Uploading Files over FTP with Ownership and Permissions (Linux)

I have apache2 and vsftpd  installed on Ubuntu server.

Let's say I want to upload test.html file from local computer to /var/www folder on the server

I am uploading the file as ftpuser using FTP client. But when I try to access http://localhost/test.html on the server I am getting "Access denied" error.

When I look to the permissions of test.html file, I see owner of the file is ftpuser and group is ftpuser. If I change the owner to www-data then no more error shown.

Changing owner user of a file: 

sudo chown www-data /var/www/test.html

Changing owner and group of all sub files/directories:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/

But when I upload a new test2.html file, then I should change the owner again. This is tyring and boring operation. 
So, I tried to find an auto method so no need to change ownership each time.
Here are the steps.

Step 1: Add the ftp user (In this context: ftpuser) to www-data group. 

sudo adduser ftpuser www-data

Step 2: Make www-data is primarily group for ftpuser.

sudo usermod -g www-data ftpuser

Step 3: Now we should edit /etc/vsftpd.conf file.

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf 

Uncomment below line:


By this, uploaded files can read-write by owner (ftpuser), and read by group (www-data), and can read by others.

If write/change permission needed for www-data group, you can set local_umask=022

Step 4. Restart vsftpd service:

service vsftpd restart

That's it! Hope it helps.

Alternative Method 1

After a few hours from the above content posted, I thought about another approach.
What about if I upload the files using
www-data user as FTP user? 

To do this, I set a password for www-data user by:

sudo passwd www-data

Then I uploaded some files as www-data using FTP client. 
Nothing more needed! Thats all!

Thank God for giving us thinking brains! :)

Alternate Method 2: Anonymous Uploads Only

A few days later, I noticed /etc/vsftpd.conf file contains some options like:


Comment for this options says: 

If you want, you can arrange for uploaded anonymous files to be owned by # a different user.

It looks like this option applies only if the files uploaded by anonymous. Not for uploads by local user.


Share Share Editor: editor | Posted: 2014/05/07 | Views: 5804


9 + 16 =
Home | Search | Contact | Terms