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

The best answers to the question “How to change permissions for a folder and its subfolders/files in one step” in the category Dev.

QUESTION:

I would like to change the permissions of a folder and all its subfolders 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 Stack Overflow question too:

How can I set a default ‘chmod’ in a Linux terminal?

ANSWER:

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

ANSWER:

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 {} \;

Some splainin’: (thanks @tobbez)

  • chmod 755 {} specifies the command that will be executed by find for each directory
  • chmod 644 {} specifies the command that will be executed by find for each file
  • {} is replaced by the path
  • ; the semicolon tells find that this is the end of the command it’s supposed to execute
  • \; the semicolon is escaped, otherwise it would be interpreted by the shell instead of find

ANSWER:

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

ANSWER:

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.