permissions for those are appropriate. For all directories you want

find /opt/lampp/htdocs -type d -exec chmod 711 {} \;

And for all the images, JavaScript, CSS, HTML…well, you shouldn’t execute them. So use

chmod 644 img/* js/* html/*

But for all the logic code (for instance PHP code), you should set permissions such that the user can’t see that code:

chmod 600 file

The Answer 14

8 people think this answer is useful

I think Adam was asking how to change umask value for all processes that tying to operate on /opt/lampp/htdocs directory.

The user file-creation mode mask (umask) is use to determine the file permission for newly created files. It can be used to control the default file permission for new files.

so if you will use some kind of ftp program to upload files into /opt/lampp/htdocs you need to configure your ftp server to use umask you want.

If files / directories be created for example by php, you need to modify php code

// other code

if you will create new files / folders from your bash session, you can set umask value in your shell profile ~/.bashrc Or you can set up umask in /etc/bashrc or /etc/profile file for all users. add the following to file: umask 022

Sample umask Values and File Creation Permissions
If umask value set to   User permission     Group permission     Others permission
000                         all              all                   all
007                         all              all                   none
027                         all          read / execute            none

And to change permissions for already created files you can use find. Hope this helps.

The Answer 15

5 people think this answer is useful

There are two answers of finding files and applying chmod to them. First one is find the file and apply chmod as it finds (as suggested by @WombleGoneBad).

find /opt/lampp/htdocs -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;

Second solution is to generate list of all files with find command and supply this list to the chmod command (as suggested by @lamgesh).

chmod 755 $(find /path/to/base/dir -type d)

Both of these versions work nice as long as the number of files returned by the find command is small. The second solution looks great to eye and more readable than the first one. If there are large number of files, the second solution returns error : Argument list too long.

So my suggestion is

  1. Use chmod -R 755 /opt/lampp/htdocs if you want to change permissions of all files and directories at once.
  2. Use find /opt/lampp/htdocs -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; if the number of files you are using is very large. The -type x option searches for specific type of file only, where d is used for finding directory, f for file and l for link.
  3. Use chmod 755 $(find /path/to/base/dir -type d) otherwise
  4. Better to use the first one in any situation

The Answer 16

3 people think this answer is useful

For anyone still struggling with permission issues, navigate up one directory level cd .. from the root directory of your project, then add yourself (user) to the directory and give permission to edit everything inside (tested on Mac OS).

To do that you would run this command (preferred):

sudo chown -R username: foldername .*

note: for currently unsaved changes, might need to restart the code editor first to be able to save without being asked for a password.

Also, please remember you can press tab to see the options while typing username and folder to make it easier for yourself.

or simply:

sudo chmod -R 755 foldername

but as mentioned above, need to be careful with the second method.

The Answer 17

2 people think this answer is useful

It’s very simple.

In Terminal go to file manager. example: sudo nemo. Go /opt/ then click Properties → Permission. and then Other. Finally, change to create and delete and file acess to read and write and click on button apply… And work.

The Answer 18

1 people think this answer is useful

You can change permission by using following commands

sudo chmod go=rwx /opt/lampp/htdocs

The Answer 19

0 people think this answer is useful

For already created files:

find . \( -type f -exec chmod g=r,o=r {} \; \) , \( -type d -exec chmod g=rx,o=rx {} \; \)

For future created files:

sudo nano /etc/profile

And set:

umask 022

Common modes are:

  • 077: u=rw,g=,o=
  • 007: u=rw,g=rw,o=
  • 022: u=rw,g=r,o=r
  • 002: u=rw,g=rw,o=r

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