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Numeric File Permissions in Unix

Submitted by on June 27, 2009 – 7:50 pm 2 Comments

Suppose you are working with a Web server and your task is to make sure that no files or directories have permissions “777”. It would be easy to just recursively change permissions for all files to something like 644, but this may cause unexpected problems. You only need to change those files and directories that have “777” permission and leave everything else as it is. Here is a simple script that will do just that.

The script will search for files and directories that have “777” permissions and change files to 644 and directories to 755.


find . -type f -exec sh -c '
	if [ `stat -c "%a" "{}"` -eq 777 ]
		chmod 644 "{}"
' \;

find . -type d -exec sh -c '
	if [ `stat -c "%a" "{}"` -eq 777 ]
		chmod 755 "{}"
' \;

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  • Dana G says:


    I have a php file that I need to make writable I’be been told to use chmod 777 but I haven’t a clue what that means – I am using Smartftp anyone got any ideas ?

  • Joey 01 says:

    Assume that you have a directory called public in your home directory. Set the permissions on the public directory to allow all to read, write, and execute by using numeric mode command. Use both an absolute path and a relative path (your working directory is your home directory)

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