Fix Server Upload Permissions

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This permission error normally occurs when a file on the server is not world readable

By default, when new files are uploaded, they are only readable by the user that uploaded them. While this is good for security, this means that newly created files will not be available to web site visitors.

The setting that controls this is called the UMASK.

Please be aware, if you change your default permissions to be world viewable and upload a file that should NOT be visible to the world, you will need to manually change the permissions on that file.

Optimal UMASK Configurations

If files need to be viewable in a web browser, then the UMASK needs to be changed. There are two recommended UMASK configurations for Mason end users:

  • umask 022 - This results in files that are world-readable and only writable by the owner of the files.
  • umask 002 - This results in files that are world-readable and writable by both the file owner and the group the owner belongs to. This setting is ideal in situations where multiple users need to edit the same files.

Changing the UMASK

Special note: Changing your UMASK permissions will NOT fix permissions on files previously uploaded. You will have to delete the file or folder with incorrect permissions from the webserver and upload again. Changing the UMASK will not fix the permissions if you just overwrite the file on the server. It will only fix the permissions of files you upload AFTER you changed your UMASK.

  1. Connect to the Mason Cluster via SSH
  2. Once you are logged in, enter the following command:
    pico .cshrc
  3. This will put you into a text editor. If there is a umask line, edit it so it reads umask 022 or umask 002 (See UMASK configurations). Otherwise, simply add the line to the end of the file.
  4. Save the file (Ctrl+O) (letter O).
  5. File Name to write: .cshrc will display towards the bottom of the window. Hit enter.
  6. Exit the file (Ctrl+X).
  7. Run pico .profile and pico .login and repeat Steps 3 and 4.
  8. Log out and then log back in again. (This step is REQUIRED to see the change. You must logout of all connections to the web server, including Dreamweaver)
  9. Type umask at the mason> prompt. You should see umask 22 or umask 2. If you still see umask 77 then you need to contact the webmaster.

If this does not work and you have followed all the steps above, email the webmaster and describe which step was unsuccessful. If you are trying to fix permissions on your personal website (ie. mason.gmu.edu/~userID) please refer to Create the Web Folder on How to Set Up a Personal Site.

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